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Today in White Sox History: February 24

A perfect game-saver arrives

Tampa Bay Rays v Chicago White Sox
Without Dewayne Wise, there is no perfecto.
Dennis Wierzbicki/Getty Images


White Sox GM Les O’Connor sends pitcher Eddie Lopat to the Yankees for three players.

Lopat was a soft-tossing, off-speed pitcher who won 50 games in four years with the Sox, twice having an ERA off less than 3.00. He would quickly develop into one of the aces on the Yankees dynasty of the 1950s, winning 113 games in seven-and-a-half years. He also went 4-1 in World Series play.

Of the players the Sox got in return, only pitcher Bill Wight had any success on the South Side, winning 34 games in three seasons.

It wasn’t really a lost deal, though. Another one of the players acquired, catcher Aaron Robinson, would be sent in November 1948 to the Tigers for a youngster named ... Billy Pierce. Pierce would win 186 games in a White Sox uniform from 1950-61, fourth-most in franchise history.


Perfect game defensive hero Dewayne Wise is born in Columbia, S.C.

Forever a part-time player, Wise was called up to the White Sox in 2008 and was a standout in the ALDS loss to Tampa Bay, slashing .286/.375/.857 over three games. He achieved his White Sox immortality, however, by securing an impossible catch in his first play as a defensive replacement in the ninth inning of Mark Buehrle’s 2009 perfect game.

(Only today did I notice Wise’s look of joy when he saw he had the ball in his glove — of course overshadowed immediately by the tension of it squeezing out of the glove and possibly back into play.)