This Day in White Sox History: Frank leaves the South Side

This Day in White Sox History: Frank leaves the South Side
On September 15, 1996, Frank Thomas hit his 215th homer as a member of the Chicago White Sox, setting a team record. Thomas secured is place as the team's greatest hitter of all time and remained with the team until 2005. (Chicago White Sox)

December 6, 1959 - In an effort to try to repeat as American League champs Sox owner Bill Veeck and vice president 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 tired to get young stars like 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 Minoso from Cleveland 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.” The deal, and the others that followed, caused the veterans on the team to really wonder what was going on, like outfielder Jim Landis when I interviewed him.  "We sure asked ‘what the hell is going on?.’ We knew how good those kids were because we saw them in the spring. Every single one of the guys we traded wound up making the All Star team in the next few years. We figured that we won the pennant without power in 1959 and we had to be better because these kids were going to get better. I don’t know why they (management) thought we had to go out and get more power."

December 6, 1984 - It was one of the most brilliant and gutsiest deals even completed by Roland Hemond. It was 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 Guillen. The Sox also got valuable utility player Luis SalazarGuillen immediately went on to fill a gaping hole in the infield and was named Rookie of the Year in the American League for 1985. He’d win a Gold Glove and became 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.

December 6, 2005 - Frank Thomas, probably the best hitter in team history became a free agent after the Sox declined to pick up his ten million dollar option. Sox GM Kenny 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 him in the lineup. Thomas would eventually sign an incentive laden deal with the A’s in late January. The move also caused both men to make public comments that did not reflect well on either them or the Sox organization.

Want to know right away when we publish a new article? Type your email address in the box and click the "create subscription" button. Our list is completely spam free, and you can opt out at any time.

Leave a comment

  • Advertisement:
  • Advertisement:
  • ChicagoNow is full of win

    Welcome to ChicagoNow.

    Meet our bloggers,
    post comments, or
    pitch your blog idea.

  • Recent posts

  • Tags

  • Latest on ChicagoNow

  • Advertisement: