Alex Carrasquel, the majors’ first Venezuelan player, and uncle of future White Sox star Chico Carrasquel, becomes the first of more than a dozen major leaguers to desert MLB for the Mexican League.
Carrasquel had been purchased by the White Sox from Washington on January 2 and was coming off of a very strong, 1.7 WAR season out of the Senators bullpen. He would never throw a pitch for Chicago, bolting for a three-year deal as the Mexican League attempted to raid the majors.
Carrasquel was one of just a few of the contract-jumpers to return to the majors, but he pitched just three games (to a 14.73 ERA) for the 1949 White Sox.
White Sox manager Eddie Stanky appeared on the cover for Sports Illustrated, along with Cubs manager Leo Durocher. The headline read, “The Lip and The Brat Invade Chicago.”
Stanky would have solid years in his two complete seasons as White Sox manager, almost winning the pennant in 1967. He was considered a tactical genius when it came to the game.
But his shortcomings as far as his temperament — particularly in his ability to deal with the media and some of his players — led to his undoing. He was fired 79 games into the 1968 season — replaced by the man he replaced, Al Lopez.