Historical Oddity – 1967 Chicago White Sox
While looking at the 2008 White Sox club I was turned onto a Sox team from 41 years before and there are many similarities. However, he ’67 club is one of the strangest clubs in history.
The 1960’s were a time dominanted by pitching. It is a wonder how great hitters like Frank Robinson, Hank Aaron and Clemente put up great careers.
The ’67 season was no different. It was all pitching a no hit kind of year. Yaz led the AL with a .301 average. Yikes.
The ChiSox were competitive throughout the 60’s and into the early 70’s. However, they were classic underachievers and only one the pennant in 1959. The Eddie Stanky club took the pitching fad to an extreme in 1967.
They had a team batting average on .225! That was 8th in a 10 team league. They had a team OPS of only .608, last in the AL. Pete Ward was their offensive star, with 18 HR and 62 RBI’s. Both figures led the Sox. Ward followed this up with a .233 average. Right fielder Ken Berry and third baseman Don Buford led the ChiSox in average with .241 marks. In total, the Sox scored 531 runs, 9th in the AL.
These stats may make one think of an expansion team, or the 2002 Tigers or another of baseball truly terrible teams. However, this club led the AL for 71 days, for most of July and August and into September. The Sox were a half game out of first with a week to go and finished the season in 4h place 3 games behind the BoSox with an 89-73 record in a tight AL race along with Minnesota and Deroit.
The White Sox had one of the stingiest pitching staffs in history. They rank amongst the leaders in RA in a full season in history. They allowed a mere 491 runs. That included 24 shutouts. Hoyt Wilhelm was the only HOF amongst the staff which also included Tommy John a young Wilbur Wood and classic ChiSox Joe Horlen. Only 2 pitchers with over 26 IP had an ERA of more than 3.00.