Today in White Sox History: January 10

High hopes: It worked out for most of these guys on the South Side … except Sax, (exit stage) far right.


1992
It was one of the worst deals of White Sox GM Ron Schueler‘s career, as he traded pitcher Melido Perez and two minor leaguers to the Yankees for Steve Sax. Schueler envisioned a devastating 1-2 punch at the top of the order in Tim Raines and Sax, followed by Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura. It never happened, as Sax suddenly forget how to hit and was gone from the team by late April 1994. Making matters worse is that one of the minor league pitchers dealt was Bob Wickman, who’d go on to become a top relief pitcher and All-Star.

Sax did have one moment of glory, as on May 5, 1993 in Milwaukee he made an incredible catch in left field on a ball hit by Billy Doran with the lead run on base. It happened in the eighth inning. Sax broke back and to his left on the drive and caught the ball with his right arm extended. The angle and momentum caused him to tumble over and he lost the ball out of his glove on the way down. Just before hitting the ground, however, Sax snagged the ball with his bare left hand, holding it up to the umpire after he hit the grass. That saved a run, and the Sox won the game, 3-1, on a Ventura home run in the top of the ninth inning.


2002
After one injury-plagued, controversial season with the Sox, pitcher David Wells signed a contract with the Yankees. Wells won only five games in 2001 on the South Side. Naturally, he then turned around and won 61 games over the next four years with New York, San Diego and Boston.

 

Today in White Sox History: December 23

EIC fave: Memories of losing Chet Lemon were softened when Tim Raines came to the White Sox, making one particular fan rather ecstatic. (Baseball Digest)


1990
White Sox fans got an early Christmas gift as new GM Ron Schueler made one of his best deals, sending outfielder Ivan Calderon and pitcher Barry Jones to Montreal for All-Star left fielder and stolen base threat Tim Raines and pitcher Jeff Carter. Montreal first insisted on Melido Perez in the deal, but were talked down after Schueler made a trade for Cory Snyder, lessening Chicago’s outfield needs.

Raines would provide speed at the top of the order, swiping 143 bases in his five years with the Sox. He hit .444 in the 1993 ALCS against Toronto.

Today in White Sox History: December 10

Doubling back: After his brother purchased the club from Bill Veeck in 1961, John Allyn returns the “keys to the White Sox.”


1963
One of the last players from the “Go-Go” Sox era, second baseman Nellie Fox, was traded to the Houston Colt 45s for pitchers Jim Golden and Danny Murphy. Fox, who’d eventually be elected to the Hall of Fame, played for 14 years on the South Side, being named to 12 All-Star teams. He was AL MVP in 1959 and won three Gold Gloves. Fox was dealt because young infielder Don Buford had hit .336 at Indianapolis and was ready to take over.


1975
After first being turned down, American League owners voted to allow Bill Veeck to buy the White Sox from John Allyn. The agreement kept the team in Chicago and ended speculation that the Sox were bound for Seattle, with Charlie Finley’s A’s headed for the South Side. Major League baseball wanted the Sox to move to the Pacific Northwest in order to end lawsuits filed after the Pilots were moved to Milwaukee before the start of the 1970 season.

It was the second time Veeck owned the club, the first time being from 1959 through July 1961.


1976
Bill Veeck came up with a unique way to try to bolster his cash-strapped franchise: A Rent-a-Player approach, attempting to acquire as many players as possible who were about to become free agents. He figured that because those players were playing for new, big money deals, they’d play hard every night.

With that as the backdrop, he traded relief pitchers Rich Gossage and Terry Forster, both former American League Fireman of the Year winners, to the Pirates for slugger Richie Zisk and pitcher Silvio Martinez.

Zisk, in his one season on the South Side, would belt 30 home runs and knock in 101 as the undisputed leader of the South Side Hit Men who shocked baseball by winning 90 games in 1977. Among Zisk’s home runs that season were a blast into the original center field bleachers at Comiskey Park (under the exploding scoreboard) and one over the roof and out of the park in left-center.


1987
GM Larry Himes sent pitcher Floyd Bannister and infielder Dave Cochrane to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for four players, including pitchers Greg Hibbard and Melido Perez. Both would help stabilize the starting rotation in the early 1990s.