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Today in White Sox History: January 20

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You’d be hard-pressed to find a day sporting two better transactions than this one

Chicago White Sox On this day 37 years ago, the White Sox picked up a Hall-of-Famer ... for free.


Another big deal was pulled off by White Sox GM Ed Short to keep the franchise’s streak of winning seasons going. Chicago was part of a three-team trade with Cleveland and the Athletics. When all was said and done, the Sox parted with outfielders Jim Landis and Mike Hershberger, pitcher Fred Talbot and catcher Cam Carreon.

In return, they got back power-hitting catcher Johnny Romano, pitcher Tommy John and outfielder Tommie Agee.

Agee would be named Rookie of the Year in 1966, becoming the first Sox player ever with 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season.

John would be part of Chicago’s brilliant starting rotation, making the All-Star team for the first time in 1968. He’d win 82 games in seven years, three times posting an ERA of less than three. His trade to the Dodgers at the winter meetings in 1971 netted the Sox Dick Allen.

Romano wasn’t a slouch, either, in his second stint with the club, banging out 33 home runs in two seasons before being traded.


Once again White Sox GM Roland Hemond used the free agent compensation rule to his advantage, plucking future Hall-of-Famer Tom Seaver from the Mets. In his two full years in Chicago Seaver would win 31 games, including his 300th overall on Aug. 4, 1985 against the Yankees. In both full seasons he’d also throw more than 236 innings, averaging 132 strikeouts and having an ERA both times of less than four. In 1985, Seaver’s ERA was 3.17.

Tom had to be convinced to join the Sox. It took co-owners Eddie Einhorn and Jerry Reinsdorf going to his hotel room at the Winter Meetings after they selected him to talk with him face-to-face before he agreed. But before Seaver let the pair in, he asked to see their ID’s — he had never met them before!