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Twins–White Sox rivalry

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Twins–White Sox rivalry
Minnesota Twins
Chicago White Sox
First meetingJune 2, 1901
South Side Park, Chicago, Illinois
Senators 7, White Stockings 5
Latest meetingSeptember 17, 2023
Guaranteed Rate Field, Chicago, Illinois
Twins 4, White Sox 0
Next meetingApril 22, 2024
Target Field, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Meetings total2,311
Regular season seriesWhite Sox, 1,183–1,113–15 [1]
Longest win streak
  • White Sox, 13 (1909–1910)[2]
  • Twins, 10 (1965–1966)[3]
Current win streakTwins 1

The Twins–White Sox rivalry[4][5][6] is a Major League Baseball (MLB) rivalry between the Minnesota Twins and the Chicago White Sox. Both clubs are members of MLB's American League (AL) Central division. Both teams were founding members of the AL; they have played each other annually since 1901 when the Twins played as the Washington Senators and the White Sox played as the White Stockings. However, the rivalry did not begin in earnest until the 2000s, when the White Sox and Twins consistently battled for the AL Central crown.[7][8][9][10] The White Sox lead the overall series, 1,183–1,113.[11] The teams have never played each other in the Major League Baseball postseason.

The most prominent meeting between the two teams occurred in the 2008 American League Central tie-breaker game, which was necessitated by the two clubs finishing the season with identical records. The White Sox won this game 1–0 on a Jim Thome home run.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • White Sox top Twins to clinch postseason berth | Twins-White Sox Game Highlights 9/17/20
  • Twins, White Sox HEATED Benches Clear! Jose Abreu WALK-OFF! White Sox vs Twins
  • Moncada homers to lead White Sox over Twins | Twins-White Sox Game Highlights 6/30/19




While the series dates back to 1901, the teams became regional rivals after the then-Washington Senators moved to Minnesota and became the Twins in 1961. The 1965 season saw the Twins and White Sox finish first and second in the American League Standings, with the Twins winning the pennant by seven games. Both teams were placed in the AL West following the 1969 realignment, but inconsistent play from both teams throughout the 1970s and 1980s prevented a rivalry from developing.

Both teams found limited success in the early 1990s, with the Twins winning the AL West in 1991 by eight games over the second place White Sox on their way to a second World Series title in five years, and the White Sox winning the division in 1993. In 1994, both teams were placed in the newly formed AL Central but both teams declined throughout the remainder of the decade.


The rivalry took shape in the 2000s as both teams consistently competed for the AL Central title. The Twins won three consecutive division titles from 2002–2004, with the Sox coming in second place each year. The 2003 season proved to be the closest, as Minnesota would win the division by four games after trailing Chicago by 7+12 games at the All-Star Break.[12] From September 16–18, 2003, Minnesota completed a pivotal three-game sweep of Chicago, holding the White Sox to a combined seven runs and extending its division lead from a half-game to 3+12 games.[12]

After the 2005 White Sox dominated the AL Central en route to their World Series title, the Twins retook the division in 2006, finishing one game ahead of the Detroit Tigers and just six ahead of the third-place White Sox. The 2006 season was noted for White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen referring to the Twins players as "little piranhas".[13]

In 2008, The White Sox led the AL Central for most of the season.[14] The Twins spent much of the season in second place behind the White Sox.[15] In the penultimate series of the season from September 23–25, the Twins swept the White Sox to take a half-game lead.[16] Both the Twins and White Sox lost two of three in their final series,[15] forcing Chicago to play a make-up against the Detroit Tigers, which had been rained out earlier in September.[17] The White Sox won this game, leaving the Sox and Twins tied atop the AL Central at 88–74, forcing a tie-breaker game to decide the division champion.[14][15][17][18]

Chicago won the coin toss for home field advantage for the tiebreaker based on the rules at the time; White Sox fans were encouraged to wear black, leading to this game being called the "Blackout Game."[19] The White Sox won the game, 1–0, on the strength of a Jim Thome home run in the 7th inning. Chicago starting pitcher John Danks, pitching on three days rest, pitched eight shutout innings and closer Bobby Jenks pitched the 9th to earn the save. [20]


The 2010 season saw the Twins come back from down 5+12 games behind the White Sox in mid-July to win the division by 6 games; The Twins won 10 of 12 head-to-head meetings over the White Sox late in the season.

On May 3, 2011, Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano threw a no-hitter in a 1–0 win over the White Sox, the only no-hitter in the series between the two teams.[21] The next season, Liriano was traded to the White Sox in exchange for Eduardo Escobar and Pedro Hernández.[22] As Liriano struggled with the command of his pitches, the White Sox removed him from the rotation in September.[23]

The rivalry cooled off throughout the 2010s as neither team found consistent success. Minnesota would make playoff appearances in 2017 and 2019, while the White Sox failed to make the playoffs throughout the decade.


The Twins won the AL Central in the COVID-19-shortened 2020 season with a record of 36–24, finishing just one game ahead of the White Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Both the Twins and White Sox made it to the postseason, marking the first time both teams would qualify. However, both lost their respective Wild Card Series.

