Today in White Sox History: December 4

Savvy snag: Rule 5 draft choice Greg Walker clubbed his way through the mid-1980s.


1957 In a trade that shocked and outraged many White Sox fans, popular outfielder Minnie Miñoso and infielder Fred Hatfield were traded to Cleveland for future Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn and outfielder Al Smith. Wynn and Smith were among the final pieces acquired for the franchise that would win the pennant in 1959 (Wynn would win the Cy Young Award that season with 22 victories).


1979 The White Sox claimed first baseman Greg Walker from the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft. Walker would make the big club for good in 1983 and have three seasons with at least 24 home runs and two years with at least 90 RBIs. He’d then become the team’s hitting coach.


1997 Jerry Manuel was named the new manager, replacing Terry Bevington. Manuel became the second minority manager of the franchise in team history. In his seven years, the Sox would go to the playoffs in 2000 and have three winning seasons. He’d be named Manager of the Year for his efforts in winning the Central Division in 2000.

 

Today in White Sox History: November 12

(Topps)


1959 — He helped lead the White Sox to their first pennant in 40 years and because of his contributions on the field and in the clubhouse, Nellie Fox became the first member of the franchise to be named American League MVP. Fox hit .306 on the year with 191 hits, 34 doubles, 70 RBIs and 71 walks (as compared to only 13 strikeouts!) Fox also led all AL second basemen in putouts, assists, total chances and fielding percentage. He also was named to the All-Star team.

Nellie got 16 first-place votes by the Baseball Writers Association of America and beat out his teammate, shortstop Luis Aparicio, 295-255. Pitcher Early Wynn, who’d win the Cy Young Award that season, would finish third, giving the Sox the top three spots in the final voting.

Today in White Sox History: October 30

Top hardware: Nellie Fox (left) and Early Wynn get their 1959 MVP and Cy Young awards from AL president Will Harridge early in 1960 season.


1959 — He was acquired before the start of the 1958 season, and part of the cost was trading the popular Minnie Miñoso. And pitcher Early Wynn didn’t start out on the right side of things with a lot of Sox fans, with a mediocre 1958 season.

In 1959, however, Wynn turned back the clock, leading the majors with 22 wins to go along with an ERA of 3.17. That won Wynn the Cy Young Award. He got 13 of the 16 votes. This was a time when only one award was given, to the best pitcher in baseball, as opposed the present day when a pitcher from both leagues is honored. 

Sam Jones of the Giants got two votes, with Bob Shaw of the White Sox getting the final one. Wynn also led the league in starts, innings pitched and batters faced.


1990 — White Sox manager Jeff Torborg was named the Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America after guiding the team to a record of 94-68. The Sox shocked the baseball world: After being picked to finish no higher than fourth place, they instead challenged the eventual AL champion Oakland A’s right into September, and were the only club in the league to have won the season series from them. Only the A’s and the Pittsburgh Pirates had better records during the season than the White Sox. Torborg got 23 of 28 first place votes for 128 points. Oakland’s Tony La Russa, the former Sox skipper, picked up the other four first-place votes and finished up with 72 points. Joe Morgan of the Red Sox got the final first place vote, finishing third with 28 points.

Today in White Sox History: October 1


Oct. 1, 1950Luke Appling got his final hit in a White Sox uniform. The future Hall-of-Famer spent 20 years and 2,422 games in a Sox uniform. He’d later come back as a coach for the club in 1970 and 1971.


Mel Allen is on the radio call of the blowout.

Oct. 1, 1959 — After 40 years, the wait was over and the Sox were back in the World Series, facing the Dodgers. The Sox reacted in Game 1 like they were trying to win the title all at once, burying L.A. 11-0. Ted Kluszewski slammed a pair of home runs and tied a series record with five RBIs. The Sox assaulted Dodger starter Roger Craig early and often to give Cy Young award winner Early Wynn a lot of breathing room.


Oct. 1, 1970 — It was the end of the worst season in White Sox history and as it turned out the final game ever called by longtime Sox announcer Bob Elson. “The Commander” began his White Sox career in 1930, and for the next 40 years called games in good times and bad. His style simply no longer fit the environment, and with the Sox needing to make drastic changes everywhere, he was let go. Elson found work for 1971 calling the Oakland Athletics while the A’s announcer, Harry Caray, took over for Elson with the Sox! 


Oct. 1, 1975 — Owner John Allyn appeared on Johnny Morris’ sports show on WBBM-TV. While talking about the pending sale of the club, Allyn said if he did own the team in 1976, Harry Caray wouldn’t be back as lead announcer. Allyn was tired of Caray and wanted to fire him.

The next day, Caray had this retort: “I can’t believe any man can own a ballclub and be as dumb as John Allyn. Did he make enough to own it or did he inherit it?”

As it turned out neither man had to worry, Allyn sold to Bill Veeck and Veeck retained Caray for the entirety of his ownership.


Oct. 1, 2015 – In the seventh inning of a game at U.S. Cellular Field, José Abreu’s two-run single gave him 100 RBIs for the season, the night before he collected his 30th home run of the year. Both milestones came off of Kansas City’s Luke Hochevar. Abreu thus became only the second player in major league history with at least 30 home runs and at least 100 RBIs in his first two seasons, joining Albert Pujois in that exclusive club.

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 8

Finally: Wynn wouldn’t get it with the White Sox, but his 300th arrived in 1963. (Post Cereal)


Sept. 8, 1962 — White Sox pitcher and future Hall-of-Famer Early Wynn won his 299th career game, beating the Washington Senators with a complete game, 7-3. Wynn would get a spring training invite from the White Sox in 1963, but was cut. Fortunately Cleveland, the team Wynn pitched for earlier in his career, picked him up; he got his coveted 300th win on July 13, 1963, when he beat the Kansas City A’s.