For Skowron, Series rings are old hat

For Skowron, Series is old hat -- with rings

CHICAGO -- Bill Skowron could be the most charismatic figure in the White Sox organization. And that's quite a challenge when considering that outspoken Ozzie Guillen serves as the team's manager.

But spend 15 or 20 minutes in the U.S. Cellular Field press box before a game, taking in Skowron's colorful stories, and you will have more knowledge of the great Yankees teams from the late '50s and early '60s than some of the players who were part of those squads.

Of course, with the nickname "Moose," you almost are required to be entertaining.

Skowron also is an untapped authority on playing in the World Series. The one-time slugging outfielder finished with eight home runs and 29 RBIs during his 39 World Series games with the Yankees and the Dodgers, covering 133 at-bats.

"I was in eight World Series, and we won five," said the Chicago native who turns 75 on Dec. 18. Skowron took part in every Fall Classic from 1955 to 1963 except for 1959, when the White Sox were in it. "I have seven rings and a World Series watch."

In a story that apparently has made its way around the White Sox organization a few times, Skowron mentioned he no longer owns the wristwatch. He sold it to a man in Connecticut for $9,000, when his wife wanted to purchase new windows for their home.

"Not a bad deal," said Skowron.

As for the World Series rings, the only one worn by Skowron is from the 1961 Yankees. That squad won the Series in five games, with players such as Mickey Mantle, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra and Whitey Ford comprising this single-season greatness.

Maris hit his record-breaking 61 home runs that year, and Mantle added 54. Skowron produced a career-high 28 long balls, giving the trio an impressive total of 143. The secret to their success, according to Skowron, was a special liquid refreshment.

"We drank a lot of beer," Skowron said with a laugh. "I've never played on a greater team."

Skowron's career came to a close in 1967, after playing parts of four seasons with the White Sox. He still has a keen eye for the game, working as a community relations representative for the South Siders, and compares the current team to the Go-Go White Sox of 1959.

The edge goes to the 2005 World Series entrant, in Skowron's estimation, because of a greater overall talent level and a bit more power. But Skowron doesn't seem too worried about adding another World Series ring to his vast collection.

His excitement comes from his daughter, Lynette, for example, who attended Saturday's game with her husband and is a true White Sox fan. Skowron is more interested in the organization and the people who support the team feeling the same postseason joy he felt numerous times.

"I would like to seem them win, but I'm just overseeing now," said Skowron, who has been with the White Sox for five years. "The whole White Sox organization has busted their fannies to have a winner. I would like to see it happen for Mr. [Jerry] Reinsdorf, Mayor [Richard M.] Daley and all the White Sox fans."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.