Today in White Sox History: March 6

 


1914
The White Sox returned home from their around-the-world series of exhibition games against the New York Giants. The Sox went 24-20, but those additional 44 games took their toll when the regular season began in late April. For the year the Sox would end up in sixth place, 30 games out, with a record of 70-84-3. The ship that brought the White Sox back to the United States? None other than the Lusitania.

 

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: December 17

Spirit of 76: Paul Richards, flanked by Rudie Schaffer and Bill Veeck, made his final Opening Day as a manager a memorable one.


1914
Pants Rowland was named White Sox manager. He would guide the club to a 100-win season and the World Series title in 1917.

1975
Under new owner Bill Veeck, the Sox went retro with the naming of former manager Paul Richards to become the new manager, replacing Chuck Tanner. Richards was the man who turned around the franchise in 1951. He was one of the smartest baseball men in the game, but it had been years since he was involved in the day-to-day operations of a franchise. Apparently he didn’t even really want the job, agreeing to do it only as a favor to Veeck. He would last one season.

Years later, Tanner would reveal that Richards asked him to stay on as his third base coach, with the promise of getting the manager’s job again in 1977.

2004
The Sox claimed pitcher Bobby Jenks on waivers from the Angels. Jenks had a reputation as a reckless individual who wanted to party more then play baseball. Somehow, the White Sox found a way to reach him, and Jenks proved a godsend down the stretch in 2005, then followed it up with 41 saves in 2006.

 

Today in White Sox History: December 8

Cashing in: The only time in the 20th Century that the reigning MVP was traded or sold came in 1914, when the White Sox snagged future Hall-of-Famer Eddie Collins. (Baseball Hall of Fame)


1914
The White Sox purchased reigning MVP and future Hall of Fame second baseman Eddie Collins from Connie Mack and the Philadelphia A’s. The price was incredible based on 1914 standards: $50,000 went to Mack. $15,000 went to Collins as a signing bonus, and then Collins was tendered a five-year guaranteed deal worth $75,000! Collins would play for the White Sox for 12 seasons.


1959
The offseason purging of young players continued with the White Sox shipping future All-Star, power-hitting outfielder Johnny Callison to the Phillies for third baseman Gene Freese. Of all the offseason moves, this was probably the worst.

Freese was a slow, scattergun-armed infielder with limited range. Callison, the subject of “The Life of a Sox Rookie” documentary film in 1958, failed in a few tries to take over the left field spot but in a new environment blossomed, winning the 1964 All-Star Game for the National League with a three-run, ninth-inning home run. The AL team that year was led by (ironically) Sox skipper Al Lopez!

Freese would be sent along in 1961 to the Reds in exchange for two pitchers, one of whom was Juan Pizarro, who became a two-time All-Star. Freese would return to the Sox for parts of the 1965 and 1966 seasons.

The Sox, meanwhile, realized the mistake they had made and tried to reacquire Callison from Philadelphia before the start of the 1962 season without success. He’d play 10 seasons with the Phillies, accumulating five years in double figures for triples, eight seasons with 10 or more home runs and four years with at least 78 RBIs.


1996
Pitcher Alex Fernandez signed a free-agent deal with Florida, the culmination of misunderstandings and pettiness. Sox ownership felt Fernandez was going to remain contractually bound to them for another season, but that was torpedoed when the players union and owners agreed to give players service time during the time missed in 1994 because of the labor impasse. Fernandez became a free agent, and the Sox hastily made a late offer that was rebuffed. He won 79 games in four full and three partial seasons with the White Sox. Without him to anchor the rotation, the Sox were forced to try to fill the void. The choice to do so, Jamie Navarro, was a complete disaster.


2004
Trying to fortify his bullpen, White Sox GM Ken Williams inked free agent pitcher Dustin Hermanson to a contract. Hermanson would be spectacular in the first half of the 2005 championship season before back issues limited him in the second half. He’d still finish with 34 saves and an ERA of 2.04.