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Today in White Sox History: March 18

A pair of free agent steals — two decades apart — pushed the Pale Hose into the first division

Boston Red Sox Carlton Fisk...
Carlton Fisk waves his hat during pregame introductions before a game with the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park, April 10, 1981.
Frank O’Brien/The Boston Globe via Getty Images


The White Sox purchased the contract of veteran pitcher Don Mossi from the Tigers for $20,000. Mossi would have a spectacular season for the club that lost the pennant by one game, going 3-1 with seven saves. He had an ERA of 2.92. He’d team up with Hoyt Wilhelm and Eddie Fisher to give the club the best bullpen in the league.


Carlton Fisk signed a free agent deal with the White Sox, beginning the process of turning a laughable organization into a real, legitimate major league franchise. The All-Star catcher and future Hall-of-Famer got his free agency after the Red Sox did not tender him a contract by the required date. Immediately, White Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and GM Roland Hemond jumped at the chance to get a player of Fisk’s caliber on to the team.

Fisk would play 13 years on the South Side, make four All-Star teams as a member of the White Sox, and have his No. 72 retired in 1997. When he retired, he also held the team record for most home runs in a White Sox uniform, as well as most home runs in MLB history hit by a catcher. His two best seasons were in 1983 (when he rebounded from a very slow start to hit .289 with 26 home runs and 89 RBIs for the Western Division champions, finishing third in the MVP voting) and 1985, his career season (Fisk hit only .238, but blasted 37 home runs with 107 RBIs).