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New York Yankees pitcher Jack McDowell gives the finger to t
This might not have been how Jack McDowell felt having been dumped from the White Sox to New York on this day, 27 years ago — but it’s sure how South Side fans were feeling toward team management.
Gerald Herbert/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images

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Today in White Sox History: December 14

Hello, Brat. Goodbye, Black Jack.

1965

In an unexpected move the White Sox named “The Brat” (Eddie Stanky) as the team’s new manager, replacing the retired Al Lopez. Stanky was an intense, obsessed man — the 60’s managerial version of Billy Martin or Earl Weaver.

Stanky knew baseball and was a genius with tactical decisions, but he was also extremely unpopular with many of his players. He imposed a curfew, dress code and a rigorous calisthenics program on the team. He would fine players (or bench them) every time they weren’t able to lay down a bunt, hit a sacrifice fly or advance runners into scoring position. He offered a new suit of clothes for any pitcher who threw a complete game with at least a certain number of ground ball outs. For stolen bases or advancing into scoring position, a player would get a new pair of dress shoes.

He’d have winning seasons in 1966 and 1967, nearly taking the pennant, but by early 1968 his act had grown old and he was fired … replaced by ... Al Lopez!


1994

The White Sox traded former Cy Young winner Jack McDowell to the Yankees for minor-leaguer Keith Heberling and a player to be named later (the next April, New York sent outfielder Lyle Mouton as the PTBNL).

McDowell was the most successful pitcher in the American League between 1990 and 1994, winning a total of 73 games. He won 20 or more games twice in that span, making the All-Star team three times.

The move, which left the Sox pitching staff without its leader, proved very costly during the 1996 wild card collapse, and was done purely for financial reasons related to the labor situation that cost the team the last two months of the 1994 season.

While McDowell would be out of baseball by the turn of the century, he was still at his peak and put up 4.0 WAR for the Yankees in 1995.

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