This Day in White Sox History: Nellie traded away

This Day in White Sox History: Nellie traded away
White Sox Hall of Famer Nellie Fox (Roderick McNealy / Pintrest)

December 10, 1963 - One of the last players from the “Go-Go” Sox era, second baseman Nellie Fox was traded to the Houston Colt 45's 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 the 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.

December 10, 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.

I asked Bill's son, Mike Veeck why his dad was interested in taking over the team again that was in a bad situation.

“Mayor Daley called in December 1975 and offered considerable support. My dad always had the philosophy of ‘you can’t go home again’, and he wasn’t comfortable in the ‘savior’s role,’ but he loved Chicago. He was a Midwesterner by birth and had a Midwesterner’s pride. He understood and had a lot of respect for Chicago. He knew it was a working town and it was the town of ‘everyman.’  He also loved the idea of the Sox being the ‘underdog.’ He never made any apologies for the fact that there were two baseball teams in Chicago so he stepped up when he was needed.” 

December 10, 1976 – Owner Bill Veeck came up with a unique way to try to bolster his franchise. Veeckdecided to try the 'rent a player' approach, which was to acquire as many players as possible who were about to become free agents. He figured since those players were playing for new, big money deals they’d play hard every night.

With that as the backdrop, he traded relief pitchers RichGoose” 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 RBI’s 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 down the left field line.

December 10, 1987 - Sox GM Larry Himes sent pitcher Floyd Bannister and infielder Dave Cochrane to the Kansas City Royals in exchange for four players, two of whom were pitchers Greg Hibbard and Melido Perez.They both would help stabilize the starting rotation in the early 1990's.

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