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Harry Hooper White Sox
Thanks for Harry Hooper, Carmines!

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Today in White Sox History: December 27

A post-Babe Ruth deal further betrayed the Carmines faithful

Brett Ballantini started at South Side Sox in 2018 after 20 years of writing on basketball, baseball and hockey, including time on the Blackhawks and White Sox beats. Follow him on Twitter @BrettBallantini and email your site feedback to brettballantini@yahoo.com

1919

A day after selling Babe Ruth to the Yankees, cash-strapped Boston owner Harry Frazee was unable to promise further cuts from his roster. (The Red Sox were coming off of a 66-71-1 season but were just a year removed from a World Series title.)

Frazee made one exception: Superstar outfielder Harry Hooper was staying put.

That promise lasted a year, as Hooper — coming off of a career-best 5.2 WAR season — was traded to the White Sox. And while Hooper already had 12 seasons under him and a bit long in the tooth at age 33, he was really good for the White Sox over the final five seasons of his career: 14.9 WAR, .302/.383./.436, 114 OPS+. In fact, Boston’s castoff gave the White Sox a right fielder who remains the 45th-best hitter in franchise history.

Hooper became a Hall-of-Famer via Veterans’ Committee in 1971.


2003

In a case that remains unsolved to this day, White Sox outfielder Iván Calderón was murdered in a bar in his hometown of Loiza, Puerto Rico, dead at age 41.

Calderón was the best straight-up deal made during Ken Harrelson’s yearlong GM tenure, snatched from Seattle for Scott Bradley in midseason 1986. By 1987, the man whose flashy necklaces belied a gritty work ethic had established himself as Chicago’s regular right fielder with a 4.2 WAR year punctuated with 28 homers and 83 RBIs — all numbers that would stand as his career bests.

Iván the Terrible never again approached that production, but contributed 2.6 WAR to the surprise 1990 division contenders, which in turn allowed GM Ron Scheuler to sell high that offseason, swapping Calderón and pitcher Barry Jones to Montreal for Tim Raines, a huge step forward into a contention window for the South Siders.

Calderón was superb for the Expos in 1991, nearly matching Raines’ output in Chicago, with 3.3 WAR. However, his career descended rapidly from there, and after a brief reunion with the White Sox in 1993, Calderón was out of the majors for good.

For his career, Calderón hit .272 with 104 home runs, 97 stolen bases, 12.0 WAR, a .775 OPS and 113 OPS+.

Sadly, just a decade after his career ended, Calderon was shot at least seven times in the back at the El Trompo bar after Christmas. He left behind his wife, Elsabeth, and seven children.


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