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Today in White Sox History: March 30

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Sammy Sosa says sayonara to the South Side

Sammy Sosa Struggling to Regain His Balance

1971

Another good deal pulled off by the White Sox and GM Roland Hemond sent catcher Duane Josephson and pitcher Danny Murphy to the Red Sox for relief pitcher Vicente Romo and first baseman Tony Muser.

Muser was one of the best defensive first baseman in baseball, and was tremendous as a late-inning replacement for Dick Allen. He was an earlier version of Mike Squires, if you will. Romo helped stabilize a young White Sox bullpen, with an ERA of 3.33 and six saves in two years with the team, primarily spent as a middle relief man.


1981

Shortly before the start of the regular season, the White Sox purchased the contract of native Chicagoan slugger Greg Luzinski from the Phillies. The strongman would become a two-time American League Designated Hitter of the Year and provide solid power for the middle of the batting order.

In his three-and-a-half seasons he pounded out 84 home runs and drove in 317 runs. “Bull” would also become the first man to hit three rooftop home runs in a single season at the original Comiskey Park (1983). The blasts came against the Twins, Yankees and Red Sox.


1982

Needing outfield help, White Sox GM Roland Hemond sent two prospects to the Dodgers for the speedy Rudy Law. Law would smash the team’s stolen base record in 1983, swiping 77 bases. His career on the South Side wasn’t long, but it was memorable, as he supplied speed and defense to the 1983 Western Division champions. In his four years with the Sox, Rudy stole 171 bases.


1992

Seeking another power bat to hit behind Frank Thomas and Robin Ventura and not being able to close a deal with free agent Mark McGwire, White Sox GM Ron Schueler dealt outfielder Sammy Sosa and pitcher Ken Patterson to the Cubs for outfielder/DH George Bell. Bell would have 112 RBIs in 1992 and have a solid 1993, but outbursts during the 1993 ALCS over playing time sealed his fate, and he soon was gone from the organization.

Part of the reason Sosa was traded was because he had issues with White Sox hitting coach Walt Hriniak, who wanted him to hit to all fields and stop trying to just hit home runs. Hriniak wanted the 1990 version of Sosa, who was the only player in baseball with double figures in doubles, triples, home runs, stolen bases and outfield assists … and he drove in 70 runs to boot!

Sosa would become the face of the Cubs and challenge all-time home run marks in the late 1990s. However, in the wake of the steroid scandal and his potential involvement with it, he left baseball with a cloud over him. His future Hall of Fame chances remain in real jeopardy.