White Sox: Magglio Ordonez – A Look Back

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Every White Sox fan knows that the Sox have not won a World Series since 2005. After all, Cubs fans, whose team is going nowhere fast, won’t let them forget. Still, the 2022 season holds promise for the Pale Hose, as they should be serious contenders in the American League. Their 16-year drought just may come to an end if general manager Rick Hahn can fill a couple of critical needs. In any case, though, while waiting for the owners and players to agree on a new collective bargaining agreement, it might be fun to look back at the 2005 White Sox. Or, even better, maybe looking at key personnel changes the Pale Hose made in the offseason before the magical 2005 season.

We will discuss a twist here in terms of moves the Sox made before the 2005 season and players who were not a part of the championship team. Or, to narrow it down even further, today, we are going to take a look back at a fan favorite who changed uniforms after the 2004 season and missed out on the title run. The spotlight today will be on former right fielder Magglio Ordonez. As Sox fans will recall, Ordonez signed as a free agent with the Detroit Tigers in the 2004 offseason. Yet, no matter how one cares to look at it, Magglio Ordonez was a valuable member of the White Sox organization.

Magglio Ordonez, A South Side Fixture

Ordonez began his MLB career with White Sox in 1997, as the 23-year old made his debut shortly after the infamous White Flag Trade. He played in just 21 games in 1997, but became a full-time starter in the 1998 season. He hit .282 in his rookie season, although his power numbers did not appear. However, in 1999, he slashed .301/.349/.510, with 30 home runs and 117 RBIs. He also made his first All-Star Game appearance. Overall, Ordonez had a solid season in 1999, his second full MLB season.

Ordonez would go on to play five more seasons with the White Sox and would put up solid numbers. From 2000 through 2002, Ordonez collected 30 home runs or more, as well as driving in over 110 runs each season. His best season on the South Side was in 2002 when he slashed .320/.381/.597, with an OPS+ of 154. He finished eighth in the AL MVP voting. In 2003, Ordonez settled for 29 home runs, but still drove in 99 runs. His OPS+ in 2003 was139.

Ordonez was limited by injuries to just 52 games in 2004, yet managed to hit nine home runs with 37 RBIs. Overall, in his Sox career, Ordonez slashed .307/.364/.525 and averaged 23 home runs and 88 RBI.s. These average his rookie season, where he only played in 21 games, and 2004, where he was limited to 52 games. From 1998 through 2003, he averaged 29 home runs and 109 RBI.s, solid numbers to say the least. He made the AL All-Star team four times and also won 2 Silver Slugger awards in his Sox career.

Magglio The Tiger

After the 2004 season, the White Sox had some decisions to make. As always with the Sox, it came down to money, and the Pale Hose brass made the difficult choice to let Ordonez walk away. They did use the money well, as GM Kenny Williams signed Jermaine Dye to replace Ordonez in right field, as well as catcher A.J. Pierzynski. Dye and Pierzynski each performed well in their time with the White Sox, with Dye winning a World Series MVP award. So, letting Ordonez walk worked out well for the Pale Hose.

Ordonez signed with the Tigers in December of 2004 and played seven seasons in Detroit. Limited by injuries in 2005, he had a nice regular season in 2006. However, he saved his best for the postseason, when he hit the game-tying and game-winning home runs in Game 6 of the ALCS. His heroics led the Tigers to their first World Series in 22 years. So, in a way, he made up for missing out on being a part of the 2005 World Series with his former team.

Ordonez would go on to have a monster season in 2007, where he hit .363, winning the AL batting title. He also had a career-high OPS+ of 166. He also hit 54 doubles to lead all of MLB in that category. From 2008 through 2010, Ordonez was solid, hitting over.300 in each of the three seasons. His power numbers decreased, which can happen when one plays at Comerica Park. Still, he hit over .300 five times in seven seasons with the Tigers and also hit .298 in 2006. By 2011, injuries had caught up with him, and he had the worst offensive season of his career. He retired after the 2011 season, the end of a solid career.

Magglio Ordonez, The Consummate Pro

Overall, Magglio Ordonez had a stellar MLB career. He put together a slash line of .309/./369./502, and an OPS+ of 125. He hit 294 home runs, drove in 1,236 runs, and made the All-Star team six times. He also won three Silver Slugger awards. Ordonez was also a class act and is still beloved by many on the South Side. He played the game the right way, and was a pro, on and off the field. There is no doubt that he represented the White Sox very well. Even though he was not a part of the 2005 team, there will always be fond memories of his time on the South Side. Well done, Mags!

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Mike Fisk is a lifelong baseball fan. For him, there is nothing like being at a baseball game, with the sights, the sounds, the smells. Writing about baseball is a bonus!