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.
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.
Triple threat: Agee had a magnificent rookie campaign at bat, on the basepaths and in the field. (Topps)
1966 — After having a marvelous 1966 season, White Sox outfielder Tommie Agee was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Agee had a unique blend of power and speed, becoming the first player in franchise history with at least 20 home runs and at least 20 steals in the same season.
In 1966, Agee hit .273 with 173 hits, 27 doubles, eight triples, 22 home runs, 86 RBIs and 44 stolen bases. He also won a Gold Glove. Agee got 16 first-place votes out of 20. Jim Nash of the Kansas City A’s was second in the voting, while George “Boomer” Scott and Deron Johnson tied for third place. Johnson would play for the White Sox in 1975.
1976 — The first free-agent signing in franchise history turned out to be a bargain-basement success for the White Sox. Pitcher Steve Stone inked a deal for his second go-around with the team (Stone signed four years and five days after first becoming a member of the White Sox, via trade in 1972). In 1977, Steve would win 15 games, pacing a staff that won a surprising 90 games. In 2009, Stone again returned to the organization, this time as a television broadcaster.
Bunyanesque: Kittle’s blasts were the stuff of legend. (Fleer)
1983 – The Baseball Writers Association of America announced that White Sox outfielder Ron Kittle was the winner of the AL Rookie of the Year award. The strongman from Gary, Indiana blasted 35 home runs and drove in 100 RBIs, helping the Sox to 99 wins and the Western Division title. He received 15 of 28 first-place votes. Julio Franco of the Indians, who in 1994 would join the Sox, was second, with Mike Boddicker of the Orioles third in the voting.
Kittle would hit seven rooftop home runs in his career with the Sox, the most by any player at the original Comiskey Park.
1948 — New White Sox GM Frank Lane made his first deal, and it was a beauty. Lane traded backup catcher Aaron Robinson to the Detroit Tigers for a young, left-handed pitcher named Billy Pierce. Pierce would become arguably the finest lefthander in White Sox history: He won 186 games in a Sox uniform with two 20-win seasons, seven All-Star selections and four one-hitters. He led the AL at various times in wins, complete games, ERA and strikeouts. He also was the first Chicago athlete to be put on the cover of Sports Illustrated (May 1957).
1993 — Frank Thomas won his first MVP award, on the strength of a .317 batting average with 41 home runs and 128 RBIs. The Big Hurt was a large reason the Sox would win the Western Division championship. In a rarity, Thomas won his MVP by a unanimous vote of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Paul Molitor was a distant second. Thomas would repeat winning the award in 1994.
2014 — White Sox slugger José Abreu was named the unanimous winner by the Baseball Writers Association of America as the AL Rookie of the Year. He got all 30 votes on the basis of a spectacular first season in the major leagues, marked by a .317 average with 36 home runs and 107 RBIs. He led the major leagues in slugging percentage as well. Pitcher Matt Shoemaker of the Angels was second.