HomeTrending MLB NewsHonor Ozzie & Al

Most teams honor their best players with a jersey retirement, a statue or putting them into their Hall of Fame. The White Sox have eleven jerseys retired:

#2 Nellie Fox

#3 Harold Baines

#4 Luke Appling

#9 Minnie Minoso

#11 Luis Aparicio

#14 Paul Konerko

#16 Ted Lyons

#19 Billy Pierce

#35 Frank Thomas

#56 Mark Buehrle

#72 Carlton Fisk

If you look at the Yankees, they have twenty-one numbers retired (which is overkill), but three of these numbers were their greatest managers in Joe Torre, Casey Stengel, and Billy Martin. The Cardinals are second to the Yankees for most retired numbers, but additionally have three manager numbers retired.

Conversely, the Blue Jays have a “Level of Excellence”, but that is more of a Hall of Fame with their names displayed all over the stadium. The Rays even retired Don Zimmer’s number for his work with the team, while eleven teams in total have retired one to three jersey numbers for their best managers.

When you think of the greatest managers in White Sox history, who springs to mind?

The easy answers are Ozzie Guillen and Al Lopez.

Guillen had five winning seasons in his eight seasons with the team with a .513 record. He, of course, won an AL Pennant, Manager of the Year and the 2005 World Series Championship. He also played twelve seasons for the team as one of the best defensive shortstops in his era, winning his only Gold Glove Award with the team. He also won Rookie of the Year and made all three of his All-Star appearances with the team. In all honesty, the data is clear the manager spot in Chicago since Guillen left for Miami has not been overly competitive and has lacked any kind of consistency in the win column.  Ozzie is more comfortable doing White Sox pre- and post-game shows, plus the occasional Spanish color commentating. No one has worn his jersey number since he left for Miami, and only a few players wore his number 13 since ending his playing career with the team, so his number is essentially retired.

Lopez had nine winning seasons out of eleven and those nine were full seasons. He never had a losing season in his whole managing career. His 840 wins are still second most in their history along with a .564 record. His teams during the seasons from 1957 to 1961 consistently led the American League in stolen bases, often almost doubling the total of the next highest team, thereby earning the nickname “The Go-Go Sox”. He led this team to the 1959 World Series where they lost in six games to the Los Angeles Dodgers, however that team had five Hall of Famers in Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges and manager Walt Alston.

He had to retire from managing a few times due to various health issues. Lopez even worked for a time as the team vice president.

The White Sox should be like most organizations when the product on the field isn’t too good by honoring their history and by doing what is right. Why not make an entire ceremony to honor Guillen for all of his contributions to the team from the time he was traded to the team in 1984 (from the Padres for LaMarr Hoyt). They should be honoring their two greatest managers in Ozzie Guillen and Al Lopez by retiring #13 and putting a second #42 up next to the universal Jackie Robinson retired number. The White Sox are not going anywhere this season, so you might as well have some meaningful moments to look forward to this year considering next season it will be the 20th anniversary of the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship team.

Jeff Stine
Jeff Stinehttps://mlbreport.com/
Host of three podcasts: On The Radar, Off the Radar & Radar's MMQB. CEO of On The Radar Entertainment blog. Host of two YouTube shows on movie reviews and baseball observations.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here