Today in White Sox History: December 1

Sandlot ball: The White Sox saw Luis Alvarado playing in a parking lot and said, “Hey, let’s trade Luis Aparicio for this guy!” (Topps)


1956 — With the first of many awards he would win in his Hall of Fame career, Luis Aparicio became the first Venezuelan to ever win the Rookie of the Year Award. Aparicio led the AL in steals with 21 and played a stellar defensive game, leading the league in putouts and assists as well as in games and innings played. Aparicio picked up 22 of the 24 possible votes. He beat out Cleveland’s Rocky Colavito (who would join the Sox in 1967) and Baltimore’s Tito Francona (who also would be a member of the White Sox, for part of the 1958 campaign).


1964 — The Sox traded pitcher Frank Baumann to the Cubs for catcher Jimmie Schaffer. It was the first time the two Chicago clubs made a direct trade with each other.


1970 — For the second and final time, the White Sox traded Luis Aparicio. The future Hall of Fame shortstop was sent to the Red Sox for infielders Luis Alvarado and Mike Andrews. Those players helped the Sox in the early 1970s, but this is one Roland Hemond trade that some have second-guessed. In 1972, if Aparicio was around to provide some stability to the infield, the White Sox may have taken the Western Division title. Lee “Bee-Bee” Richards, Alvarado and Rich Morales simply weren’t the answer at shortstop that season.


1998 — Popular and proficient third baseman Robin Ventura signed a free agent contract with the Mets. Ventura, who was an outspoken critic of the “White Flag” trade, won five Gold Gloves in his time on the South Side in addition to hitting 171 home runs. He had six seasons with at least 90 RBIs and hit .280 or better for five seasons. He’d return in 2012 to begin a five-year tenure as manager.

 

 

 

Today in White Sox History: November 11

What could have been: If Schueler hadn’t pulled the trigger on his biggest deal, bringing PK to the South Side for more than a decade. (Topps)


1965 — “The Señor,” manager Al Lopez, resigned his position with the White Sox. Perhaps the greatest manager in franchise history, Lopez had nine winning seasons in his nine full time years as field manager. He won the 1959 American League pennant and was coming off of back-to-back-to-back 90-plus win seasons in 1963, 1964 and 1965. His 840 wins are the second-most in team history. He returned to manage for parts of the 1968 and 1969 seasons.


1998 — Perhaps the finest deal ever made by White Sox GM Ron Schueler came on this date, when he traded promising center fielder Mike Cameron to the Cincinnati Reds for infielder Paul Konerko. Konerko would eventually blossom into a consistent power-hitting first baseman, hitting 432 home runs with 1,383 RBIs in his career. Konerko was a six-time All-Star, a World Series champion, the 2005 ALCS MVP and the 2002 Comeback Player of the Year. 


2005 — They never made it on the cover of Sports Illustrated for winning the World Series, but the Sox did grace the cover of The Sporting News for the accomplishment. The caption was short and to the point: “Sweep!”

Today in White Sox History: September 26

No joy in Mudville: Ozzie, mighty Ozzie, struck out.


Sept. 26, 1905 — In a doubleheader at Boston, Sox pitcher Ed Walsh relieved starter Doc White in the first inning of the opener and got the win, 10-5. Walsh then started and won the nightcap game over the Americans, 3-1. Because White didn’t retire a batter in the opening game, Walsh got credit for a pair of complete-game wins.


Sept. 26, 1943 — The White Sox set the franchise record for the most runs ever scored in the fourth inning when they put 13 on the board against the Senators at Washington. The South Siders would win the game, 15-3. Future Sox star pitcher Early Wynn was the victim of the Sox uprising. Also of note in the 13-run inning was a triple-steal on one play, as Thurman Tucker, Guy Curtright and Luke Appling all swiped bases, with Tucker stealing home.


Sept. 26, 1984 — Despite a disastrous season on the field, the White Sox drew the last of their 2,136,988 fans to Comiskey Park to become the first Chicago franchise to draw at least two million fans in consecutive seasons.


Sept. 26, 1998 — White Sox outfielder Brian Simmons became the third player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Simmons connected off Kansas City’s Brian Barber and Allen McDill, driving home five runs in Chicago’s 13-5 win.

Sept. 26, 2011 — He was considered the face of the franchise for eight seasons, but on this night after a 4-3 win over the Toronto Blue Jays, manager Ozzie Guillén announced he was leaving after owner Jerry Reinsdorf agreed to let him out of the final year of his contract. 

Guillén, who was the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year with the White Sox, won the World Series in 2005 and also got the club into the playoffs in 2008. He had five winning seasons in eight years as manager, and was named Manager of the Year for his work in 2005.

In that magical season of 2005, “Ozzieball” resulted in the Sox getting off to the best start in their history. With a perfect blend of pitching, speed, power and the ability to execute the fundamentals, the White Sox were in first place from wire to wire. Then they blitzed through the postseason, putting together an 11-1 record that was the third-best post season record in baseball history.

Guillén’s passion and enthusiasm for the franchise was unparalleled, but at times he was his own worst enemy.

Over his final years in Chicago, he became increasingly thin-skinned and defensive when criticism was directed his way, and he lashed out at Sox fans on more than one occasion. In one of his infamous rants against fans he said they could ‘‘turn off their TVs and stop watching the game if they don’t like the [bleep]ing lineup,’’ and another in May 2011 claimed Sox fans would not remember him (“as soon as you leave the ballpark they don’t care about you. They don’t. The monuments, the statues … they pee on them when they get drunk.”) On the afternoon of the day he left the team Guillén told reporters (including South Side Hit Pen’s Brett Ballantini, who broke the news that Guillén had published a blog announcing his move to the Marlins during that night’s game) that he would not want to return to fulfill his 2012 contract unless he got an extension and more money.

Ozzie’s relationship with GM Ken Williams also deteriorated over the final few years, as the two men had different viewpoints over how the roster should be constructed and the style to which the Sox should play. Guillén’s family didn’t help the situation, with social media comments derogatory White Sox players and Williams.

Many felt when Ozzie was hired in November 2003 that he was the right man for the right team at the right time, and for a few years he was. Unfortunately, the White Sox manager with the longest tenure since Al Lopez let some personal foibles override a good situation, and it was best for all that a parting of the ways took place.

Today in White Sox History: September 1

Short-lived: Al Lopez (center) celebrates a new Sox managerial contract with GM Ed Short (left) and owner Arthur Allyn (right). (Leo Bauby Collection.)


Good news, South Side Hit Pen readers! We’ve added another heavy hitter to our lineup, longtime White Sox writer and historian Mark Liptak. Mark is the foremost White Sox historian online, having written hundreds of past pieces for White Sox Interactive. We’re proud to have him join South Side Hit Pen, where he will be bringing you this daily dose of White Sox history, ace features and interviews, and commentary on the current club.


1970 — With the Chicago White Sox about to end their worst season in franchise history, G.M. Ed Short was fired after nine years on the job. Short would make brilliant offseason deals in 1963 and 1964 to net the club players like Hoyt Wilhelm, Pete Ward, Tommy John and Tommy Agee. But starting in 1968, his moves backfired and lost the club players like Agee, Tommy McCraw, Don Buford and Bob Locker without getting anything back of substance in return.


1998Albert Belle hit his 42nd home run of the season in Baltimore. In the same game, he got his 337th total base of the season. Both milestones set the franchise record in their respective categories, in the 9-5 win. Belle ended the year with 49 home runs and 399 total bases.