December 17, 1914 - Clarence “Pants” Rowland was named White Sox manager. He would guide the club to a 100 win season and the World Series title in 1917.
December 17, 1975 - Under new owner Bill Veeck, the Sox went retro with the naming of former manager Paul Richards to become the new field manager replacing Chuck Tanner. Richards was the man who turned around the franchise in 1951. He was one of the smartest baseball men in the game, but it had been 14 years since he was involved in the day to day operations of a franchise. Apparently he didn’t even really want the job, agreeing to do it only as a favor to Veeck. He would last one season.
Years later Tanner would tell me that Richards asked him to stay on as his third base coach with the promise of getting the manager’s job again in 1977.
“They wanted me to stay. I got a call from Paul Richards and he said ‘you’re a better manager than I’ll ever be, the only reason I’m doing this is because Bill is into the nostalgia thing, I’d like you to stay and be my third base coach, it’ll only be for a year. I’ll get you more money. You can coach, you can be a vice president of the club if you want to.”
“I went to a meeting at Comiskey Park to talk about this. Bill said ‘I’m not letting him go.’ It was interesting but I said, ‘I don’t know.’ I just didn’t think it was right for me. Then I heard from Charlie Finley. His people said that Charlie said ‘If they don’t hire him, I want to meet with him.” That’s what happened and Charlie gave me a three year contract.”
December 17, 2004 - The Sox claimed pitcher Bobby Jenks on waivers from the Angels. Jenks had a reputation as a reckless individual who wanted to party more then play baseball. Somehow the Sox found a way to reach him and he proved a God-send down the stretch in 2005, then followed it up with 41 saves in 2006 and turned into one of the top closers in the game by 2008.