This Day in White Sox History: Owners don't let DeBartolo buy the Sox

This Day in White Sox History: Owners don't let DeBartolo buy the Sox
Would-be owner Edward DeBartolo

December 11, 1973 - It was one of the worst deals ever made by GM Roland Hemond. The Sox acquired Cubs star Ron Santo after Santo refused a deal to the Angels. Santo, who may have been able to be picked up on waivers, was acquired for three players, including pitcher Steve Stone.

Santo did very little in his one season with the White Sox and was considered a clubhouse cancer often getting into disagreements with Dick Allen. His highlight was probably the inside the park home run he hit on June 9, 1974 against Boston’s Bill Lee at Comiskey Park.  Santo was also one of the few players who disliked playing under manager Chuck Tanner.

December 11, 1975 –Sox GM Roland Hemond sent third baseman Bill Melton, a former A.L. home run champ, and pitcher Steve Dunning to California for first baseman Jim Spencer and outfielder Morris NettlesMelton had a bad back and had worn out his welcome with the team, getting into a shouting match in a Milwaukee hotel lobby with broadcaster Harry Caray.

Spencer meanwhile would win a Gold Glove for his defensive prowess saving many errors. He also had 18 home runs and 69 RBIs for the “South Side Hit Men”, twice driving in eight runs in a game in 1977.

December 11, 1980 - Edward DeBartolo was voted down by other American League owners in his attempt to buy the White Sox from Bill Veeck. DeBartolo, the man who invented the modern shopping mall in Boardman, Ohio may have had connections with organized crime. He also owned horse racing tracks and wasn’t from the Chicago area. All were ‘red flags’ for the other owners.

In an effort to appease then Commissioner Bowie Kuhn, DeBartolo agreed to move to Chicago at least 20% of the time to have a direct idea of what was going on with the franchise. His compromises fell on deaf ears as he only received three yes votes. The way was then opened for the group headed by Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn to get the franchise.

December 11, 1981 - Another fine deal pulled off by GM Roland Hemond. He sent shortstop Todd Cruz and outfielder Rod Allen to the Mariners for Tom Paciorek. Tom made the All-Star team with the M’s in 1981 and would lead the Sox in hitting in 1983. He was also one of the craziest guys to ever do commercials for the club. After he retired, he worked in the broadcasting booth from 1988 through 1999.

December 11, 1996 - After losing star pitcher Alex Fernandez to free agency and claiming that starting pitcher Kevin Tapani was faking an injury to his pitching hand (an injury that would force Tapani to miss the first half of the 1997 season with the Cubs), Sox G.M. Ron Schueler signed pitcher Jaime Navarro to a four year, 20 million dollar deal. Navarro was a complete bust. His three year record with the Sox was 25-43.

Making matters worse was Schueler’s refusal to talk with the agents for Roger Clemens after he had expressed an interest in joining the team. Schueler offered this comment on the matter, "Roger Clemens is over the hill."During that same three year period, Clemens would win two Cy Young awards and 55 games.

Navarro eventually did do something positive for the franchise…he was part of a deal that brought Jose Valentin and Cal Eldred to the Sox in January 2000.

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