Big win: All his early work with the White Sox paid off, as La Russa took home Manager of the Year hardware in 1983. (Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation)
1983 — Tony La Russa, who guided the White Sox to a 99-win season and their first playoff appearance in 24 years, was named the Manager of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. It was the first year the organization handed out that award. La Russa received 17 of a possible 28 votes to take the honor. He beat out the Orioles Joe Altobelli, who picked up seven first-place votes. La Russa also would take Manager of the Year honors from The Sporting News and the Associated Press.
1988 — The Sox named Jeff Torborg as the team’s new field manager. Torborg, a former major league catcher, and Indians manager, gained notable success with the club. His team and family philosophy took hold, and a young group of players stunned the baseball world by winning 94 games in 1990. (Torborg would be named Manager of the Year that season.) He followed up that year by winning 87 games in 1991 before being forced out by GM Ron Schueler, who wanted to hire his own man.
Torborg, by the way, is the only man in baseball history to have caught a perfect game from Sandy Koufax and a no-hitter from Nolan Ryan, as he played for the Dodgers and Angels from 1964 through 1973.
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.
1899 — The new American League was formed in Chicago. The city didn’t have a team in the league at that point but soon got the St. Paul, Minn. team, led by player/manager Charles Comiskey. They set up shop on the South Side.
1991 — White Sox manager Jeff Torborg, who was named Manager of the Year for 1990, resigned to take a job as manager of the New York Mets. It was a strange move, and the real reason for it wasn’t made known until years later, as Torborg told individuals and provided examples of how then-White Sox GM Ron Schueler forced him out.