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Today in White Sox History: November 28

The South Siders flip a slugger for a Yankees killer

John Buzhardt [right] pitched the White Sox into first place with a win over, who else, the Yankees, in August 1964.


While by WAR it was just the 11th-best season of his career, Warren Spahn was nearly a unanimous pick to win what would be the only Cy Young of his career, earning 15 of 16 votes in what was then an award given across MLB, not by league. The amazing southpaw led the majors with 21 wins and 18 complete games, putting up 4.8 WAR and a 2.69 ERA. He also relieved in four games — earning saves in three of them! Spahn’s 18 CGs also started a streak of seven seasons in which he led the NL in complete games, and in six of those seasons he led all of MLB.

Spoiling Spahn’s unanimous bid was White Sox hurler Dick Donovan, who snatched a vote away. Like Spahn, Donovan would have at least one better season on his record (1961), but 1957 was the closest he’d come to a Cy. In fact, this was the only year the righty would ever earn Cy Young votes. Donovan put up a 3.9 WAR and led the majors with a .727 winning percentage (16-6 record). His 16 complete games led the American League.

Donovan finished 13th in AL MVP voting, while Spahn finished fifth in the NL tally.


The White Sox sent slugger Roy Sievers to the Phillies for pitcher Johnny Buzhardt and third baseman Charley Smith.

Buzhardt would become part of the stellar Sox starting rotation in the mid-1960s, and was particularly good against the Yankees (7-0 against between 1962 and 1967). He won 48 games in 5 1⁄2 years, with a 3.37 ERA, and in his standout season of 1963 posted a 2.32 ERA and 3.2 WAR in just 19 games!

Smith played a poor hot corner for the White Sox in 1962, spent almost all of 1963 in Triple-A, and was dumped off to the Mets in April 1964.

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