Being able to watch Mark Buerhle throw a perfect game, is something no Chicago White Sox fan will soon forget. Watching history being made usually ends up with fans trying to remember the last time something so incredible happened, and brings to mind the greatest pitchers in history.
To be honest though, I really only care about the Chicago White Sox, and their pitchers are considering how many great pitchers have played on their fields, it is easy to make a best of the best list for just the one team. Here are my choices for the five best Chicago White Sox pitchers in history.
Buerhle is the only pitcher on my list that I have had the opportunity to follow. Even with a World Series ring on his finger and a no hitter on his record, Buerhle was relatively unknown until his perfect game last week. That one game landed Buerhle in a very exclusive group of pitchers, and on front pages across the country. Unlike the other great pitchers in Chicago White Sox history, Buerhle is still on the roster and has the opportunity to do more.
Blackjack McDowell began his major league career with the Chicago White Sox, and was the recipient of the Cy Young Award– an award given to the best pitcher of the year in each league. Though he pitched for only seven seasons, BlackJack, as he came to be known, had a win-loss record that looked similar to pitchers that played for twice as many years, with 127 wins and 87 losses.
Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Wynn had a very impressive set of career achievements and awards earned. As a pitcher for the Chicago White Sox, Wynn earned the Cy Young Award in 1959, a year after joining the club. In the 24 years Wynn played for the MLB, he won 300 games, completed 290 games and led the league in strikeout two years in a row– the second year with the White Sox. Wynn may not have been the most memorable of White Sox pitchers, but he was definitely one of the best that Chicago had, while they had him– plus, every batter in the league was afraid of him.
Another Nation League Hall of Famer, Ed Walsh played for the Chicago White Sox from 1904-1916 and later went on to manage the team. Walsh earned a spot as one of the White Sox best pitchers because he holds the best career ERA at 1.82. In addition to his achievements on the field, Walsh is known for perfecting the Spitball, and helping design Comiskey Park so that it benefited the pitcher.
Ted Lyons was a Chicago White Sox player through and through, he played all twenty one of his major league seasons with the Chicago White Sox and no one else. Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, Lyons pitched a no hitter in record time, only sixty seven minutes long. More importantly though, Lyons developed an undeniably strong relationship with fans and Chicagoans.
Granted, there are other pitchers that some would add to this list, and there are several known drug users that some would argue should be on this list, but I purposely left them out. What would your list look like?