MLB Top 5: Chicago White Sox Outfielders

This is the fourth article in a series that looks at the five best players at each position for the Chicago White Sox. In this installment are outfielders. 

While the White Sox top outfielder list lacks star power, it certainly has depth. Chicago has four players in this article that are in the Hall of Fame (and at least one other that would be if not for the whole “Black Sox” scandal). The weak link is in center field, where only two players were even selected to an All-Star Game.

The Best Outfielders in Chicago White Sox History

Left Fielders

Honorable Mentions – Patsy Donovan played six seasons with the White Sox (1906-11), winning a title in his first campaign. He led the American League with 47 stolen bases in 1908, one of three seasons when the topped 30. Donovan batted .269 with 648 hits, 261 runs batted in, and 168 steals in 703 games. He went 2-for-20 with an RBI in the 1906 World Series.

Tim Raines proved he still was one of the best leadoff hitters in baseball history during his five-year stint with the White Sox (1991-95). “Rock” drove in at least 50 runs in each of his seasons with Chicago, and he stole 51 bases in 1991 and 45 more the following year. He won a fielding title in 1993 then had 12 hits, five runs scored, and an RBI in the American League Championship Series loss to the Blue Jays. Raines hit .283 and totaled 440 runs, 697 hits, 50 home runs, 227 runs batted in, and 143 stolen bases in 648 games. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2017.

Albert Belle played just two years with the White Sox, but what a two years! In 1997, he was an All-Star after hitting .274 with 30 home runs and 116 runs batted in. The following year, he was NOT an All-Star but one look at his numbers could be an argument against fan voting. Belle hit .328 with 113 runs and a career-high 200 hits. Not enough? Ok, he won a silver slugger award and also set franchise records with 399 total bases, 48 doubles, 49 home runs, and 152 RBIs. His problems included his temper and attitude, but one could argue that it would be worth it to have that production in your lineup.

5. Carlos Lee While he was not an All-Star during his six seasons in Chicago (1999-2004), he was selected in each of the three seasons after he left (twice with Milwaukee and once with Houston). In 2003, Lee hit .291 with 100 runs scored, 181 hits, 35 doubles, 31 home runs and 113 runs batted in. He also won a fielding title in 2004. “El Caballo” (“Big Horse”) ranks tenth in franchise history with 152 home runs, and he also hit .298 with 533 runs, 957 hits, 192 doubles, and 552 RBIs in 880 games. He had a double and an RBI in a loss to Seattle in the 2000 Division Series.

4. Carlos May He was a two-time All-Star during his nine seasons in the Windy City (1968-76). May had a solid three-year span that began in 1972, when he hit 12 home runs, drove in 68 runs, and set career highs with a .308 average, 83 runs, 161 hits, and 23 stolen bases. The following year, he posted career bests with 20 homers and 96 RBIs, and he also won a fielding title in 1974. Overall, May batted .275 with 486 runs, 1,000 hits, 85 home runs, and 479 RBIs in 1,002 games.

3. August “Bibb” Falk He was a star for Chicago in the decade following the “Black Sox” Scandal, replacing the well-liked Joe Jackson in left field. During his nine seasons with the White Sox (1920-28), Falk won two fielding titles, and he hit over .300 and had more than 150 hits, 30 doubles, and 80 runs batted in five times each. His best season was 1926 when he hit .345 and set career highs with 86 runs, 195 hits, 43 doubles, and 108 RBIs. Falk totaled 526 runs, 1,219 hits, and 627 RBIs in 1,067 games. He is tied for fifth in franchise history with a .315 average, and he ranks tenth with 245 doubles.

2. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson He came to the White Sox from the Indians in 1915 and spent the remainder of his career in Chicago before being suspended due to his part in the “Black Sox” Scandal. In six seasons with the White Sox (1915-20), Jackson hit better than .300 five times, had more than 160 hits four times and scored at least 90 runs, and had at least 80 RBIs three times each. He led the American League in triples twice, including in 1916, when he set a team record with 21.

