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More than 30 years after one of his best trades, bringing future All-Star Chet Lemon to the South Side, Roland Hemond and “Juice” presided over the 2007 White Sox draft in Florida.
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Roland Hemond’s Best White Sox Trades

With more than 100 on his docket and many of them big wins for the South Side, here’s a take on his biggest moves.

(in chronological order ...)

Nov. 30, 1971

White Sox send Ken Berry, Syd O’Brien and Billy Wynne to California for catcher Tom Egan, starting pitcher Tom Bradley and outfielder Jay Johnstone.
Bradley won 15 games with a sub-3.00 ERA in both 1971 and 1972. Egan served as a very good backup to Ed Herrmann and Johnstone added speed, pinch-hitting abilities and a crazy character to keep the clubhouse relaxed.

Dec. 2, 1971

White Sox send Tommy John and Steve Huntz to Los Angeles for first baseman Dick Allen. This trade saved the White Sox franchise. Allen won the MVP in 1972, leading the Sox to a near-division championship. His ability to hit for power and average was unmatched on the South Side for years. Named to three All-Star teams in Chicago.

Dec. 2, 1972

White Sox send Rich McKinney to the Yankees for starting pitcher Stan Bahnsen.
Bahnsen would win 54 games in three-and-a-half seasons in Chicago, including 21 in 1972.

Nov. 19, 1972

White Sox send Tom Bradley to San Francisco for outfielder Ken Henderson and pitcher Steve Stone.
Henderson was a Gold Glove-winning, power-hitting center fielder, while Stone added depth to the pitching staff. Bradley never regained the form that he showed with the Sox and was out of baseball by 1975.

Aug. 14, 1973

White Sox acquire starting pitcher Jim Kaat on waivers from Minnesota.
Kaat was a two-time 20-game winner for the Sox, in 1974 and 1975 and made the All-Star team in 1975. Won 45 games in two-and-a-quarter years in Chicago.

June 15, 1975

White Sox send pitchers Stan Bahnsen and Skip Pitlock to Oakland for outfielder Chet Lemon and pitcher Dave Hamilton.
Lemon would turn into one of the top center fielders in baseball with the Sox, making the All-Star team twice. Hamilton was a steady reliever on the 1977 White Sox team, with four wins and nine saves.

Dec, 11, 1975

White Sox send third baseman Bill Melton and pitcher Steve Dunning to California for first baseman Jim Spencer and outfielder Morris Nettles.
Melton had a bad back, and had worn out his welcome with the team after getting into a shouting match in a Milwaukee hotel lobby with broadcaster Harry Caray. Spencer, meanwhile, won a Gold Glove for his defensive prowess in 1977. He also had 18 home runs and 69 RBIs for the South Side Hit Men, twice driving in eight runs in a game.

April 4, 1977

White Sox send shortstop Bucky Dent to the Yankees for outfielder Oscar Gamble, pitchers LaMarr Hoyt and Bob Polinsky, and cash.
The deal was made because the Sox could not afford to re-sign Dent after the season. Gamble blasted a then-lefty record 31 home runs for the South Side Hit Men. Hoyt would become a very good starting pitcher, winning the Cy Young after going 24-10 in 1983.

July 10, 1979

White Sox send pitcher Jack Kucek to the Phillies for infielder Jim Morrison.
When the Sox were being rebuilt in the early 80’s, Morrison provided stability and power at either second or third base. Had three seasons of double-figure home run totals.

Dec. 12, 1980

White Sox send pitcher Richard Wortham to Montreal for second baseman Tony Bernazard.
Bernazard was a switch-hitter with speed and the ability to hit to all fields. He was a good second baseman in his two-and-a-half years with the Sox. Hemond then sent Bernazard to Seattle for Julio Cruz in a move that crystalized the 1983 team.

Jan. 25, 1983

White Sox send pitchers Steve Trout and Warren Brusstar to the Cubs for infielders Scott Fletcher and Pat Tabler, along with pitchers Dick Tidrow and Randy Martz.
Perhaps Hemond’s greatest deal. Roland used the free agent compensation rules that were in use at the time to inquire about getting Cubs future Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins (whom they left unprotected). Cubs GM Dallas Green got word of it and quickly made this deal, panicked over the possibility of losing a franchise icon to his crosstown rival. The key for the Cubs was the promise by Hemond that the Sox would not take Jenkins. Fletcher and Tidrow were important parts of the 1983 team. Tabler was then traded to Cleveland for Jerry Dybzinski, adding another part to the club.

Jan. 20, 1984

White Sox select starting pitcher Tom Seaver from the free agent compensation pool.
The future Hall-of-Famer would win 32 games in two years with the Sox, including his 300th, beating the Yankees, 4-1, on Aug. 4, 1985.

Dec. 6, 1984

White Sox send pitcher LaMarr Hoyt and two minor leaguers to San Diego for pitchers Tim Lollar and Bill Long along with infielder/outfielder Luis Salazar and shortstop Ozzie Guillén.
Hoyt would see his career quickly end after the 1985 season due to substance abuse. Lollar and Salazar helped the 1985 team to a winning record, but Guillén would become the Rookie of the Year in 1985 and win a Gold Glove in 1990, along with becoming a two-time All-Star.

Roland Hemond’s Best Deal That Never Happened

As part of the major rebuilding effort after the disaster of 1970, Hemond had worked out a trade with the Washington Senators that would have sent left-handed relief specialist Darold Knowles to the White Sox for relief pitcher Wilbur Wood. However, Wood was holding out and never signed a 1971 contract. Therefore, the Sox couldn’t deal him until he did. By the time Wood signed, the Senators were no longer interested.

It turned out to be a major blessing for the Sox. Wood would blossom into one of the top starting pitchers of the decade, winning 20 or more games four times and being named to the All-Star team three times. He would be named a member of the Sox Team of the Century in 1999.

Sometimes the best deals are the ones you don’t make!

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