(670 The Score) A familiar and revered name in Chicago was included on the 2021 Baseball Hall of Fame ballot when the list was released earlier this week.
It was that of former White Sox left-hander Mark Buehrle, who will debut on the ballot after spending the first 12 seasons of his 16-year career in Chicago. His case for enshrinement in Cooperstown will be a fascinating storyline when results are revealed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America in January.
The likable Buehrle was 214-160 with a 3.81 ERA in his career, over which he relied on precision pitching across all parts of the zone and the ability to outthink opposing hitters. To say Buehrle got every last ounce out of his ability would be an understatement after the White Sox selected him in the 38th round of the 1998 amateur draft. He was a five-time All-Star and four-time Gold Glove winner.
One of Buehrle’s hallmarks was his durability, as he made 30 or more starts in 15 straight seasons. He also logged 200-plus innings for 14 straight years, which set an American League record.
Buehrle threw two no-hitters in his career, one of which was his iconic perfect game on July 23, 2009. It was a contest that lasted just 2 hours, 3 minutes, which was the quintessential Buehrle style as he was happy to pitch to contact and induce weak contact.
Buehrle won 161 of his games with the White Sox, a mark that ranks sixth in franchise history. He was never a 20-game winner, topping out at 19 wins in 2002. Buehrle’s best season was in 2005, when he finished fifth in the AL Cy Young race after going 16-8 with a 3.12 ERA. He also
Buehrle’s 214 wins might be a tad low for a Hall of Fame starter, though Jesse Haines, Don Drysdale, Bob Lemon, Roy Halladay and Rube Marquard all have received enshrinement with fewer wins.
Buehrle was a favorite of teammates, fans and media throughout his career, which continued with the Marlins and Blue Jays after he left the White Sox following the 2011 season.
"Mark was always there for you as a person first and teammate always,” former White Sox pitcher John Danks said about his time with Buehrle. “The way he took himself seriously on the day he pitched and was so laid back the other days was a good lesson for his teammates.”
Bruce Levine covers the Cubs and White Sox for 670 The Score. Follow him on Twitter @MLBBruceLevine.