Today in White Sox History: December 6

Bold stroke: GM Roland Hemond stuck his neck out to make baby shortstop Ozzie Guillén the centerpiece of a winter trade — and won it, bigtime. (@RonVesely)


1959
In an effort to try to repeat as American League champs, Bill Veeck and Hank Greenberg decided to make a series of moves to bring in hitters at the expense of some of the top young players in the Sox system. Veeck originally tried to get young stars like future White Sox coach Orlando Cepeda from the Giants and Bill White from the Cardinals, but was turned down. So he went in the only direction he felt he could.

The first deal brought the Sox back outfielder Minnie Miñoso at the cost of future All-Star power hitting first baseman Norm Cash and future All-Star power hitting catcher Johnny Romano. Cleveland also got Bubba Phillips. Sox manager Al Lopez was quoted after the controversial deal as saying, “Some of us, like me, are not worried about next year because we might not be around then.”


1984
It was one of the most brilliant and gutsiest deals even completed by GM Roland Hemond, a deal that paid dividends immediately and 20 years down the line. Hemond sent former Cy Young Award winner LaMarr Hoyt to the Padres in a package deal that netted the Sox a 20-year-old shortstop named Ozzie Guillén. The Sox also got valuable utility player Luis Salazar.

Guillén immediately went on to fill a gaping hole in the infield and was named Rookie of the Year. He’d win a Gold Glove and become a three-time All-Star before coming back as manager in 2004. He’d then win the World Series in 2005 and make the playoffs again in 2008. Hoyt would be out of baseball by 1987, after battling weight and drug addiction issues.


2005
Frank Thomas, probably the best hitter in team history, became a free agent after the Sox declined to pick up his $10 million option. White Sox GM Ken Williams had no choice in the matter, as Thomas was coming off back-to-back injury-plagued seasons. At his age and weight, and with the addition of slugger Jim Thome, there was no longer a place for Thomas in the lineup. The Big Hurt would eventually sign an incentive-laden deal with the A’s in late January and continue his Hall of Fame career.


2016
One of the biggest winter meeting trades in memory saw the White Sox send Chris Sale, one of the top pitchers in the game, to the Red Sox for a number of prospects. The deal included the top minor league player in the game, Yoán Moncada.

Sale was brilliant in his six-plus years with the White Sox, winning 74 games with a 3.00 ERA. He made the All-Star team five times, pitching five innings and winning the 2013 contest. He set White Sox records for most strikeouts in a season (274) and had four consecutive years of more than 200 whiffs. After four straight losing seasons, the franchise decided it was time to rebuild and Sale was in demand, so the painful decision was made to trade him and hope for a better future.

 

Today in White Sox History: November 25

Cheeky rookie: Guillén made quite a splash in his 1985 debut. (Fleer) 


1985Ozzie Guillén of the White Sox was named AL Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Guillén, who came to the Sox in a deal involving 1983 Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt, didn’t disappoint. His defense was outstanding, committing only 12 errors the entire season. Offensively, Ozzie recorded 134 hits and had a .273 batting average. He received 16 of 28 first place votes and finished with 101 points. Teddy Higuera of the Brewers was second. Ozzie would return to the Sox after his playing days ended to become the manager, winning the 2005 World Series with the club.


2005 — White Sox GM Ken Williams rolled the dice and traded popular outfielder Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for slugger Jim Thome. The Peoria native would hammer 42 home runs and garner the AL Comeback Player of the Year award in 2006, but many felt the trade changed the chemistry and philosophy of the club that won the World Series in 2005 — to say nothing of the defensive hole it created in center field. Thome would play almost four years with the Sox, with 134 home runs and three seasons of at least 90 RBIs. Thome hit his 500th career home run in 2007 at U.S. Cellular Field.

 

 

Today in White Sox History: September 30

Fond farewell: Scoreboard welcoming fans to the final game at Comiskey Park in 1990.


1921 — White Sox catcher Ray Schalk tied a major league record with three assists in one inning. It happened in a 3-2 loss to Cleveland at Comiskey Park. Schalk picked off three baserunners!


1949 — White Sox GM Frank Lane started the connection between the franchise and Venezuela when he dealt two minor leaguers and $35,000 to the Brooklyn Dodgers for shortstop Alfonso Carrasquel.

“Chico” would be named to three All-Star teams and would become the first Venezuelan to appear in the midseason classic. He’d be traded before the start of the 1956 season, to Cleveland for Larry Doby, which opened up the position for another Venezuelan, Luis Aparicio.


1956 — In the season-ending game at Kansas City, Sox pitcher Jim Derrington became the youngest person to ever appear in a game wearing a White Sox uniform. Derrington was 16 years old when he started against the A’s. He went six innings, allowing six runs (five earned) in a 7-6 loss. The teenaged lefty (who was a “bonus baby”) didn’t last long in the big leagues. He pitched a total of 21 innings in the majors, and had a career record of 0-2.


1966 — The White Sox defeated the New York Yankees 6-5 in 11 innings, on a single to left by Johnny Romano. It scored Wayne Causey. Why was that important? The loss guaranteed the Yankees a last-place finish, for the first time since 1912.


1971 — When Bill Melton smashed a home run on the last day of the season off the Bill Parsons of the Milwaukee Brewers, he became the first White Sox player to ever win a home run championship. Melton hit three home runs in the final two games to pass Norm Cash and Reggie Jackson for the title. Typically for a White Sox slugger, Melton only hit 33, the lowest total for a champ since 1965.

