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Sports Contributor Archive 2019

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Today in White Sox History: November 18

Minor dealings result in major player losses

Dave Duncan [right] never got to suit up for the White Sox as a player, but brought enormous value to the club as pitching coach in the 1980s.
| Ron Vesely/MLB Photos via Getty Images


It was a minor swap, but one the White Sox still lost. Seeking to fortify themselves at catcher, Dave Duncan was acquired from Baltimore for Pat Kelly. While Kelly’s career was waning, he still gave the O’s almost four wins over the next four seasons and was outstanding as a regular in the 1979 ALCS. Meanwhile Duncan never played a game for the South Siders; he was part of the final cuts before the team broke north in 1977, and retired.

Duncan later became a famed pitching coach alongside Tony La Russa — a coaching career that began with the White Sox — and also returned to the team in 2018 as a front office consultant.


Another expansion draft, stocking the new Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Arizona Diamondbacks franchises, found the White Sox losing three players. Catcher Jorge Fabergas was the No. 7 overall pick, going to the Diamondbacks, as did pitcher Chris Clemons at No. 43 and reliever Chuck McElroy at No. 67.

McElroy’s pick reads like a draft-to-trade selection, as Arizona immediately flipped the southpaw to the Colorado Rockies for Harvey Pulliam.

Fabergas had the best stint of his career in Chicago, taking over main catching duties and putting up 0.5 WAR over 100 games. He would end up a -2.2 WAR career player over nine seasons with eight teams. McElroy had a pretty amazing stint with the White Sox, throwing to a 0.7 WAR over just 48 games and 59 13 innings; he would pitch another four seasons and end up pitching in 654 games, 167th all-time among relievers. Cleamons had seen action in five games for the White Sox in 1997 — to an 0-2 record, high ERA and -0.3 WAR — and would never see action in the majors again.

Fabergas and McElroy actually had come to the White Sox in the same trade, just six months earlier, as the White Sox swapped Tony Phillips and Chad Kreuter to the Angels for the pair.

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