The first free agent signing in franchise history became one of a bevy of bargain-basement deals that turned out well for the White Sox in 1977.
Steve Stone inked a deal for his second go-around with the team. Coming off of injury and the ideal target for the Bill Veeck-Roland Hemond “Rent-a-Player” scheme, Stone was paid $55,000 for a terrific comeback year. He won 15 games to pace a staff that won a surprising 90 games in 1977. His 2.4 WAR tied for third among pitchers and eighth overall on the team.
Stone felt so indebted to Veeck for taking a chance on him that he eschewed better offers after the season and returned to the White Sox for 1978, doubling his pay to $110,000. That season didn’t work out as well for Stone (1.3 WAR) or the White Sox, and the righty bolted for Baltimore in 1979, winning a Cy Young with the Orioles in 1980.
In 2008, Stone returned to the organization as a broadcaster, and he continues doing White Sox games to this day.