Today in White Sox History: January 25

Scooter: Fletcher was a dynamo on both early 1980s and early 1990s White Sox teams.


1983
The White Sox and GM Roland Hemond embarrassed the Cubs by hinting through the media that they might select pitcher Fergie Jenkins after the Cubs left him unprotected in the free agent draft. Jenkins, the future Hall-of-Famer, was getting close to the magical 300 win mark in his career. The Sox were entitled to a compensation pick after losing outfielder Steve Kemp to the Yankees.

Thus the Cubs were forced to trade Scott Fletcher, Dick Tidrow, Randy Martz and Pat Tabler to the Sox for a promise not to take Jenkins, along with pitchers Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar. The Sox then flipped Tabler for Jerry Dybzinski. After it was all said and done, Cubs GM Dallas Green was quoted as saying, “To say I’m relieved probably would be an understatement.”

Fletcher would be a part of the 1983 divisional champion, but his bigger impact perhaps came in 1990, for the “Doin’ the Little Things” White Sox, who shocked baseball by winning 94 games. Fletcher was a defensive rock at second base that season, and executed small things like bunting, hitting behind a runner, hitting to the opposite field and driving in key runs exceptionally well. Tidrow did just about everything a relief pitcher could do in 1983, and Dybzinski stabilized a shaky infield in the early part of that same season. Unfortunately, his baserunning error in Game 4 of the ALCS is what he is best remembered for.

The White Sox starting staff was so deep in 1983, with seven pitchers on the roster who all had won at least 10 games in a major league season, that Martz never really got a chance. He only made one emergency start that year in a game at Detroit.

Today in White Sox History: October 8

The last time your editor cried over a ballgame: Tito Landrum crushes Britt Burns‘ (and another BB’s) dreams in 1983.


1948Frank “Trader” Lane was recruited out of the Big Ten Conference and took over as the new general manager of the White Sox. Lane would go on to become one of the greatest GMs in team history. Among the players acquired by Lane, who made over 230 trades in his Sox tenure, were such future All-Stars as Nellie Fox, Sherm Lollar, Billy Pierce, Chico Carrasquel and Minnie Miñoso. Lane built the club that would go on to win the pennant in 1959.


1983 — With the White Sox down 2-1 in the ALCS, Jerry Dybzinski overran second base after a single by Julio Cruz in the seventh inning of a scoreless game at Comiskey Park. In the ensuing rundown Vance Law, who was on base in front of Dybzinski, was thrown out trying to score what would have been the go-ahead run. The Sox wound up losing the game and the series to the Orioles on a home run by Baltimore’s Tito Landrum in the 10th inning. The final score was 3-0, spoiling a masterful pitching performance by Sox pitcher Britt Burns.


1993 — With the White Sox down 2-0 in the ALCS, Wilson Alvarez pitched a gem and beat the Blue Jays 6-1. The Sox scored five runs in the third inning, which gave him some breathing room. Alvarez’s complete-game victory was badly needed, and gave Sox fans a reason to keep hoping.