In what would turn out to be a steal, Billy Pierce arrived in the city of Chicago in a trade from the Detroit Tigers in after the 1948 season, and he was a permanent starter the year after. His first two seasons as a starter, showed that the southpaw was good, and in 1951, while having an American League-leading 14 losses, he was still fifth in bWAR for Pitchers (4.7), fourth in ERA (3.03) and SO/BB (1.548).
Pierce would ascend as the team's ace shortly after, and the White Sox were often playing second fiddle to the New York Yankees throughout the 1950s. Without Pierce, the odds are enormous that they don't even get to that.
In 1953 and 1955, Billy Pierce would finish first in bWAR for Pitchers. 1955 was especially useful, as he would win the ERA (1.97) and WHIP Title (1.099). With the White Sox, he was also second in ERA twice, and in 1956 and 1957, The Sporting News would name him their Pitcher of the Year. He would remain with the Chi-Sox until he was traded to the San Francisco Giants after the 1961 Season.Pierce's fastball and extensive repertoire may have made him the ace, but while the Sox won games than their lost while he was there, he was often not the beneficiary of run support. 186-152 for Chicago is good, but it is misleading, as he was a much better Pitcher than his record indicated. He is still the all-time franchise leader in Strikeouts with 1,796.
The ChiSox retired Pierce's number 19 in 1987.