The Chicago White Sox are still looking for their first postseason series win since 2005. The White Sox made the postseason in 2008 and then spent a decade-plus without a postseason birth. They finally got into the playoffs in 2020 and 2021 but lost to the Oakland A’s in the 2020 Wild Card series and to the Astros in the 2021 ALDS.
There are still some memorable dingers to revisit. Two dingers get an honorable mention as they did not technically take place in the postseason. These two home runs helped the Sox win the American League Central in 2008.
2008 Honorable Mention: These were not home runs did not officially take place in the postseason but they sure felt like playoff home runs with what the Sox needed to do just to make the 2008 playoffs. The White Sox needed to win three games in three days against three different teams if they had hoped to win the AL Central.
They took care of the Cleveland Indians on a Sunday. The Sox traveled back to Chicago to play the Detroit Tigers in a make-up game.
The Tigers had nothing to play for except to ruin the Sox season. If the Tigers won, the Sox stayed home and the Minnesota Twins would be American League Central Champions. If the Sox won, it would force Game 163 of the 2008 season between the Twins and Sox for the AL Central crown.
The Tigers held a 2-1 lead heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Sox managed to get the tying run before Alexi Ramirez stepped up to the plate with bases loaded. He broke the game wide open with a grand-slam blast.
The Sox went on to win 8-2 and forced game 163 at US Cellular Field against the Twins–the team that tormented the White Sox for much of the decade.
The White Sox only need one run to beat the Twins in the famous Blackout Game as Jim Thome blasted a home run that went to so far and so high, the ball at one point may have gone into space.
2008 ALDS vs. Tampa Rays
October 2nd, 2008: DeWayne Wise is better known for preserving Mark Buerhle’s perfect game with a miraculous home-run robbing catch in 2009 against Tampa.
He also did some damage to the Rays in Game 1 of the ALDS when he hit a three-run homer in the top of the third to give the Sox an early 3-1 lead. The pitcher who served up the home run ball was James Shields.
Yes, that James Shields, the player the White Sox would later acquire when he was with San Diego in an ill-fated traded. The player the Sox gave up: Fernando Tatis Jr.
Shields would have a forgettable run with the White Sox but he ended up with the win on this date as the Rays battled back to take Game 1.
October 6th, 2008: The White Sox lost Game 4 to the Rays 6-2 and were eliminated from the playoffs. The two runs came appropriately from two of the 2005 World Series heroes in Jermaine Dye and Konerko. Dye, the 2005 World Series MVP, hit his final postseason dinger in a Sox uniform in the sixth. Konerko hit his final postseason in the fourth. Dye retired the next season and Konerko played five more seasons on the Southside but never returned to the postseason.
2020 Wild Card Series and 2021 ALDS
September 29th, 2020: The White Sox made sure their first postseason game in 12 years would end in victory. The win came much in part to the long ball.
Adam Engel started the scoring by hitting a solo shot to left in the second inning.
Jose Abreu, the stalwart of those rebuilding years’ White Sox teams, smashed a two-run shot the next inning. The 2020 AL MVP hit his home run in nearly the exact same spot as Engel.
Yasmani Grandal added the Sox fourth run in the eighth inning with a solo shot to right field off former Sox closer Joakim Soria. Chicago went on to win its first postseason game since 2008. The A’s took the next games to knockout the White Sox.
October 10th, 2021: Before Garcia’s three-run shot, there was another magical home run in the bottom of the third. Houston jumped out to a 5-1 lead and it was looking like the Astros were on their way towards sweeping the Sox.
Grandal came to the plate with one out and a man on first. He took a 3-2 pitch over the leftfield fence and suddenly hope was back at Guaranteed Rate Field.
The Sox went on to win Game 3, 12-6 but sadly, the next day the season came to an end after Houston won Game 4.