After a 22-year career logging a 229-217 record with a 3.84 ERA and 39.7 WAR (180th all-time among pitchers), “Sad” Sam Jones retired. The former Cleveland, Red Sox, Yankees, Browns and Senators player had ended his run with four seasons on the South Side.
Jones was a curveball specialist, and while never a consistent superstar in the game had some outstanding seasons, finishing fifth in the American League in WAR in 1921 (7.2) and seventh in 1928 (6.2); even in his age-40 season in Chicago, Jones put up an outstanding 3.8 WAR over 25 starts.
Jones played on four pennant winners and took home three titles, and compiled an 0-2 record with a 2.05 ERA in World Series play. He got his nickname not from melancholy, but from staring down runners at first base to prevent steal attempts.
Jones was the oldest player in the majors when he retired at 43. His 22 consecutive years playing in a single league remains a record, tying him with Herb Pennock, Early Wynn, Red Ruffing and Steve Carlton.
Jones was also a writer and photographer, and an avid basketball player who would have likely chosen to go pro on the hardwood had the NBA existed in the 1910s.
White Sox GM Ken Williams had a strange attachment to certain players, but they usually took the form of long-desired superstar veterans ... well past their primes (see: Kenny Always Gets His Man).
But in the case of Mark Teahen, who the White Sox acquired from the Royals in a trade on this day for Josh Fields and Chris Getz, the usual attachments did not apply. Teahen had lit up the majors in 2006, his second full season (3.7 WAR, .874 OPS/122 OPS+ in just 109 games) and followed it up with a solid 2007. Versatile enough to have logged significant games in corner outfield and infield, Williams envisioned Teahen as the solution to Chicago’s hole at third base.
But Williams wasn’t satisfied in merely acquiring Teahen: A month later, he extended the 28-year-old with a three-year, $14 million deal through 2012. Unfortunately, Teahen was positively awful in 2008-09, running up -1.4 WAR over 293 games. For a player showing all indications he might be cooked as a major-leaguer, Williams’ no-questions-asked buyout of arb years and three-year commitment was a bold statement.
And, as it turned out, a bad move, as Teahen ran up -1.1 WAR for the 2010 White Sox and never played another game in the majors after his three-year deal gifted by Williams ran out.