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RIP: Billy Pierce

We can’t lie to you.  The passing of former Major League Baseball Pitcher, Billy Pierce, completely slipped by us and we thank regular contributor, D.K. Orlandini for alerting us to his passing on July 31 at the age of 88.

Pierce would spend the majority of his eighteen year career with the Chicago White Sox, where the southpaw would make all of his seven All Star Teams and was a two time 20 Game winner.  His best season would be in 1955 where he would lead the American League in Earned Run Average, FIP, ERA+, WHIP and SO/BB.  In other years he would lead the AL in Wins (1957) and in Strikeouts (1953).

The Pitcher would complete his career with a record of 211 and 169, 1,999 Strikeouts and a bWAR of 53.1.

The highest that Pierce has ever received in Hall of Fame voting was a miniscule 1.9 percent in 1971, however as recent as 2014, he was on the Hall of Fame Veteran’s ballot, indicating he may yet have a shot one day.  We here at have him ranked at #64 on our latest baseball list.

We would like to extend our condolences to the friends and family of Billy Pierce at this time.

Is Mark Buehrle retiring?

It has been alluded that Mark Buehrle, who was left off the Toronto Blue Jays post season roster, will be retiring at the end of the season.  If that is the case, we here at ask the question is he a Hall of Fame pitcher?

Should this be the end of the road for Buehrle, his Hall of Fame case is aided by a few realities.  Currently, the hurler is first among active Pitchers in bWAR and is 64th overall in that category, a number that is above many HOFers but lower than the average.  His JAWS places him only at 89th overall (47.1) but his traditional 214 Wins is a very impressive number in this era.  He does have one intangible, while rarely discussed, might make his case for induction a lot stronger, his fielding.

Buehrle, a four time Gold Glove winner, has been regarded as one of the best fielding Pitchers throughout his career, and furthermore, the amount of baserunners who dare to try run off him is minimal.  This is not often discussed with the Hall of Fame candidacy of Pitchers, but here we have a fielder worth discussing!

So what do you think?

If Mark Buehrle does retire at this time, is he a Baseball Hall of Famer?

Let us know!

The Chicago White Sox Retire Mark Buehrle's Number

In a ceremony prior to their home field loss against the Oakland A’s, the Chicago White Sox retired the number 56 of Mark Buehrle.

The lefthander made his debut in 2000 for Chicago where he would send the next twelve seasons of his career.  With the Chi-Sox, Buehrle would go to four All Star Games and would win 161 Games and fan 1,396 batters.  He would help Chicago win the 2005 World Series. 

Buehrle becomes the 11th White Sox player in team history to have his number retired joining Nellie Fox (#2), Harold Baines (#3), Luke Appling (#4), Minnie Minoso (#9), Luis Aparicio (#11), Paul Konerko (#14), Ted Lyons (#16), Billy Pierce (#19), Thomas (#35) and Carlton Fisk (#72).

We here at would like to congratulate Mark Buehrle for achieving this honor. 
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1B. Shoeless Joe Jackson

Did he or didn’t he conspire to fix to the 1919 World Series?  Over eighty years after the fact, there is still a sizable debate as to whether “Shoeless” Joe Jackson was involved in the “Black Sox” scandal that saw the Chicago White Sox throw the World Series for financial gain against the Cincinnati Reds.

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14. Minnie Minoso

Minnie Minoso may be known for being the first (and our guess the last) baseball player to play in five different decades.  It may seem impressive, but it was a marketing gimmick which had Minoso play a couple of games in 1976 and 1980 to achieve this honor.  Minoso was a popular player and capable athlete who had the ability to perform the task.  We would rather think of the 1951 to 1960 version of Minnie Minoso who may have been the most underrated player in the league and whose play was anything but gimmicky.

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58. Billy Pierce

Regardless of the era, it is an impressive feat to be a key member of a rotation for a decade.  The Chicago White Sox may not have won a World Series in the 50’s, but they were a good team and much of the success they did have, were through a big part of the pitching of Billy Pierce.

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