"Winning Ugly" redux: Sox to honor '83 A.L. West champs

"Winning Ugly" redux: Sox to honor '83 A.L. West champs

In the annals of the six-plus decades of my life, 1983 has a special place. I began dating my now-wife Bonnie in April and we got married in October. During my rush to the altar, the White Sox reached the postseason for the first time since the Go-Go Sox made it to the World Series in 1959.

It was a year of fun and excitement at Old Comiskey as the "Winning Ugly" Sox rolled and finished the campaign 20 games ahead of the second-place Kansas City Royals with a lineup featuring the likes of Carlton Fisk, Greg Luzinski, rookie Ron Kittle, Harold Baines and Julio Cruz. The rotation boasted eventual Cy Young Award winner Lamarr Hoyt, Floyd Bannister, Britt Burns, Jerry Koosman and Richard Dotson.

The season didn't end the way we had hoped with the Orioles' Tito Landrum spoiling Britt Burns' masterpiece in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series, but it stands as one of the most memorable seasons with one of the most revered teams in the franchise history.

Now, as the Sox celebrate the 30th anniversary of that historic year (and I celebrate my 30th wedding anniversary) the Sox will commemorate the '83 season in a similar manner that they feted the 1972 Sox. Every Sunday home game the White Sox will wear the '83 vintage uniforms to honor their A.L. West champion ancestors with three retro racers--Racing Harold Baines, Racing Pudge Fisk and Racing Kitty, Ron Kittle.

So it will be back to the future again this year as the contemporary Sox celebrate their history while attempting to make some of their own.

SoxFest Begins: It's SoxFest time, starting today through Sunday. Stay tuned to Art of the Pale Hose for any news and notes.

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  • In real life, Baines would win every race. Too bad they didn't do this last year; would've loved to see an Ed Herrmann racer!

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    Art Berke, a lifelong White Sox fan, has worked at the highest levels of the sports industry with Major League Baseball, ABC Television and Sports Illustrated. He grew up in Northwest Indiana, in the shadow of old Comiskey Park, and proudly proclaims 2005 as the best year of his life. Art offers his glass half-full opinions and observations as he lives and dies with the Sox.

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