Guaranteed Rate Field's Top 10 moments

December 1st, 2021

CHICAGO -- Here’s a look at the Top 10 moments from the ballpark formerly known as new Comiskey Park, U.S. Cellular Field and now Guaranteed Rate Field. The jersey number retirement ceremonies and the statue dedication honors were not included on this list.

1. Scott Podsednik's World Series walk-off home run
Game 2: Oct. 23, 2005

Picking the most important White Sox World Series moment is somewhat akin to a parent picking his or her favorite child. They all are extremely memorable and beloved. But Podsednik’s blast gets the nod for a couple of reasons.

The fleet-footed White Sox leadoff hitter did not homer once during the ’05 regular season, but this blast off Brad Lidge marked his second of the postseason. Podsednik also had just missed throwing out Chris Burke as the tying run at the plate in the top of the ninth on Jose Vizcaino’s two-out, two-run single to left off Bobby Jenks. But most importantly, Podsednik’s drive was a walk-off blast, putting the White Sox halfway through a World Series sweep.

2. Paul Konerko's World Series grand slam
Game 2: Oct. 23, 2005

The White Sox trailed, 4-2, in the bottom of the seventh with two outs and the bases loaded when Konerko connected on the first pitch from reliever Chad Qualls for his first and only World Series home run. Qualls had just replaced Dan Wheeler, who had walked Tadahito Iguchi and hit Jermaine Dye with a pitch. Maybe the Konerko and Podsednik homers should be tied for the top spot.

3. Dewayne Wise saving perfection
July 23, 2009

Mark Buehrle’s perfect game is represented at the No. 3 spot by Wise. Remember, Buehrle had the guts and confidence to throw a 3-2 changeup to Michel Hernandez with one out in the ninth to record the swinging strikeout for out No. 26. Yes, the southpaw knew how to pitch.

But there would have been no out No. 26 without Wise’s amazing grab on Gabe Kapler’s blast headed toward the left-center-field stands to start the ninth. Wise, who manager Ozzie Guillen put in as a defensive replacement to start the frame, sprinted toward the wall, made a one-handed, no-look leap over the top and then hung on to the ball as he juggled it upon hitting the ground. Josh Fields also deserves a mention with a grand slam in the victory.

4. Jim Thome’s Blackout blast
Sept. 30, 2008

Some White Sox fans refer to the White Sox/Twins American League Central Game No. 163 as the most exciting single contest in franchise history, known as the Blackout Game. The White Sox claimed a 1-0 victory to win their lone division title since the World Series and earned that win behind eight scoreless innings from John Danks. Nick Blackburn was just as stingy until Thome’s mammoth leadoff blast in the seventh stood up as the game’s lone run. Ken Griffey Jr. also threw out Michael Cuddyer at the plate to end the fifth, and Brian Anderson made a diving catch on Alexi Casilla’s soft liner to center to end the game.

5. A.J. Pierzynski’s ALCS strikeout dash
Game 2, Oct. 12, 2005

Catcher A.J. Pierzynski played 19 years in the Majors, launched 188 homers, hit .280 and became a White Sox fan favorite. But he might be best remembered for a strikeout in the 2005 AL Championship Series against the Angels and his involvement in an on-field altercation with the Cubs mentioned later in this list

The White Sox had lost the first game of the ALCS, and when Pierzynski struck out against Kelvim Escobar with two outs in the ninth, Game 2 appeared headed for extra innings. But Pierzynski raced to first, astutely thinking the ball hit the ground as he was never tagged by catcher Josh Paul. Pierzynski’s move was upheld by the umpiring crew, Pablo Ozuna pinch-ran and swiped second and Joe Crede doubled home the game-winning run. The White Sox did not lose again in the ’05 postseason.

6. Buehrle’s no-hitter
April 18, 2007

Before there was Buehrle’s perfect game, there was the left-hander’s no-hitter thrown against the Rangers on a cold April night. Buehrle allowed only a Sammy Sosa walk in the fifth, but promptly picked him off. Crede’s solid play on Gerald Laird’s slow roller to third became out No. 27.

7. Thome walks off with 500th homer
Sept. 16, 2007

This ’07 season wasn’t a good one team-wise, with the White Sox finishing 72-90. But there were some great individual moments in Buehrle’s no-hitter, Jenks’ 41 consecutive batters retired and Thome’s milestone. No. 500 came in dramatic fashion, as the left-handed slugger launched a game-winning two-run shot off Dustin Moseley to give the White Sox a 9-7 victory over the Angels. He was hoisted on the shoulders of Dye and Jenks and celebrated with his family.

