clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
Toronto Blue Jays v New York Yankees

Filed under:

Today in White Sox History: December 8

Two massive additions from the days or yore — and a modern-day pickup that failed

On this day 30 years ago, Dave Stieb traded his Blue Jays for White Sox.
| Focus on Sport/Getty Images


The White Sox purchased future Hall of Fame second baseman Eddie Collins from Connie Mack and the Philadelphia A’s. The price was incredible by on 1914 standards: $50,000 went to Mack, $15,000 went to Collins as a signing bonus, and then Collins was tendered a five-year, guaranteed deal worth $75,000!

AL president Ban Johnson (before there was a commissioner, president was the top-ranking position in baseball) had a hand in helping along the sale, at a time when he and White Sox owner Charles Comiskey were not only close friends but shared office space. Johnson wanted Collins’ star power in Chicago to counteract not only Philadelphia A’s stars Eddie Plank and Charles Bender jumping to the new Federal League, but Walter Johnson jumping from the Washington Senators to the Federal League’s Chicago Whales.

Collins would end up playing for the White Sox for 12 seasons, hitting better than .300 10 times — including eight years in a row, from 1919 to 1926. In two World Series with the White Sox, Collins had 16 hits in 53 at bats (.302).

With 67.0 WAR, Collins is the best second baseman in White Sox history, and overall the fourth-best player ever to suit up on the South Side.


The White Sox were in the middle of a rare, three-way swap of pitchers, sending Jack Salveson to Washington, the Senators trading Earl Whitehill to Cleveland, and Cleveland sending Thornton Lee to Chicago.

Salveson never ended up playing for Washington, as it took him eight seasons to get back to the majors — with Cleveland — and even then, for just a brief (0.0 WAR) pair of seasons. Whitehill, near the end of a strong (36.8 WAR) career, did just as little for Cleveland, compiling -0.9 WAR over two seasons.

Thornton, however, was a massive steal, pitching the next 11 seasons for the White Sox and putting up 30.2 WAR. The southpaw was especially dynamic in 1941, leading the AL in ERA (2.37) and WAR (8.6!), and the majors in complete games (30), ERA+ (174), and WHIP (1.165).

Lee remains 20th all-time on the White Sox in WAR (between José Abreu and Chris Sale, no less), and among only pitchers, Lee ranks ninth-best in White Sox history.


Just three years removed from a Top 5 Cy Young finish but having battled injuries in the previous two seasons, career Blue Jay Dave Stieb signed a free agent deal with the White Sox. Still struggling to get his arm right, Stieb had a 6.04 ERA in four starts on the South Side before being released on May 23, 1993. Aside from a brief, late comeback (with Toronto in 1998, at age 40), Stieb’s career ended with his release.

White Sox Game Recaps

White Sox 5, Diamondbacks 2: Yes ... yes, they did

White Sox Gamethreads

Gamethread: Diamondbacks at White Sox

Meet the Players

Meet the Players: International Women’s Day Edition with Melissa Sage-Bollenbach