Coming off of his 1972 MVP season, Dick Allen signs a three-year, $750,000 contract with the White Sox, making him the highest-paid player in baseball. While contract details for early baseball are sketchy, this is believed to be the first time a White Sox player has been the highest-paid in the game.
Allen earned his deal by leading the AL in homers (37), RBIs (113), on-base percentage (.420), slugging percentage (.603) and OPS (1.023).
It would be 24 years before the White Sox would boast the highest-paid player in the game again, when Albert Belle signed a deal that paid him $11 million for the 1997 season.
Former White Sox ace LaMarr Hoyt checks into drug rehab after having been arrested twice already in 1986 for drug possession.
Hoyt had excelled for the Padres in his first season in San Diego in 1985, going 16-8 with a 3.47 ERA and 2.5 WAR in his only All-Star season. While trade centerpiece Ozzie Guillén won the 1985 AL Rookie of the Year for the White Sox and would go on to amass the most defensive WAR in franchise history, Hoyt would see 1986 as his last season in the majors, as his ERA swelled to 5.15/71 ERA+ with a -1.0 WAR.
In their first game of Spring Training, the White Sox wear Northern Illinois University baseball caps, honoring the victims of the shooting rampage on the school’s campus earlier in February. The game-worn, autographed hats were later auctioned off to build a scholarship fund set up in memory of the five students who were killed.