In an effort to give Melton an additional at-bat or two, manager Chuck Tanner had the power hitter leading off in the Sox final two games.


1980 — For all of his contributions to baseball and to the White Sox organization, owner Bill Veeck was honored with his own night. The ceremonies took place before the White Sox would drop a 5-1 decision to Oakland.


1990 — Eighty years of baseball history ended, as the original Comiskey Park closed with a 2-1 White Sox win over the Seattle Mariners. An emotional and capacity crowd, including politicians, musicians, sports and Hollywood figures, were in attendance.

Among the celebrities in the park were Governor Jim Thompson, Major Richard M. Daley, Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Ron Howard, George Wendt, John Candy, Wayne Gretzky, Billy Cunningham and Maureen O’ Hara. The Oak Ridge Boys sang the National Anthem and the rock group Styx sung “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” during the seventh inning. Bobby Thigpen got his 57th save in the game. The Sox would close out a miraculous 1990 season with 94 wins.


1997 — After controversies on and off the field (calling for a relief pitcher with no one warming up, a fistfight with umpire Richie Garcia at a steakhouse, a brawl near third base with Brewers manager Phil Garner) manager Terry Bevington was fired. No flowers were sent and no Sox fan (or player) shed any tears.


2000 — White Sox infielder José Valentin became the fourth player in franchise history to hit home runs from both sides of the plate in the same game. Valentin connected off Kansas City’s Blake Stein and Scott Mullen, driving in three runs in the 9-1 win. This had only happened six times in franchise history, and Valentin did it three times himself! Also, this feat happened three times against the Kansas City Royals.


2008 — For the first time, the White Sox played an extra game to get into the postseason. They hosted the Twins in the 163rd contest of the year (known as the “Blackout Game”) and won 1-0, clinching the Central Division title. John Danks threw eight shutout innings, Jim Thome belted what turned out to be the game-winning home run and Ken Griffey Jr. threw out Michael Cuddyer at home. The Sox won the division with a record of 89-74.


2016 — White Sox left hander Carlos Rodón tied the franchise and American League record by striking out the first seven Minnesota Twins hitters, in a game at U.S. Cellular Field. The original record was set by White Sox hurler Joe Cowley back in 1986 at Texas. Unlike Cowley, though, Rodón actually won his game, 7-3. Rodón struck out 11 on the night, pitching eight innings.

Today in White Sox History: September 16


Sept. 16, 2007 — White Sox slugger Jim Thome joined an exclusive club when he hammered his 500th career home run in the ninth inning of a White Sox 9-7 win over the Angels at U.S. Cellular Field. Thome was playing in his 2,000th career game when he connected off Dustin Moseley for the win.

The Sox trailed 7-1 at one point before coming back. It was the first time that the 500th home run for a player was a walk-off winner. Jim would hit 134 home runs in a White Sox uniform.


Today in White Sox History: September 6

Mr. Incredible strikes again: Thome’s homer in the 15th ended the longest-ever September game between first-place teams.


Sept. 6, 1903 Guy “Doc” White of the White Sox hurled a one-hitter in beating the Cleveland Naps, 1-0, in 10 innings in a game in Chicago. It would be the first of five one-hitters thrown by White between 1903 and 1908.

(White never threw a no-hitter, by the way.)

He also threw one-hitters against the St. Louis Browns in 1904, Philadelphia Athletics and Browns in 1906, and Washington Senators in 1908. In addition to being a great pitcher, White was also a dentist and an evangelist. 


Sept. 6, 1905 — White Sox pitcher Frank Smith tossed a no-hitter at the Detroit Tigers. The Sox won that game easily, 15-0, and also won the second game of the twin bill by shutout. Smith would throw a second no-hitter in 1908, and also had three one-hitters between 1905 and 1910.


Sept. 6, 1971 — Sox pitcher Steve Kealey belted a three-run, eighth-inning home run at Comiskey Park off of the Minnesota Twins’ Ray Corbin. The clout helped the Sox to a 6-3 win. It would be the last time a Sox pitcher homered in a game at Comiskey Park. Kealey also picked up the save in the same game.


Sept. 6, 1981 — It was the beginning of the end for broadcaster Jimmy Piersall in connection with the White Sox. Piersall and Harry Caray appeared on the “The Mike Royko Show” on WLS-TV. Royko asked the duo how they handle baseball wives who disliked the comments they made about their husbands. Caray said, “You know what, Mike? I would love to call all the wives together someday and tell them what their husbands say about them across the ballfield.” Piersall’s answer was more controversial, to say the least: “First of all, they were horny broads that wanted to get married, and they wanted a little money, a little security and a big strong ballplayer. I traveled, I played. I got a load of those broads, too.”


Sept. 6, 1999 — In a doubleheader at Texas, manager Jerry Manuel and star DH Frank Thomas got into an argument after Thomas refused to pinch-hit in the nightcap. Manuel was livid, and sent Thomas back to Chicago. It was discovered after examination by team doctors that Thomas saying he was hurt rang true: They found a bone spur the size of a walnut on the outside of his ankle, which required surgery and ended his season.


Sept. 6, 2008 – The White Sox and Angels battled at U.S. Cellular Field for almost four hours in the middle of a pennant race, and played 15 innings to boot. That’s when Jim Thome blasted a monstrous home run deep into the right-field bleachers to end the game with a 7-6 White Sox win. The contest set the record for the longest game (by innings) ever played in September by two teams both in first place at the time. The home run was Thome’s 30th on the season.