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White Sox Interactive EXCLUSIVE

Hope & Despair

A Fan's Memories of the Chicago White Sox, 1967-1997

by Dan Helpingstine

Author of the new book of the same name. 

Learn how to purchase here!


Fred Valentine & Tito Landrum.  These two players have no fears about getting elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame.  They did little to distinguish themselves in their short careers, and there is no real reason for baseball fans to remember them.  But if you are long-time Sox fan, you will remember them as two players that dashed rare White Sox chances to actually play in a World Series.

The new book about our Sox!

From WSI's Dan Helpingstine!

In the last weekend of 1967 season, the White Sox needed a three game sweep of the lowly Washington Senators if they were going to have any chance of getting to the Series.  With a man in scoring position in the first, Valentine popped one up in foul territory on the first base side.  Sox first baseman Tommy McCraw gave chase and seemed to have it in his sights.  But the ball landed in a photographer's bay just out reach.  The bay had normally not been there; it had been installed to accommodate NBC cameras in the event of a Chicago World Series.  Getting new life, Valentine singled in a run.  It turned out to be the only run of the game.  With the loss, the Sox were eliminated from the pennant race.

The year is 1983.  Tenth inning of game four of the then best of five playoff
series against the Baltimore Orioles.  Landrum breaks a 0-0 tie with a home
run into the left field upper deck.  Landrum, heard of by next to no one, had
beaten Britt Burns after the lefty had pitched the game of his career.  The
White Sox would not go to the playoffs for another 10 years.

"Through Hope and Despair," written by a fan who attended his first Sox game
in 1961, tells how hard it has been to be a Sox fan since 1967.  In the off
season after '67, the Sox thought they had shored up their offensively-impaired team by re-acquiring Luis Aparicio and also acquiring former National League batting champion Tommy Davis.  The Sox lost their first ten games of the 1968 season and never played one game of .500 ball that year.  In 1983, they win the division by 20 games, pick up future Hall of Famer Tom Seaver, and then proceed to fall off the 1984 baseball map.  In 1993, they win their second division crown only to see the 1994 strike wipe out a good chance to make their first World Series appearance since 1959.

But even more devastating than these continual letdowns, was the so-called
"White Flag Trade" of 1997.  The trading of veteran players with the team
only 3 games out of first left fans with the impression that the Sox
organization was not interested in winning.  Even long time die-hard fans felt betrayed as they were being asked to go through yet another rebuilding period as their team entered a fourth decade without a World Series.  The 1997 trade caused a deep fan fallout from which the team still hasn't recovered.

"Through Hope and Despair" tells of the great times and big disappointments
of the rocky 1967-97 period of the White Sox.  It also tells a sad story of a
storied baseball franchise that now draws it biggest crowds when it plays its
cross-town rival.


Hey Sox Fans!

You can purchase Through Hope and Despair through White Sox Interactive. 
Learn More Here!

 

 

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