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Today in White Sox History: December 20

Not a devastating trade, but a whoopsie for sure

Chicago White Sox Photo Day
The trade of Chris Young, on this day 17 years ago, almost immediately haunted the White Sox.
Ron Vesely/MLB via Getty Images


Catcher Luke Sewell was sold to the Brooklyn Dodgers. Twice finishing in the Top 12 in MVP voting while with Cleveland, Sewell never really panned as a veteran backstop on the South Side, tallying -0.2 WAR over his four seasons. His reputation preceded him, however; in 1935, despite a 0.0 WAR season, .694 OPS, league-high nine passed balls and a CS rate 7% worse than league average, Sewell finished 15th in AL MVP balloting.

The catcher would never play for Brooklyn released in the spring and seeing his MLB career effectively end.


Bill Veeck got a court ruling in his favor, which allowed him to assume majority control of the White Sox. Members of the squabbling Comiskey family had gone to court in an effort to stop the sale of the franchise. There would be more court rulings before the sale was made final in March 1959.


While the Jim Thome-Aaron Rowand trade after the World Series win gets a lot of a attention, this later, worse swap seems to escape scrutiny. The White Sox fortified its prodigious rotation with Javier Vázquez and $4 million from the Diamondbacks, shipping Arizona back pitcher Orlando Hernández, reliever Luis Vizcaino and minor league outfielder Chris Young.

It was the latter name that would haunt the White Sox, as Young finished fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2007, crushing 32 home runs. In 2010 and 2011, while the White Sox were dumping the likes of Alex Rios and Alejandro De Aza in center field, Young produced 10.0 WAR. While his career tailed from there, Vaáquez never really meshed with the White Sox or manager Ozzie Guillén; more than half of the 12.1 WAR Vázquez earned in Chicago came in the lost season of 2007, furthering the righty’s reputation as a player who ran up stats when the lights were most dim.