The Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals are two of the 30 teams that compete in Major League Baseball (MLB), the highest level of professional baseball in the world. Both teams are part of the American League (AL) Central division, which means they play against each other frequently during the regular season. But how many players have played for both teams in their careers? In this article, we will answer this question and explore some interesting facts and trivia about these two teams and their players.
Players Who Played for Both Chicago White Sox and Kansas City Royals
According to the Baseball Reference website, there have been 68 players who have played for both the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals since 1969, when the Royals joined the MLB as an expansion team. Some of these players are:
- Andrew Benintendi: The current left fielder for the Royals, who was traded from the Boston Red Sox in February 2021. He played for the White Sox in 2017, when he was part of a three-team trade that also involved the Detroit Tigers.
- Bo Jackson: One of the most famous two-sport athletes in history, who played both baseball and American football professionally. He played for the Royals from 1986 to 1990, and for the White Sox from 1991 to 1993. He was an All-Star in both sports, and hit a memorable home run in the 1989 All-Star Game at Anaheim Stadium.
- Don Mincher: A first baseman who played for 13 seasons in the MLB, from 1960 to 1972. He played for the White Sox in 1961 and 1962, and for the Royals in their inaugural season of 1969. He was also an original member of the Seattle Pilots, who later became the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Brian Anderson: A pitcher who played for nine seasons in the MLB, from 1993 to 2005. He played for the White Sox from 2003 to 2004, and for the Royals in 2005. He won a World Series ring with the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2001, when he started Game 3 against the New York Yankees.
- Miguel Olivo: A catcher who played for 13 seasons in the MLB, from 2002 to 2014. He played for the White Sox in 2004 and 2009, and for the Royals from 2008 to 2010. He led all catchers in stolen bases in 2006, when he played for the Florida Marlins.
MLB Immaculate Grid
One of the rarest feats in baseball is to pitch an immaculate inning, which means to strike out all three batters in an inning on nine pitches. According to MLB.com, there have been only 108 immaculate innings in MLB history, as of October 2021. But what is even rarer is to pitch an immaculate inning against every team in the MLB. This is called the MLB Immaculate Grid, and only one pitcher has ever achieved it: Max Scherzer.
Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young Award winner and a nine-time All-Star, who currently plays for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He completed his MLB Immaculate Grid on September 12, 2021, when he struck out three San Diego Padres on nine pitches in the second inning. He had previously pitched immaculate innings against all other 29 teams in his career, which spanned from 2008 to present.
The rules and trivia of the MLB Immaculate Grid are:
- The pitcher must pitch an immaculate inning against every team in their current city and name. For example, Scherzer pitched an immaculate inning against both the Montreal Expos and the Washington Nationals, who are technically the same franchise but have different names and locations.
- The pitcher must pitch an immaculate inning against every team in both leagues (AL and NL). Scherzer is one of only four pitchers who have pitched immaculate innings in both leagues, along with Pedro Martinez, Nolan Ryan, and Kevin Gausman.
- The pitcher must pitch an immaculate inning against every team in their current division alignment. For example, Scherzer pitched an immaculate inning against both the Houston Astros and the Milwaukee Brewers, who used to be in different divisions but are now both in the AL West and NL Central respectively.
Notable Pitchers and Players for Both Teams
Besides pitching immaculate innings, there are other ways that pitchers and players can make their mark on both teams. Here are some notable examples:
- Chris Getz: A second baseman who played for six seasons in the MLB, from 2008 to 2014. He played for the White Sox from 2008 to 2009, and for the Royals from 2010 to 2013. He is currently the director of player development for the White Sox.
- Chris Young: A pitcher who played for 13 seasons in the MLB, from 2004 to 2017. He played for the Royals from 2015 to 2017, and for the White Sox in 2018. He won a World Series ring with the Royals in 2015, when he pitched three scoreless innings in relief in Game 1 against the New York Mets. He is currently the general manager of the Texas Rangers.
- Danny Tartabull: An outfielder and designated hitter who played for 14 seasons in the MLB, from 1984 to 1997. He played for the Royals from 1987 to 1991, and for the White Sox in 1996. He was an All-Star in 1991, when he led the AL in slugging percentage and OPS.
- Tim Belcher: A pitcher who played for 14 seasons in the MLB, from 1987 to 2000. He played for the White Sox in 1993 and 1996, and for the Royals in 1998. He was the runner-up for the NL Rookie of the Year Award in 1988, when he played for the Los Angeles Dodgers.
- Billy Butler: A first baseman and designated hitter who played for 10 seasons in the MLB, from 2007 to 2016. He played for the Royals from 2007 to 2014, and for the White Sox in 2016. He was an All-Star in 2012, when he hit a career-high .313 with 29 home runs and 107 RBIs.
The Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals have a long and rich history of baseball, with many players who have played for both teams. Some of these players have achieved remarkable feats, such as pitching immaculate innings or winning World Series rings. Others have continued their careers in baseball as coaches, managers, or executives. Whether they are on the field or off it, these players have left their mark on both teams and their fans.