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Thank You, Lucas Giolito

by Sox On 35th Contributors

Last night, the White Sox made their first move of this year’s selloff, trading Lucas Giolito and Reynaldo Lopez to the Los Angeles Angels in exchange for catcher Edgar Quero and left-hander Ky Bush. While the move may make sense on paper, it doesn’t mean it hurts the fan base any less to see a fan-favorite leave due to the organizational failure that is the 2023 season.

As a tribute to Giolito’s time on the South Side, I reached out to fans around White Sox nation to get some of their favorite stories and memories of Lucas Giolito. Hopefully, these help you remember some of your personal favorite times.

Nico Andrade (Contributor, Sox On 35th)

Dear Lucas,

Thank you for the countless memories you have given Sox fans and me over your tenure. My first memory of you was in 2018, when you were one of the worst pitchers in baseball. Then in the 2019 season, seeing you grow into a pitcher rather than a thrower was awesome to witness.

One of my favorite memories from that 2019 season was the game against Toronto. It only lasted five innings due to the rain, but my dad and I sat out there to watch you shut down the Toronto bats in the first complete game of your career. Seeing you at the All-Star Game in 2019 was awesome. It was a testament to your hard work and countless hours on your craft. Even to this day, the damn Guarantee Rate advertisement will forever be engraved in my brain and in the brain of many Sox fans who have been with this team year in and year out. I have always respected you as a person and as a ballplayer. During the pandemic in 2020, I remember you doing your Twitch streams on your ‘General Gio’ Twitch account. Watching you play MLB The Show and interacting with you as a normal person rather than a ballplayer was something I’ll never forget.

Then, later on in that 2020 season, you tossed a no-hitter against the Pirates. Although no one was in the building that night, you gave Sox fans all over Chicago and the world a reason to cheer like we were in the park that night. In the same year’s playoffs against Oakland, you pitched your a** off. You were almost tossing another no-no. You gave all of us that death stare where your eyes peek over your glove. That stare is something that we’ve come to know and love.

As I mentioned, seeing you grow into a pitcher year after year is cool too. As a fan who loves baseball, players like you, Lucas, rarely come around. Someone humble works at their craft and has the will to improve daily. Whenever you had a bad start, it was always on you, and you wore it on your sleeve, and for that, I’ll forever respect that about you. I will miss hearing you come out of the bullpen to Surround Sound by JID at home games at the rate. White Sox baseball definitely won’t be the same.

Sox fans are amazing, and I hope that is something that you can take with you wherever you go in your baseball life. I contacted Sox fans to get some of their favorite memories of your time in Chicago. I hope you enjoy it!

You’ll always have a home here in Chicago.

Herb Lawerence (Co-Host, CHGO White Sox)

“The memory that sticks out to me is that Game 1 start in Oakland in the 2020 AL Wild Card Series. Retired the first eighteen A’s that he saw and eventually gave up only one run on a couple of hits and seven strong innings. Lucas looked absolutely possessed (in a good way) on the mound, as it looked like he was pissed that any batter would dare to step into the batter’s box against him that day.

I’m going to miss him because I think the person is a good dude and a leader; too bad Sox management didn’t lock him up.”

Jordan Lazowski (Editor-in-Chief, Sox On 35th)

“Blogging is a lot of fun; it allows you to really break a team down in-depth, analyze every move, and get your opinion out there on a wider scale. It’s so much fun, that sometimes, you forget that you’re a fan first and foremost.

Trades like these snap you back to the reality of how much it stinks when a team trades someone who, no matter how much you try to remain objective, you just really enjoy watching. Giolito is absolutely that sort of player, and the sort of professional that every athlete should strive towards. From taking the time to reform himself as a pitcher physically following 2018 to understanding the role mental skills play in pitcher development, Giolito is one of the few White Sox prospects from the rebuild era to come up and actually make good on his potential, even as he faced early-career struggles. It is that sort of drive that makes him so easy to root for and will make him all the more memorable as the club tries to find a new crop of players to come up and make good on their upside. As Giolito proved, that’s not always easy to do.

The no-hitter, Game 1 of the 2020 ALDS, and the absolute dominance of 2019-2021 won’t be forgotten by me – no matter how underappreciated those seasons go from some of the fan base. Giolito is a rare form of a player who is easy to root for on and off the field, and every start of his is one I am glad I got to witness over the last several seasons. It’s a shame that this is how his tenure had to end – but he deserves the opportunity to help a club make a postseason push.”

Tom Paints (Arist and White Sox Fan)

“The first memory that comes to mind is obviously the no-hitter. I remember watching the game; my three-month-old and my daughter was two. If any of you have kids, you know how hard it is to get fussy babies to sleep, let alone a toddler. Now imagine not yelling or showing any emotion while watching this happen out of fear of waking the kids up …. and your very tired wife. So here I am, in the living room, pacing around like a crazy person yelling into a pillow when he pulled it off. It was a crazy memory tied to sports memory tied to an even crazier year. I took a shot of Malort, and I immediately went to paint that moment. The team was young, full of life, ambition, and fun 2020 was a great season during an incredibly challenging year. Thanks for the escape from reality, Lucas! Best of luck.”

Below is the painting of Gio’s no-no that Tom mentioned!

Nick Murawski (Host of Locked On White Sox)

“2019 was a magical year for Lucas Giolito and his no-hitter in 2020 was historic for several reasons but his performance in Game 1 of the 2020 Wild Card Series against Oakland is my favorite memory. The White Sox had not seen the playoffs since 2008 and during the most bizarre year for the entire world, let alone the Sox. Giolito pitched like the ACE we needed when it mattered. Seven innings, two hits, one earned run, one walk, and eight strikeouts. The swagger, that confidence the dominance, and of course, THAT LOOK. Giolito not only did it in a playoff game on the road…he did it in a playoff game in Oakland.

Obviously, the 2020 Wild Card Series ended in disappointment, and seeing Giolito leave before the Sox could reach their ultimate goal is crushing but I will also look fondly on at that Game 1 performance forever”.

Joe Ruffalo (Photographer and Sox On 35th Contributor)

Some More Memories

Featured Image: Joe Ruffalo (@jruff96) / Twitter

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Thomas Hall

Giolito was a major contributor, and I hope he has a better chance at the postseason now that he is free from the White Sox! The above states that it is crushing to see him leave before the White Sox reach their ultimate goal. What exactly is the White Sox ultimate goal? That is a fair question given the results of the last two years and the response of ownership and management! Also, what does the comment below from Dorena have to do with the subject being discussed?

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