Crosstown crossovers in the last 15 years

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Crosstown crossovers in the last 15 years

When Kosuke Fukudome appears in his first game for the White Sox in 2012, he'll become the 17th player to play for both the Cubs and White Sox since interleague play began in 1997. The other players on the list range from obvious to forgotten to completely random.

My criteria for doing this is simple: The player had to play on both the Cubs and White Sox from 1997 on. That means Sammy Sosa (White Sox 1989-1991, Cubs 1992-2004), Kevin Tapani (White Sox 1996, Cubs 1997-2001) and Tanyon Sturtze (Cubs 1995-1996, White Sox 2000) didn't make the cut, among others.

Without further ado, let's go to the list:

Will Ohman: Cubs 2000-2001, 2005-2007, White Sox 2011
With the Cubs: Ohman threw 160 innings, the most with any team, and posted a 4.33 ERA.
With the White Sox: Entering the second season of a two-year, 4 million deal, Ohman will be Robin Ventura's primary left-handed reliever in late-game situations if Matt Thornton closes.

Juan Pierre: Cubs 2006, White Sox 2010-2011
With the Cubs: Pierre led the National League in hits, at-bats and caught stealings.
With the White Sox: Pierre had a good 2010, but struggled in 2011. Led the AL in caught stealings in both years.

Bob Howry: White Sox 1998-2002, Cubs 2006-2008, 2010
With the Cubs: Was torched in 2008 after two solid years in 2006 and 2007; infamously had a fan run up to him in the ninth inning of a game Howry blew in 2007.
With the White Sox: Came over from San Francisco as part of the 1997 White Flag trade, was a key part of the 2000 AL Central champion's bullpen.

David Aardsma: Cubs 2006, White Sox 2007
With the Cubs: Had a 4.08 ERA, but allowed nine home runs in 54 innings.
With the White Sox: Started out great, but fizzled along with the rest of the bullpen and finished the year with a 6.40 ERA.

Neal Cotts: White Sox 2003-2006, Cubs 2007-2009
With the Cubs: Ran into injury issues, saw some effectiveness in 2008 but was out of baseball with a 7.36 ERA in 2009.
With the White Sox: Was dominant as the team's go-to lefty during the 2005 World Series run.

Aaron Miles: White Sox 2003, Cubs 2009
With the Cubs: Following a career year in St. Louis, Miles hit .185 with the Cubs in his worst season as a pro.
With the White Sox: Had some promising OBP numbers in the minor leagues, got 12 at-bats in the majors in 2003 and was shipped to Colorado for Juan Uribe that winter.

Scott Eyre: White Sox 1997-2000, Cubs 2006-2008
With the Cubs: Had a 4.03 ERA in three years. But let's use this time to point out that he received an MVP vote in 2005 with the Giants.
With the White Sox: Struggled as both a starter and reliever, compiling a 5.66 ERA. Came into his own as a pitcher after being dealt to Toronto following the 2000 season.

Ross Gload: Cubs 2000, White Sox 2004-2006
With the Cubs: Played in 17 games as a September call-up and hit his first career home run on the fourth of the month against the Rockies.
With the White Sox: Finished seventh in the 2004 Rookie of the Year voting and was a fantastic backup to Paul Konerko in 2004 and 2006, posting on-base percentages of .375 and .354, respectively.

Kenny Lofton: White Sox 2002, Cubs 2003
With the Cubs: Was a part of one of Jim Hendry's greatest coups as a GM as he came to Chicago along with Aramis Ramirez from Pittsburgh in a deal that centered around Bobby Hill. His .381 OBP was huge for the Cubs during their NLCS run.
With the White Sox: Played a solid 96 games before he was sent to San Francisco before the trade deadline.

Josh Paul: White Sox 1999-2003, Cubs 2003
With the Cubs: Signed on July 4 after being released by the White Sox, the Buffalo Grove native went hitless in seven plate appearances.
With the White Sox: Before Doug Eddings ruled he didn't catch Kelvim Escobar's offering in the 2005 ALCS, Paul was a fairly dependable backup for the Sox in 2001 and 2002.

Tom Gordon: Cubs 2001-2002, White Sox 2003
With the Cubs: Was effective when healthy, saved 27 games in 2001. Was traded to Houston before the deadline in 2002.
With the White Sox: After Billy Koch tanked, Gordon helped hold the Sox bullpen together, saving 12 games with a 3.16 ERA.

