1993: A Decade Later

The 2003 season will mark the 10th anniversary of the White Sox 1993 AL West title season. Over the last 10 years baseball has changed, the White Sox have changed, and the stadium has a new name, but the memories of that magical season remain.

The 1993 season will forever be the only accomplishment of a team and an era that appeared to have so much potential. This season there will be few similarities between the style of play of the '93 White Sox and the current White Sox team, but with a little luck the team of present can enjoy the success of its predecessor of 10 years ago.

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The 1993 White Sox played in an era known by Sox fans as the "Good Guys Wear Black" era. This was the White Sox marketing slogan at the time, and is derived from the new black and white uniforms. The "Good Guys Wear Black" era started when the White Sox moved across the street to New Comiskey Park in 1991, and it ended with the baseball work stoppage halfway through the 1994 season. For the White Sox this provided the longest run of success since the "Go Go Sox" of the late 50's and the 60's.

New Comiskey Park and the new stylish uniforms added to the White Sox popularity at the time. Popular West coast hip-hop artists of the day, such as Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, helped make the Sox logo and hat a familiar site around the country. Fans flocked to the new ballpark, the first baseball only stadium built since the 70's, and Comiskey ranked second in attendance in '91 and '92, third in '93, and fifth in '94. Some even called Comiskey Park the next Yankee Stadium.

While the uniforms and the stadium boosted the Sox image off the field, on the field the Sox played an exciting brand of baseball that featured solid defense, speed on the base-paths, and good, young pitching. Exciting young sluggers Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura provided strength in the heart of the order. New General Manager Ron Schueler brought in veteran Tim Raines to give the Sox one of the best leadoff hitters in the game. These ingredients made the Sox a young powerhouse and a force to be reckoned with. It was an exciting time on the South Side.

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The '93 season turned out to be the defining season of the "Good Guys Wear Black" era. The '93 team overcame adversity and played great baseball to reach the playoffs for the first time since 1983. Led by Cy Young winner Jack McDowell, the starting rotation was one of the best in baseball. MVP Frank Thomas was the star slugger of a lineup that incorporated a balance of speed and power to win games.

One of the great moments of the '93 season was Bo Jackson's first at-bat homerun on April 9th, the team's home opener. Bo's homerun marked one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports, as Bo successfully became the first player to play with an artificial hip. The homerun also fulfilled a promise Bo made to his dying mother.

On June 22nd Carlton Fisk made history by setting the record for games played by a catcher. Fisk's teammates rewarded him with a new motorcycle and the crowd roared. Unfortunately, Fisk was released shortly thereafter before a game with Cleveland. The events surrounding his release sparked controversy and led to bad blood between Fisk and Sox management. It was a controversy the Sox managed to play through.

The White Sox participated in two brawls during the 1993 season. The first came against the Brewers after Jeff Schwarz beaned John Jaha. This fight also led to a heated argument between Sox broadcasters, Hawk and Wimpy, and Brewers manager Phil Garner later in the season. The second brawl occurred when Robin Ventura charged legendary pitcher Nolan Ryan. Unfortunately Ryan, who was 46-years-old at the time, pummeled Ventura. Ventura was later suspended for two games.

The 1993 team proved to be resilient many times. The team had to overcome numerous injuries and an always changing clubhouse. Tim Raines, George Bell and Ron Karkovice all suffered injuries, while the team also parted ways with Dave Stieb, Carlton Fisk, Bobby Thigpen and Donn Pall. The team's third starter, Wilson Alvarez, was also sent to the minors for a time to work on his control. In the end, the team's talent led them through to what the Chicago Sun-Times called, "The Crowning Bo-ment". This was when Bo Jackson hit what proved to be the game winning homerun against Seattle to clinch the AL West. On that magical evening baseball was king, again, on the South side.

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After falling short in the playoffs, the White Sox aimed high in 1994. Unfortunately, a labor work stoppage ended the season while the White Sox were in first place. In the years that have followed many of the players from that 1993 season have retired. Frank Thomas is the only member of that glorious team remaining on the Sox. Never in the years since has Comiskey, now named U.S Cellular Field, attracted fans like it once did. Now critics call the stadium "sterile", instead of the next Yankee Stadium. The White Sox have produced only three winning seasons since the "Good Guys Wear Black" era ended. This year the White Sox will play a homerun style of baseball, rather than the fundamental brand of the early 90's. We can only hope that at seasons end people will compare this team to that of 1993. If so then all has gone well in 2003.


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