On May 17, 2021, The White Sox were already comfortably ahead the Twins 15–4 in the top of the ninth inning. The Twins position player Willians Astudillo pitching. On a 3–0 count, White Sox catcher Yermín Mercedes hit a home run off of Astudillo to increase the score to 16–4. This was criticized by his own manager Tony La Russa for violating the unwritten rules of baseball.[24] The rule said: "do not swing on a 3–0 count when your team is comfortably ahead."[25] The next day, Twins pitcher Tyler Duffey threw behind Mercedes, possibly in an attempt to hit him. The umpires discussed and then threw Duffey out of the game believing it was intentional. Duffey was also suspended for two games.[26] The White Sox ended up winning the AL Central division finishing with a record of 93–69, while the Twins finished in last with a 73–89 record.

Connections between the two teams

Players to play for both teams

The following notable players played for both the Twins and White Sox during their careers.[27]

Pos Player Twins tenure White Sox tenure
P James Baldwin 2003 1995–2001
C Earl Battey 1961–1967 1955–1959
P Steve Carlton 1987–1988 1986
P Jesse Crain 2004–2010 2011–2013
3B Joe Crede 2009 2000–2008
3B Eduardo Escobar 2011–2012 2012–2018
P Liam Hendriks 2011–2013 2021–2023
P Jim Kaat 1961–1973 1973–1975
OF Pat Kelly 1967–1968 1971–1976
P Dallas Keuchel 2023 2020–2022
OF Jim Lemon 1961–1963 1963
P Francisco Liriano 2005–2012 2012
P Lance Lynn 2018 2021–2023
1B Justin Morneau 2003–2013 2016
C A. J. Pierzynski 1998–2003 2005–2012
P Ervin Santana 2015–2018 2019
SS Roy Smalley III 1976–1982 1984
1B Jim Thome 2010–2011 2006–2009

See also


  1. ^ "Head-to-Head Records". Retrieved 23 October 2023.
  2. ^ White Sox Longest Winning Strreaks vs an Opponent
  3. ^ White Sox Longest :Losing Strreaks vs an Opponent
  4. ^ Baumann, Michael (March 26, 2021). "Actually, the Top MLB Rivalry of 2021 Isn't Dodgers-Padres. It's Twins–White Sox". The Ringer. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  5. ^ Rogers, Phil (February 24, 2003). "Twins-White Sox rivalry heating up". Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  6. ^ Fenn, Martin (April 7, 2021). "Ranking the 6 Most Captivating Rivalries in MLB This Year". Bleacher Report. Retrieved April 19, 2021.
  7. ^ Rogers, Phil (February 24, 2003). " MLB - Twins-White Sox rivalry heating up". Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  8. ^ Margalus, Jim (2011-12-20). "White Sox-Twins rivalry loses plenty of history". South Side Sox. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  9. ^ "Legally, Twins are Sox arch-rivals". RSN. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  10. ^ "Shades of A.J. Pierzynski, Josh Donaldson is an agitator the Twins should keep". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2023-02-18.
  11. ^
  12. ^ a b "Jones delivers two big blasts". ESPN. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  13. ^ Koenig, Zach (March 3, 2021). "The Beginning of the Twins - White Sox Rivalry". SB Nation. Retrieved April 19, 2022.
  14. ^ a b "2008 Chicago White Sox Schedule, Box Scores, and Splits". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on March 31, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  15. ^ a b c "2008 Minnesota Twins Schedule, Box Scores, and Splits". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on November 1, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  16. ^ "Casilla's 10th-inning single gives Twins sweep of ChiSox". Associated Press. September 25, 2008. Archived from the original on May 2, 2021. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  17. ^ a b "Ramirez's grand slam paves way as White Sox force tiebreaker with Twins". Associated Press. September 29, 2008. Archived from the original on December 2, 2019. Retrieved April 11, 2020.
  18. ^ "White Sox tiebreaker game sold out". September 29, 2008. Archived from the original on March 10, 2012. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  19. ^ Branch, John (October 4, 2008). "When Spotlight Is On, the Clothes Turn Black". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 13, 2020. Retrieved May 3, 2010.
  20. ^ "September 30, 2008 Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox Box Score and Play by Play". Baseball-Reference. Sports Reference LLC. Archived from the original on October 1, 2020. Retrieved May 2, 2010.
  21. ^ "Twins' Liriano throws no-hitter in victory over White Sox". May 4, 2011. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  22. ^ "White Sox Acquire Francisco Liriano". Archived from the original on June 16, 2013. Retrieved April 2, 2013.
  23. ^ Sawchik, Travis. "Fastball command sparks Liriano comeback". Retrieved July 31, 2017.
  24. ^ Des Bieler (2021-05-19). "Unwritten rules alert: Tony La Russa is upset over White Sox player's homer on 3-0 count". The Washington Post. Washington, D.C. ISSN 0190-8286. OCLC 1330888409.
  25. ^ Beattie, John (April 24, 2010). "Should Some of Baseball's 'Unwritten Rules' Be Written? | Boston Red Sox". Retrieved April 21, 2019.
  26. ^ "MLB Suspends Twins Tyler Duffey, Rocco Baldelli".
  27. ^ Players who played for Minnesota Twins and Chicago White Sox
This page was last edited on 7 November 2023, at 16:26
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