8. Lucas Giolito’s no-hitter
Aug. 25, 2020

Erik González was the only Pittsburgh hitter to reach base during Giolito’s no-hitter, drawing a four-pitch leadoff walk in the fourth. Otherwise, Giolito was masterful in striking out 13 and throwing 74 of his 101 pitches for strikes. Adam Engel made a slick running catch on González’s liner to right to end the contest.

9. Back-to-back-to-back-to-back
Aug. 16, 2020

It was a Major League debut not exactly to be savored by St. Louis’ Roel Ramirez, as the White Sox connected for back-to-back-to-back-to-back home runs during a six-run fifth inning in a 7-2 victory. Yoán Moncada, Yasmani Grandal, José Abreu and Eloy Jiménez did the honors, making a winner of Dallas Keuchel. It was the 10th time in big league history a team hit four straight homers, with the White Sox also having done it on Aug. 14, 2008, at home against Kansas City, with Thome, Konerko, Alexei Ramirez and Juan Uribe the swingers of that moment.

10. Carlos Rodón’s near perfection 
April 14, 2021
The White Sox left-hander put up the best numbers of his career during the 2021 season, with a 2.37 ERA and 185 strikeouts over 132 2/3 innings and 24 starts. But his top performance of this breakout campaign came on April 14 at home when he no-hit the Indians in an 8-0 victory. Rodón struck out seven and didn’t issue a walk, coming within two outs of a perfect game when he hit Roberto Pérez with a backfoot slider on an 0-2 pitch in the ninth. Jordan Luplow’s groundout ended the mound masterpiece.

Honorable mentions

Cubs fracas
Remember the other moment people always bring up to Pierzynski? It came on a Saturday afternoon, when Pierzynski collided with Michael Barrett at home plate while scoring on an Anderson sacrifice fly to left in the second. Barrett took umbrage at the collision, punching Pierzynski as they were tangled up behind the plate, leading to a benches-clearing fracas. The White Sox won the game, 7-0, as Iguchi hit a grand slam off Rich Hill two batters after the benches cleared.

Abreu’s grand slam: April 25, 2014
Talk about making a rookie impact. The White Sox rallied for five runs in the ninth to claim a 9-6 victory over the Rays, but it was Abreu who punctuated the win with an opposite-field walk-off grand slam against closer Grant Balfour. The drive followed a two-out walk to Marcus Semien to load the bases.

Iguchi’s ALDS homer: Oct. 5, 2005
Iguchi punctuated a five-run fifth inning with a two-out, three-run homer off David Wells. The White Sox held on for a 5-4 victory in Game 2 and went on to sweep the Red Sox during the 2005 AL Division Series.

Hawk’s last day: Sept. 23, 2018
The White Sox dropped a 6-1 decision to Kyle Hendricks and the Cubs, but the outcome didn’t matter in this one. Ken "Hawk" Harrelson’s iconic 33-year White Sox television broadcasting career came to an end with fans and both teams honoring the eventual 2020 Ford C. Frick Award winner during and after the contest.

Buehrle’s web gem: April 5, 2010
This play will be seen again someday among the best Opening Day moments, but Buehrle proved to be Houdini defensively on this hard-hit Lou Marson grounder back to the mound. Buehrle made a kick save of the grounder with his leg and the ball rolled toward the first-base line. He raced over, grabbed the ball with his glove and made a no-look flip between his legs with the glove to Konerko for the out. Konerko finished off the spectacular play by making a barehand grab.

Tigers fracas: April 22, 2000
Jerry Manuel led the White Sox to the 2000 American League Central title, and some point to the crazy altercations between these two sides as an early-season galvanizing force for the South Siders. The White Sox won the game, 14-6.

Ozzie kicks for distance: June 20, 2011
This is probably not one of the greatest moments in ballpark history, but the list needs a little levity and needs to acknowledge the only White Sox manager to win a World Series since 1917. Guillen was arguing a call made against Ramirez concerning a tapper near home plate being ruled fair and him being tagged out by Cubs catcher Geovany Soto. Guillen was immediately ejected, and in his ensuing argument, kicked Soto’s catcher’s mask for distance. Soto seemed to enjoy the moment as much as anyone.