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Today in White Sox History: November 29

Bye bye, Pito

On this day one year ago, José Abreu jumped to the dark side, becoming teammates with cheaters like José Altuve.


He had a spectacular 1963 season, and because of it White Sox star southpaw Gary Peters was named the American League Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America.

Peters went 19-8 with a 2.33 ERA (AL-best among starting pitchers), and had 189 strikeouts in 243 innings pitched. He won 11 straight games at one point, an AL rookie record. He also hit .259, with three home runs and 12 RBIs. Peters would go on to win 20 games in 1964, lead the league in ERA in 1966 and make the All-Star team twice.

Peters got 10 of 20 first-place votes, beating out his teammate, power-hitting third baseman Pete Ward. Ward, who would be named American League Rookie of the Year by The Sporting News, hit .295 with 22 home runs, 84 RBIs and had 177 hits in 1963. Ward got six first-place votes among the baseball writers, while Jimmy Hall of the Twins got the final four votes.


The White Sox reacquired shortstop Luis Aparicio from the Orioles, along with outfielder Russ Snyder and first baseman/outfielder John Matias, as part of a six-player deal. Matias and Snyder would both be awful in brief stints in Chicago, but Aparicio would have his best offensive seasons over the next few years: Aparicio hit .280 in 1969 and .313 in 1970 in addition to his customarily superb defense, but that couldn’t really help a team that was spiraling into one of the worst in baseball.

And unfortunately for the White Sox, in addition to pitchers Bruce Howard and Roger Nelson, the club swapped Don Buford to Baltimore. The speedster would have his best seasons with the Orioles, putting up 19.2 WAR and three Top 30 MVP finishes in the four seasons from 1968 to 1971 before fizzling out quickly in 1972 and dropping out of baseball.


In a brilliant trade, White Sox GM Roland Hemond sent pitcher Tom Bradley to San Francisco for outfielder Ken Henderson and pitcher Steve Stone. Henderson was a Gold Glove-winning, switch-hitting and power-hitting center fielder, while Stone added depth to the White Sox pitching staff. Meanwhile Bradley never regained the form that he showed with the Sox in 1971 and 1972 when he won 15 games each year with a sub-3.00 ERA, and was out of baseball by 1975. Henderson’s best year with the White Sox came in 1974, when he played in every game and hit .292 with 20 home runs and 95 RBIs. Stone actually did his best Sox work in his second go-around, when he won 15 games in 1977.


At a press conference in Houston, the Astros announced the November 28 signing of longtime White Sox first baseman José Abreu to a three-year contract.

In nine years with the Sox, Abreu hit 248 home runs with 863 RBIs. He was the American League Rookie of the Year in 2014, won the MVP in 2020, earned three Silver Sluggers, and was a three-time All-Star. But his age and the fact that the Sox had Andrew Vaughn waiting in the wings (a former first round draft pick who also played first base) made José expendable in the minds of the organization. Like with fellow Cuban Minnie Miñoso when he was traded from the White Sox in 1958, the decision to move on from Abreu was very unpopular with the fan base.

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