Steal of a deal: Ed Short snagged four cornerstones of the mid-1960s White Sox, including Pete Ward, in a single trade in 1963.
1963 In a move that re-energized the franchise and led directly to back-to-back-to-back 90-or-more-win seasons in 1963, 1964 and 1965. White Sox GM Ed Short traded shortstop Luis Aparicio and outfielder Al Smith to the Baltimore Orioles for third baseman Pete Ward, outfielder Dave Nicholson, shortstop Ron Hansen and relief pitcher Hoyt Wilhelm.
Ward would be named co-Rookie of the Year (with teammate Gary Peters) and would supply power for the next few seasons. Nicholson, who struck out far too much, would have 22 home runs and 70 RBIs in 1963. Hansen would be one of the best defensive shortstops in the league and hit as many as 20 home runs in a season, at a time when shortstops simply didn’t do that. Wilhelm became the top relief pitcher of the 1960’s; in his six years with the Sox he’d win 41 games and save 98 others while producing some astonishingly low ERAs considering he threw the knuckleball.
2001 The White Sox acquired pitcher David Wells from Toronto, basically for pitcher Mike Sirotka. Over the coming weeks and months, Sirotka and the Blue Jays claimed the Sox knew that Sirotka had a bad arm and couldn’t pitch. Sox GM Ken Williams defended himself by saying that he told the Jays he thought Sirotka might be hurt and offered pitcher Jim Parque instead. Commissioner Bud Selig ruled in late March that the trade would stand. The whole episode became known as “Shouldergate.”
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.
The Go-Go White Sox really got up and went once Aparicio’s contract was purchased from Memphis. (Topps)
1955 — It was the start of a new era at shortstop for the White Sox. On this date the team purchased the contract of young infielder, Luis Aparicio from Memphis. Aparicio would begin his Hall of Fame career the following season, as the Rookie of the Year in the American League.
1961 — After 13 years on the South Side, with 186 wins and seven All-Star selections, pitcher Billy Pierce was traded to the San Francisco Giants by GM. Ed Short. Pierce and Don Larsen were sent west in exchange for knuckleballing relief pitcher Eddie Fisher, pitcher Dom Zanni, outfielder Bob Farley and a player to be named later. The trade would revitalize Pierce’s career and lead him to tossing a three-hit, complete-game win in Game 6 of the 1962 World Series against the Yankees.
Fisher would become one of the top relief pitchers in baseball and would team with Hoyt Wilhelm to give the Sox great depth in that area. He’d make the All-Star team in 1965 and win the Relief Pitcher of the Year award. In an unrelated note, Fisher did a spot-on imitation of Donald Duck!
1970 – New White Sox player personnel director Roland Hemond continued to rebuild a battered franchise. At the Winter Meetings he shipped Gold Glove-winning outfielder Ken Berry, infielder Syd O’Brien and pitcher Billy Wynne to the Angels for pitcher Tom Bradley, catcher Tom Egan and outfielder Jay Johnstone.
The deal would be a steal just based on what Bradley did, winning 15 games with a sub 3.00 ERA in both 1971 and 1972. Egan provided great backup help to Ed Herrmann and Johnstone was a quality outfielder and clubhouse comic.
Bronx brawler: Buzhardt earned just 6.1 bWAR over six South Side seasons, but his Yankee-killing made him worth the price of admission. (Topps)
1961 — The White Sox sent slugging infielder Roy Sievers to the Phillies for two players, including pitcher Johnny Buzhardt. Buzhardt would become part of the stellar Sox starting rotation in the mid-60s. He was particularly good against the Yankees, going 7-0 against them between 1962 and 1967.
1963 – He had a spectacular 1963 season, and because of it Gary Peters was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. The star left-handed pitcher went 19-8 with a 2.33 ERA and had 189 strikeouts in 243 innings pitched. He won 11 straight games at one point. He also hit .259, with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Peters would go on to win 20 games in 1964, lead the league in ERA in 1966 and make the All-Star team twice. He got 10 of 20 first place votes in beating out his teammate, power-hitting third baseman Pete Ward.
Ward, who would be named American League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, hit .295 with 22 home runs, 84 RBIs and had 177 hits that season. Ward got six first place votes among the baseball writers while Jimmy Hall of the Twins got the final four votes.
1967 — The White Sox reacquired shortstop Luis Aparicio from the Orioles as part of a six-player deal. Aparicio would have his best offensive seasons in the next few years, but speedy Don Buford was part of the return bounty for the Orioles. Buford would go on to have his best seasons with Baltimore, and was a key part of their dynasty in the late 1960s/early 1970s.
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. Foxhit .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.
Nelliegot 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.
Blum of a blast: The longest game in World Series history ended soon after a midseason pickup made his mark. (YouTube)
1955 — Sox co-GMs Chuck Comiskey and John Rigney made their first trade: Shortstop Chico Carrasquel and center fielder Jim Busby went to Cleveland for slugging centerfielder Larry Doby, the left-handed power hitter the Sox had been lacking the previous three years. The deal also made room in the starting lineup for a rookie shortstop from Venezuela named Luis Aparicio.
1983 — Thanks to the most wins in the majors and a second-half run among the best ever, pitcher LaMarr Hoyt won the Cy Young Award. Hoyt was 9-8 at the All-Star break, then exploded to go 15-2 in the back half to end the year with a record of 24-10 and an ERA of 3.66. In addition, Hoyt pitched almost 261 innings with only 31 walks. He then threw a brilliant, complete game, 2-1 win over the Orioles in the ALCS in Baltimore.
Hoytbecame the second White Sox pitcher to ever win the award, following Early Wynn. He easily outdistanced Kansas City’s Dan Quisenberry, 116-81, in voting points. Hoyt won 52 games for the White Sox between 1981 and 1983.
2005 — Game 3 of the World Series set the record for the longest by duration in history. The 14-inning game in Houston lasted five hours, 41 minutes and ended when another White Sox role player, Geoff Blum, belted a home run to give the club a 6-5 lead. It would end 7-5, with Game 2 starter Mark Buehrle picking up the save.