Last Saturday, June 24, before the White Sox faced off against the Oakland A’s, the organization commemorated former pitcher Mark Buehrle with a ceremony as they retired his number. As I looked around the ballpark that day, it was clear by the 40,000 people in attendance that Buehrle had made an immense impact on Chicago. Mark Buehrle had, undoubtedly, one of the best pitching careers for the White Sox, as well as, being a fan favorite on the South Side.
Buehrle was joined by family members, former teammates and staff that watched him develop into a lights out pitcher for the Sox over the years. Ken “Hawk” Harrelson gave the 2005 World Series champion quite a speech when reiterating some of Buehrle’s accomplishments in professional baseball. Hawk stated,
“In his career for us on the South Side, he played 12 seasons from 2000-2011. He was a four-time American League All-Star and was the starting and winning pitcher in the 2005 All-Star game. He was the three-time Gold Glove winner and all Sox fans know that he should’ve won it twelve years in a row, because that’s how good he was”.
Former teammate and hall-of-fame slugger for the White Sox, Frank Thomas and White Sox pitching coach Don Cooper also spoke on the character and tenacity of Mark Buehrle. Frank Thomas concluded his speech by saying, “Mark Buehrle deserves this. Quit being modest [talking to Buehrle], you’re one of the best pitchers to ever to toe this rubber at Comiskey Park”.
Obviously, Buehrle was also a member of the 2005 White Sox World Series Championship team and won game three in extra innings, allowing the White Sox to sweep the Astros in the World Series. However, Mark Buehrle had many other accomplishments with the White Sox.
In the 12 seasons Buehrle was with the White Sox, he pitched 2,476 innings in 390 games. Buehrle also had a lifetime ERA of 3.81 with 214 wins; 161 of those wins being with the White Sox. Mark Buehrle also pitched 27 complete games, eight shutouts and had over 1400 strikeouts. Most notably, Buehrle threw the sixteenth no-hitter in White Sox history on April 18, 2007, as well as, a perfect game on July 23, 2009 (one of only twenty-three in MLB history).
Now, No. 56 will reside in retirement at Sox park next to the other legends who put on the white and black. Sox fans are proud to have his number retired along side legendary White Sox players such as, Nellie Fox, Harold Baines, Luke Appling, Paul Konerko, Ted Lyons, Frank Thomas, Carlton Fisk, and others. Mark Buehrle will always be a beloved member of the White Sox and his commitment, effort, and achievements for the City of Chicago will never go unnoticed.