The problem, as younger fans and the team’s current core will attest to, is the 2021 American League Central champions haven’t reached the Fall Classic in quite some time. Fans of the South Siders are understandably hoping the likes of Jose Abreu and Tim Anderson change that drought this fall.
The Chicago White Sox are hoping to reach the World Series for the first time since 2005
Where were you in October 2005? The White Sox were busy winning the World Series for the first time in nearly 90 years.
A year after Manny Ramirez and the Boston Red Sox snapped an 86-year World Series title drought by sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals, the White Sox broke their own curse. Chicago swept the Houston Astros — still nearly a decade away from moving to the American League — in the Fall Classic, giving the team its first championship in 88 years.
Veteran outfielder Jermaine Dye, who hit 325 home runs in an underrated 14-season career, earned World Series MVP honors after hitting .438 with a home run and three RBIs across those four games. It certainly helped that his RBI single in the eighth inning of Game 4 gave the White Sox a lead they never relinquished.
Rookie reliever Bobby Jenks worked around a leadoff single in the ninth and shut the Astros down to bring a title home. The series also featured a walk-off home run by light-hitting outfielder Scott Podsednik, who retired with 42 home runs in 11 MLB seasons, in Game 2.
That core of White Sox players won the AL Central in 2008. Rough times followed that season, however, and the South Siders didn’t reach the postseason again until 2020.
The Astros, meanwhile, won the World Series in 2017, four years after moving to the American League. We’ll let baseball fans decide if that title, which occurred in part because of the team’s sign-stealing scandal, is tainted or not.
The White Sox still have won a World Series more recently than most other teams
The White Sox fans who paid for overpriced tickets and witnessed the Alex Rios era won’t want to hear what we have to say. However, in the grand scheme of things, the White Sox really don’t have that bad a title drought among professional sports teams.
Entering the 2021 season, 19 MLB teams had gone longer without winning a World Series. Of those 19 teams, there are obviously two groups: those in a traditional title drought and those who haven’t won a championship at all.
The Cleveland Indians, who haven’t won a World Series since 1948, have the longest title drought in professional baseball. We’ll see if a name change — Cleveland is expected to become the Guardians in 2022 — will change their luck.
As for the teams that haven’t won a World Series, the Texas Rangers lead that group by a significant margin. Founded in 1961 as the revamped Washington Senators, that franchise is 0-2 in the Fall Classic.
The White Sox have two other championships to their name
Before Jenks induced the final out on an October night in Houston, the White Sox hadn’t experienced a championship since 1917. Chicago, led by second baseman Eddie Collins and pitcher Red Faber, defeated the then-New York Giants in six games that year.
The White Sox went 100-54 that year. Despite existing since 1900 and fielding plenty of Hall of Famers over the decades, that remained the team’s only 100-win season through 2021.
Eleven years earlier, baseball fans in the Windy City experienced a crosstown World Series between the White Sox and Cubs. Despite entering the series as heavy underdogs against a Cubs team that went 116-36, the White Sox emerged victorious in six games. We’ll see if they can find similar luck this fall, or if the drought is destined to continue.