Jackson won the fielding title in 1917 and missed most of the following year when he went to work in the shipyards instead of joining the military (a move that brought him a lot of criticism publicly and got him labeled as a “slacker” by owner Charles Comiskey). His best season was 1920 when he hit .382 with 105 runs, 218 hits, 42 doubles, a league-leading 20 triples, and career highs with 12 home runs and 121 runs batted in. Jackson had 396 runs, 139 doubles, and 433 RBIs in 648 games. He is the all-time franchise leader with a .340 average and ranks sixth with 79 triples.

Jackson’s role with the “Black Sox” is complicated. He confessed to his part in the fix but refused to accept any money. In fact, he even brought the money he was given to Comiskey’s office, but the owner refused to meet with him. Jackson was also fooled by a lawyer who kept giving him moonshine whiskey and having the nearly illiterate player sign a waiver of immunity. The other “Black Sox” said he wasn’t even at any of their meetings about throwing the series, with his name being used just to give them credibility when dealing with the gamblers.

Even though Jackson and the other players were all found not guilty in a court of law, Commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis suspended all eight of them for life. After the ban, Jackson played in outlaw leagues, operated a successful liquor store and dry cleaning business, and maintained his innocence. He suffered a heart attack and died in 1951, one week before he was scheduled to appear on The Ed Sullivan Show.

1. Minnie Miñoso – He worked in the sugar fields as a youth and began his U. S. baseball career in the Negro Leagues, where he played three seasons with the New York Cubans. Saturnino Orestes Armas Miñoso was traded from the Indians to the White Sox and finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting in 1951 after hitting .326 with 112 runs and 173 hits and also leading the league with 14 triples and 31 stolen bases.

The seven-time All-Star and two-time gold glove winner had his best season in 1954 when he hit .320 with 182 hits and 19 home runs, and he posted career highs with 119 runs, 18 triples, and 116 runs batted in. He was traded back to Cleveland for starting pitcher Early Wynn in 1957 and missed Chicago’s run to the World Series two years later (although owner Bill Veeck gave him a championship ring anyway). The “Cuban Comet” returned in 1960 and led the league with 184 hits and finished second with 105 RBIs.

Miñoso came back in 1964 after two years with the Cardinals and retired after the season…for the first time. With Veeck as the owner (and a master of publicity stunts – see Eddie Gaedel), Miñoso came out of retirement twice, a three-game stint in 1976 and a two-game run as a 56-year-old in 1980, giving him 12 years overall with the White Sox.

He became the second player to appear in five different decades (the other was Nick Altrock, a pitcher who won 78 games with the White Sox and whose career lasted from 1898 to 1933 when he appeared in a game for the Philadelphia Athletics). Miñoso played in games for the independent St. Paul Saints in 1993 and 2003 to become baseball’s first seven-decade player. Veeck (who was no longer the owner) even tried to get him back with the White Sox as a 70-year-old, but Commissioner Bud Selig refused to allow it.

Miñoso ended his career with a .304 average, 135 home runs, and 171 stolen bases in 1,373 games. He ranks sixth in franchise history in runs (893) and RBIs (808), tied for sixth in triples (79), eighth in doubles (260), and ninth in hits (1,523). Miñoso was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 2022.

Center Fielders

Honorary Mentions – Mike Kreevich played seven seasons with Chicago (1935-41). He had a career year in 1937, setting career-bests with 176 hits, 16 triples (which also led the league), and 12 home runs while also hitting .302 with 94 runs scored and 73 runs batted in. Kreevich was an All-Star in 1938 and a two-time fielding champion who batted .290 with 484 runs, 930 hits, 162 doubles, and 386 RBIs in 826 games.

Rudy Law played 523 games in four seasons with the White Sox (1982-85). His best season by far was 1983 when he won a fielding title, set a team record with 77 stolen bases, and had seven hits and two steals in the American League Championship Series loss to the Orioles.

Chet Lemon was a two-time All-Star who set career highs in 1977 when he hit .318 with 177 hits, 44 doubles (which also led the league), and 86 runs batted in. “The Jet” played seven years in Chicago (1975-81) and batted .288 with 804 hits, 178 doubles, 73 home runs, and 348 RBIs in 785 games.

