Friday, October 24, 2014

#29 Tommy McCraw, Member of the Chisox 'Hitless Wonders' club

Tom McCraw was one of several 60's era White Sox who couldn't live up to the defense they provided. McCraw managed to bat over .250 three times during his eight years with the White Sox. Must have been something in the water fountains in Comiskey Park which caused their regular position players to not put up the numbers on the board because McCraw's average jumped after his career with the Sox ended. The team batted around .245 throughout the 60's.

I can't prove this but I believe the poor hitting was the reason the astroturf was installed on the infield of Comiskey Park in 1969.

While the hitless wonders had their shortcomings, they were one of the winningest teams of the 60's. They won 94 games in '63, came up a single game short of winning the pennant in '64 with 98 wins, won '95 in '65. They were over '500 every season in the decade except for '68 and '69. The secret to their success was excellent pitching and defense. McCraw was an integral part of the team.

This isn't the first Sox card in the set so I'll try not to repeat myself. McCraw looks like he could have been suited up anywhere. From my child's eyes, I imagined this was taken in a park in New Brunswick. There's no sign of seats in the background, no light fixtures, just trees.

McCraw is wearing the classy White Sox uniform. It predates the navy blue on white duds in the later 60's and the garish red ones that came around after that.

I was never a fan of the cards with just head and shoulder shots of the players but the card still looks great with the lettering. Great choice for a picture as well. It goes well with the story of how McCraw broke into the majors. The smile convey's a satisfied sense of sucess. He did make it. and he stayed in the Majors for 12 seasons.

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