Jeff Samardzija said goodbye to Cubbie blue last season as he made his way to the West Coast, but come April, he'll take the mound for the Pale Hose.
With this trade between the White Sox and Oakland Athletics, Samardzija becomes the most recent player to take the field for both clubs in town. This had me wondering—and perhaps you were, too—how many others have called both Clark and Addison and 35th and Shields their home? Of course, there's Ron Santo, Neal Cotts, Rich "Goose" Gossage and Sammy Sosa. Steve Stone played for the Sox, the Cubs, then the Sox again, and later became a broadcaster for both clubs. These may be obvious to avid fans, but few recall that Johnny Evers—part of the famed Tinker to Evers to Chance double-play combo on the Cubs' last World Series winning team—later played on the South Side in 1922.
So how many are there now? According to a 2012 Chicago Tribune article, the number of players who had taken the field for both clubs was 168. Using Baseball-Reference.com, one can generate a more recent list, which totals 174. Samardzija should make this number 175. That's a large figure, but then again both teams have been around for well over a hundred years.
If you'd like to learn more about players from both Chicago ball clubs, see memorabilia and test your mettle with fan trivia, visit our Sox vs. Cubs: The Chicago Civil Wars exhibit, which runs through February 8 at the Harold Washington Library Center.
Of course, we also have some resources for you as you pine for baseball this winter while following trades, free agency and hot stove rumors.
If you're interested in baseball history, look no further. When Chicago Ruled Baseball tells the story of the last time the crosstown rivals squared off in the Fall Classic. For other works on both teams, check out this booklist.
If you prefer a healthy dose of statistics with your baseball history, you can't go wrong with The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract.
Lastly, to keep up with recent baseball news or do historical research, check out our newspaper online resources. With your library card, you have access to the Chicago Tribune, Sun-Times, SouthtownStar and many more.