This Week In Chicago Sports History: Sox Stomp Cubs Early In Championship Season

WARR producer and Blackhawks reporter Sid “The Kid” is a reliable source of information when it comes to Chicago sports throughout the ages. Now every #throwbackthursday Sid gives you some of the top moments to remember for each week forward.

By Sidney Brown (@sidkid80)

Coming into the 2005 season, many experts picked the Chicago White Sox to at best finish second to the Minnesota Twins in the American League Central once again. By Memorial Day the Sox would jump out to an historic start and surprise the baseball world. 

Already off to a great start, things didn’t really get satisfying for the South Siders until they got a shot at their city rivals the Cubs in Wrigley Field. The opening game of their Crosstown Cup series, on May 20th, saw Sox starting pitcher Freddy Garcia outduel Greg Maddux with seven innings pitched and three strikeouts. The offense came courtesy of fan favorite AJ Pierzynski going 3-for-4 with a RBI to power a 5-1 win. 

The next day saw Jose Contreras pitch seven innings with four strikeouts to match North Side counterpart Carlos Zambrano, who had eight punchouts of his own. Paul Konerko drove in two RBI while Jermaine Dye delivered another home run for a 5-3 win.

In winning the weekend series at the Friendly Confines, the Sox improved their record to 31-12 and were well on their way to the club’s first World Series championship since 1917. The Cubs, meanwhile, finished 79-83 and didn’t really show any fight in the crosstown series until Michael Barrett and Pierzynski met at home plate a year later.

Bulls Learn The Difference A Year Makes

After struggling to 57 wins during the regular season and finishing third in the Eastern Conference standings, the 1992-93 Chicago Bulls were ready to turn over a new leaf in pursuit of their third straight championship. 

The Atlanta Hawks fell easily in the opening round 3-0, but constant playoff opponent the Cleveland Cavaliers came calling again and they felt they had a new ace up their sleeves in supposed “Jordan Stopper” Gerald Wilkins. 

Wilkins unsurprisingly made little difference as the Bulls got out to a 3-0 series lead. Looking to close out their division rival on the road in Game 4, the Cavs treated Chicago to a back and forth battle for survival that would come down to one last shot and evoke memories of past postseason glory.

Michael Jordan closed another chapter in this Bulls-Cavs rivalry on his own terms and added to his growing legacy by nailing down the game-winning and series-clinching basket over Wilkins, ending for good any idea of a “Jordan Stopper.”

After producing what would be known as “The Shot Part Two,” the Bulls were halfway to clinching their first 3-Peat. As the calendar turned and Jordan retired and Scottie Pippen took the reins, the Bulls kept their place as Eastern Conference contenders, but as we told you last week hardly anything came easy in the Eastern semifinals against the Knicks.

After tying the series at 2-2 with back-to-back home wins, the Bulls were looking to take control of the series with a win at Madison Square Garden. 

Game 5 would be remembered for a series of indelible moments: BJ Armstrong nailed two of his 21 points to give Chicago a 86-85 lead late. In the final seconds, the Knicks had the final possession, which saw Hubert Davis attempting a 3-point shot that was defended by Scottie Pippen and ended up missing. Game, right? Not by a long shot.

Referee Hue Hollins’ “phantom foul” call on Pippen allowed Davis two free throws that he used to give New York an 87-86 victory and essentially the series, which they clinched in Game 7 back at MSG.

The controversial call made Hollins’ name a curse word in the mouths of all Bulls fans and is easily viewed as one of the worst moments in Chicago Sports history as well as a game changer for the franchise who looking back could have very well made a fourth straight Finals appearance and a first ever without Jordan had they won this one. 

A frustrated Pip got a measure of revenge in Game 6 at Chicago Stadium, largely remembered for one of the best facial dunks in NBA history and Pippen’s most famous one when he straight posterized Patrick Ewing at the rim and offered a few “friendly” words for Knicks fan Spike Lee.

Hawks Survive 3 OTs in Anaheim

En route to their third Stanley Cup in six years, the Chicago Blackhawks faced a tough Anaheim Ducks squad in the 2015 edition of the Western Conference Finals. 

After dropping Game 1 the Hawks needed to steal a key contest at the Honda Center. Chicago started off hot with power play goals from Andrew Shaw and Marian Hossa while the Ducks struck back with goals courtesy of Andrew Cogliano and superstar Corey Perry. 

This epic contest went through a series of overtime periods and finally would be capped off by Marcus Kruger in the third overtime session, giving Chicago a 3-2 win to tie the series at 1-1. 

This would be remembered as the longest game in franchise history and for Andrew Shaw’s infamous attempted soccer-style game-winner, which was disallowed by the referees. Hawks goalie Corey Crawford stopped a career-high 60 shots to key the effort.

Sidney Brown is WARR Media's resident Chicago sports historian 
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