Jason Bere: White Sox 1993-1998, Cubs 2001-2002
With the Cubs: Pitched his last full season in the majors in 2001, starting 32 games with a 4.31 ERA.
With the White Sox: As a rookie, started 24 games with a 3.47 ERA for the Western Division champs, then followed that up with a 3.81 ERA in 24 starts the next year. Completely fell off in 1995, then ran into elbow problems before joining Cincinnati in 1998.

Robert Machado: White Sox 1996-1998, Cubs 2001-2002
With the Cubs: Appeared in 74 games while backing up Todd Hundley and Joe Girardi.
With the White Sox: Spent most of his time with the Sox in 1998 after joining the big-league club in late July.

Darren Lewis: White Sox 1996-1997, Cubs 2002
With the Cubs: Finished out his 13-year career by serving in a backup role, still managed to post a .326 OBP in 58 games.
With the White Sox: Was decent for a back-of-the-lineup hitter in 1996; traded to Los Angeles in 1997 for Chad Fonville.

Matt Karchner: White Sox 1995-1998, Cubs 1998-2000
With the Cubs: Wasn't worth trading Jon Garland.
With the White Sox: Was worth trading for Jon Garland.

Larry Casian: Cubs 1995-1997, White Sox 1998
With the Cubs: Was extremely successful in limited time in 1995 and 1996, struggled in 1997 and was claimed off waivers by the Royals.
With the White Sox: Appeared in four games, throwing four innings and giving up five runs to close out his career.

Jon Lester explains absence from Cubs' White House trip: 'Absolutely nothing political'

Jon Lester explains absence from Cubs' White House trip: 'Absolutely nothing political'

Jon Lester didn't make any sort of statement by missing Monday's White House trip with his Cubs teammates. But at a polarizing moment in a divided country, a high-profile player on a World Series team felt the need to respond on social media and explain his absence from the championship ceremony. 

President Barack Obama name-checked Lester during his East Room speech – both for his spectacular pitching performance and beat-cancer charitable initiatives – as the Cubs continued their victory tour off the franchise's first World Series title since Theodore Roosevelt lived in the White House.

Lester stood behind Obama when the 2013 Boston Red Sox were honored on the South Lawn. During that 2014 ceremony, Lester stood next to John Lackey, another Cub who missed this Washington trip. Lester also toured George W. Bush's White House with Boston's 2007 championship team.

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day – and with the specter of Donald Trump's inauguration looming – Obama used his administration's final official White House event to draw a direct line between him and Jackie Robinson and highlight the connective power of sports.

"The best part was the president talking about how sports brings people together," All-Star first baseman Anthony Rizzo said, "how no matter what's going on in this country and the world, three or four hours of any one particular game can just rally so many people together." 

This team couldn't have created so much joy for generations of fans without Lester, who signed a $155 million contract with the last-place Cubs after the 2014 season, a transformational moment during the long rebuild that led to the White House trip that Obama never thought would happen.

"It was a thrill and an honor for all of us," team president Theo Epstein said. "It means so much more with his roots in Chicago and his final days in office. It couldn't have worked out any better. It's something we'll all remember for our whole lives."

The time Addison Russell froze up after getting a text from Eddie George

The time Addison Russell froze up after getting a text from Eddie George

Plenty of Cubs fans surely were star-struck to meet Addison Russell at Cubs Convention last weekend. But the 22-year-old All-Star shortstop has a shortlist of people he would be amazed to meet, too. 

Russell reveres President Barack Obama, on Friday the outgoing Commander-in-Chief's work in the community when talking about getting to visit the White House. So on Monday, Russell got to check off meeting one of the people on his list. "There's probably about three people that I would be star-struck by, and (Obama's) one of them," Russell said. 

One of those three spots is "open," Russell said. The other member of that list is former Ohio State and Tennessee Titans running back Eddie George. 

Russell wears his No. 27 because of George, who wore that number during his career in which he made four Pro Bowls and rushed for over 10,000 yards and 78 touchdowns. Prior to the 2016 season, George sent Russell and autographed Titans helmet inscribed with good luck message.

After the season, Russell said George texted him seeing if the newly-crowned champion had time to chill. Few things rattled Russell last year — he became the youngest player to hit a grand slam in the World Series when he blasted one in Game 6 against the Cleveland Indians last November — but getting a text from George did. "I couldn't text back," Russell said. "It was nuts. I waited four days because I was thinking of what back to say."

Even the most famous athletes still get star-struck. Russell's been lucky enough in the last few months to meet and hear from two of the people who bring out that sense of awe in him. "Just to come in contact with people like that, it just makes me smile," Russell said. "It definitely gets me in the mood of getting better, and that's the goal this year, is getting better."