5. Jim Landis – He was a two-time All-Star and a five-time gold glove winner during his eight seasons with Chicago (1957-64). In 1961, Landis scored 87 runs and posted career highs with 151 hits, eight triples, 22 home runs, 85 runs batted in, and a .283 average. He totaled 532 runs, 892 hits, 83 homers, 398 RBIs, and 127 stolen bases in 1,063 games. Landis added seven hits, six runs, and an RBI in the loss to the Dodgers in the 1959 World Series.

4. Fielder Jones – He was a player and later player-manager in the early years of the franchise, and he led the White Sox to their first championship. Jones had his best season in the first year of the American League, batting .311 with 162 hits, 65 runs batted in, 38 stolen bases, and a career-high 120 runs. He also won three fielding titles and stole at least 20 bases seven times in eight seasons (1901-08). Jones ranks sixth in franchise history with 206 stolen bases, and he also hit .269 with 693 runs, 1,151 hits, and 375 RBIs in 1,153 games. He had three hits and four runs scored in the 1906 World Series.

3. Happy Felsch – The two-time pennant winner and two-time fielding champion was also one of the eight “Black Sox” players who received a lifetime ban. Felsch had his best season in 1920 when he set career highs with a .338 average, 88 runs, 188 hits, 40 doubles, 15 triples, 14 home runs, and 115 runs batted in. Oscar Felsch was an easy-going player (thus his nickname), but one thing he would not compromise on was his pay.

Even after he was acquitted at trial and received his ban, he sued owner Charles Comiskey for back pay that was withheld from the 1919 World Series and won the case. In six seasons (1915-20), Felsch hit .293 and totaled 385 runs, 825 hits and 443 RBIs in 749 games. He combined for 11 hits, six runs scored, a home run and six RBIs in 14 World Series games.

2. Lance Johnson – “One Dog” won a fielding title (but not a gold glove) in 1994 and led the American League in triples four times in eight seasons with Chicago (1988-95). His best season with 1995, when he hit .306, led the league with 186 hits, and added 98 runs, 12 triples, 10 home runs, 57 runs batted in, and 40 stolen bases. Overall, Johnson batted .286 and amassed 483 runs, 1,018 hits, and 327 RBIs in 945 games. He ranks fourth in team history in steals (226) and eighth in triples (77).

1. Johnny Mostil – The story goes that a cab driver saw him playing baseball in a sandlot and drove him to Comiskey Park, where a tryout was arranged. Mostil filled in at second base while Eddie Collins was with the Marines during World War I, but was sent to the minors for the next two years when Collins returned. Mostil missed the whole “Black Sox” ordeal, returning to Chicago for good in 1921 and becoming a solid starter. In 1925, he won the fielding title, set a club record with 135 runs, and also led the league with 43 stolen bases and 90 walks.

The following year, he led the American League with 35 steals, posted career highs with a .328 average, 197 hits, and 41 doubles, and added 120 runs, 15 triples, and 41 runs batted in to finish second in the MVP voting. In 10 seasons with the White Sox (1918 and 21-29), Mostil hit .301 and totaled 618 runs, 1,054 hits, 209 doubles, and 375 RBIs in 972 games. He ranks fifth in franchise history with 82 triples and tenth with 176 stolen bases.

Right Fielders

Honorable Mentions – Floyd Robinson spent seven seasons with the White Sox (1960-66). He had his best season in 1962 when he led the American League with 45 doubles, and he also set career highs with a .312 average, 89 runs, 187 hits, 10 triples, and 109 runs batted in. Overall, he hit .287 with 433 runs, 875 hits, and 400 RBIs in 880 games. Right before Robinson was Jim Rivera, a solid defender who patrolled right field in Comiskey Park for 10 seasons (1952-61).

His best season was 1953 when he led the league with 16 triples and set career highs with 79 runs, 147 hits, 26 doubles, and 78 runs batted in. “Jungle Jim” totaled 438 runs, 791 hits, 77 home runs, 382 RBIs, and 146 stolen bases (including a league-leading 25 in 1955) in 1,010 games. He went 0-for-11 with a run scored in the 1959 World Series.

