One of the original American League franchises, the White Sox were the circuit's most successful team in the early going, upsetting the heavily favored Cubs in the 1906 World Series. Tainted by the 1919-1920 Black Sox scandal, the club hasn't enjoyed much success over the past 50 years. The last White Sox championship was in 1917. The franchise seems to be paying penance for their 1919 Series flop.
Unfortunately the franchise enjoyed little success again until a core group of players delivered a title in 1917. The main contributors included Shoeless Joe Jackson, Eddie Collins, Eddie Cicotte, Buck Weaver, and Happy Felsch. Just three years later Jackson, Weaver, Felsch, Cicotte, and four others were banned from the game by the commissioner for their part in throwing the 1919 Series, an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Cincinnati.
For the next forty years the Sox struggled or came up short in the AL, all the while competing with the north side Cubs for fans. In 1959 they snatched the flag from the Yankees but lost in the Series. Since, the Southsiders have been waiting for another trip to the Fall Classic, failing to advance in 1983 and 1993.
It's safe to say that the White Sox were the third best team in the AL in the 1950's. While the Yankees and Indians were finishing first and second, the Pale Hose usually followed. In 1959 the "Go-Go Sox" finished ahead of the Yankees - and everyone else in the AL. Sparked by an offense that could score 11 runs on one hit, Chicago faced the Dodgers in the World Series, but lost. It is the last time they have appeared in the Fall Classic.
Surprisingly, for a franchise as old as the White Sox, they have had few sluggers in their ranks. Some, like Harry Hooper, Al Simmons, Norm Cash, Larry Doby, and Dick Allen, were either lost to other teams or played briefly in Chicago.
Hoping to avoid those mistakes, the Sox are holding on to Frank Thomas. The hulking first baseman has already established himself as the best right-handed hitter in franchise history. Entering the 2000 season he had a .320 career average, with a .573 slugging mark, and an OBP of .440. From 1991-1997 he hit .300, scored 100 runs, drove in 100 runs, and walked 100 times every season. Those numbers put him in the class of immortals like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.
The 2000 season saw the Southsiders return to the post-season, in fact they had the AL's best record. But the Mariners beat them in the Divisional Playoffs.
In 2004 the Chicago White Sox finished 2nd in their American League Central Division with a 83-79 record.
In 2006 the Chicago White Sox finished 3rd in their American League Central
Division with a 90-72 record.