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Today in White Sox History: December 1

Two franchise legends leave

Robin Ventura, center, had the GWRBI in his first game back in 1997 after a horrifying spring injury. One week after this win, the White Sox front office gave up on the season, with the White Flag trade. Ventura was, to say it straight, pissed.


It was the first of many awards won in his Hall of Fame career. Luis Aparicio became the first Venezuelan ever to win Rookie of the Year when he was named to that honor by the Baseball Writers Association of America. Aparicio led the AL in steals with 21 and played a stellar defensive game, leading the league in putouts and assists as well as in games and innings played. Aparicio picked up 22 of the 24 possible votes. He beat out Cleveland’s Rocky Colavito (who would join the Sox in 1967) and Baltimore’s Tito Francona (who also would be a member of the White Sox, for part of the 1958 campaign).


The White Sox traded pitcher Frank Baumann to the Cubs for catcher Jimmie Schaffer. It was just the second time the two Chicago clubs ever made a direct trade with each other.


For the second and final time, the White Sox traded Luis Aparicio. The future Hall of Fame shortstop was sent to the Red Sox for infielders Luis Alvarado and Mike Andrews. Those players helped the Sox in the early 1970s, but this is one Roland Hemond trade that some have second-guessed. In 1972, if the Sox had Aparicio to provide some stability to the infield, they may have taken the Western Division title. Lee “Bee-Bee” Richards, Alvarado and Rich Morales simply weren’t the answer at shortstop that season.


Popular and proficient third baseman Robin Ventura left the White Sox, signing a free agent contract with the Mets. Ventura, who was an outspoken critic of the “White Flag” trade — and after all, he was the player who worked hardest to get back in playing shape after a horrifying injury in 1997’s spring training, only to have management give up on that season.

The vastly-underrated Ventura won five Gold Gloves in his time on the South Side, in addition to hitting 171 home runs. He had six seasons with at least 90 RBIs and hit .280 or better for five seasons.

He’d return in 2012 to become manager, lasting five seasons.