5. Harry Hooper – He is one of several players on these Chicago lists to wear both white and red socks during their careers. After 12 stellar seasons with the Red Sox, Hooper spent his final five with the White Sox, batting .302 with 441 runs, 759 hits, and 320 RBIs in 662 games. He won two fielding titles with Chicago, and his best offensive season was 1922 when he hit .304 and set career highs with 111 runs, 183 hits, 35 doubles, and 80 RBIs. A four-time champion with the Red Sox, Hooper was voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame by the Veteran’s Committee in 1971.

4. Jermaine Dye – He was a slugging outfielder and a solid fielder during his five-year run with the White Sox (2005-09). Dye earned an All-Star selection and his lone silver slugger award in 2006 when he hit .315 with 193 runs and 170 hits while setting career highs with 44 home runs and 120 runs batted in. The 2008 fielding champion ranked eighth in team history with 164 homers, and he also hit .278 with 419 runs, 742 hits 150 doubles, and 461 RBIs in 724 games with Chicago. He was the MVP of the 2005 World Series, going 7-for-16 with three runs, a home run, and three RBIs, and he also earned the Babe Ruth Award for Best Postseason Performance. Dye had 20 hits, eight runs, two homers, and seven RBIs in 16 playoff games with the White Sox.

3. John “Shano” Collins – He started at first base early in his career before converting to the outfield on a full-time basis. Collins spent 11 years with the White Sox (1910-20), helping the team win two pennants and a title in 1917. His best season was 1912 when he set career highs with 75 runs, 168 hits, and 34 doubles to go along with 10 triples, 81 runs batted in, 27 stolen bases, and a .290 average. The speedy Collins is tied for first on the franchise list with 104 triples and ranks seventh with 193 steals. He also had 572 runs, 1,25 hits 230 doubles, and 545 RBIs in 1,335 games. Collins had 10 hits and four runs scored in 10 World Series games.

2. Harold Baines – His full career was looked at with his designated hitter profile, so this will focus on his time in the outfield, which was his first seven seasons (1980-86). In his outfield years, Baines had 20 or more doubles six times and registered at least 150 hits, 20 home runs, and 80 runs batted in five times apiece. His best season with 1985, when he set career highs with 198 hits and 113 RBIs to go along with a .309 average, 86 runs, 29 doubles, and 22 homers. Overall, Baines batted .287 with 492 runs, 1,077 hits, 182 doubles, 140 home runs, and 589 RBIs in 992 games. The career .978 fielder went 2-for-16 in a loss to the Orioles in the 1983 ALCS. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2019.

1. Magglio Ordoñez – He split his career between the White Sox and Tigers, starting off with eight seasons in Chicago (1997-2004). The four-time All-Star and two-time silver slugger had six seasons with at least 150 hits, hit .300 or better, and had 30 or more doubles five times apiece, and he hit 30 home runs and drove in 100 runs in four seasons. However, Ordoñez’s best season did not include an All-Star selection. In 2002, he hit .320 with 116 runs, 189 hits, 47 doubles, a career-high 38 homers and 135 runs batted in. Overall, he had 624 runs, 1,167 hits, 240 doubles, and 703 RBIs in 1,001 games. Ordoñez also ranks sixth in franchise history with 187 home runs and is tied for tenth with a .307 average.

Previous Series

A look back at the Chicago Cubs

Chicago Cubs Catchers and Managers
Chicago Cubs First and Third Basemen
Chicago Cubs Second Basemen and Shortstops
Chicago Cubs Outfielders
Chicago Cubs Pitchers

A look back at the Boston Red Sox

Boston Red Sox Catchers and Managers
Boston Red Sox First and Third Basemen
Boston Red Sox Second Basemen and Shortstops
Boston Red Sox Outfielders and Designated Hitters
Boston Red Sox Pitchers

A look back at the Baltimore Orioles

Baltimore Orioles Catchers and Managers
Baltimore Orioles First and Third Basemen
Baltimore Orioles Second Basemen and Shortstops
Baltimore Orioles Outfielders and Designated Hitters
Baltimore Orioles Pitchers

A look back at the Atlanta Braves

Catchers and Managers
First and Third Basemen
Second Basemen and Shortstops

A look back at the Arizona Diamondbacks

Catchers and Managers
First and Third Basemen
Second Basemen and Shortstops

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