DeWayne Wise is a familiar face to Chicago White Sox fans. He could find his way back to the the scene of his more memorable moments before the 2012 season draws to a close. It just might help the Chicago White Sox win a division title to boot.
The White Sox signed Wise to a minor league contract. He has played two games with Triple-A Charlotte. The 34-year-old outfielder was released by the Yankees July 31.
Wise exemplifies the term "journeyman outfielder." His second tour of duty with the White Sox organization is his eighth stop in his career. Over the last six seasons, he has been a .300 hitter in the International and Pacific Coast Leagues. He fills a spot on a major league bench.
The South Side is where Wise played in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. He hit .248 for the AL Central champs in 2008 and logged 84 games the next season. He is a veteran of 16 seasons, most of which have been spent in the minors.
Then again, how many players with a lifetime major league average of .222 are immortalized on the outfield wall at U.S. Cellular Field?
Wise, of course, was in centerfield July 23, 2009 to save Mark Buerhle's perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays. The spot on the left-centerfield wall with the words "The Catch" commemorates Wise stealing a home run off the bat of Gabe Kapler to lead off the ninth inning.
Wise had played in 56 games with the Yankees this season and was hitting .262 with seven stolen bases. Though it seems unlikely that he will make a huge impact with the White Sox, this is far from a nostalgic move on the part of Chicago GM Kenny Williams.
Wise could serve as a veteran presence as a reserve. He is a left-handed bat off the bench with good speed and can hold down a spot in the outfield in case of injury. With Jordan Danks being the only other reserve outfielder, Wise could be a September (or earlier) call-up that could serve the club well down the stretch.
With little to lose by bringing Wise back, the White Sox just might make another memory or two with him in the outfield before the season ends.