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Today in White Sox History: February 7

Michael Jordan comes to the White Sox, and Magglio Ordoñez leaves

Sporting News Archive
Magglio Ordoñez’s final season in Chicago was filled with controversy and acrimony.
Albert Dickson/Sporting News via Getty Images via Getty Images


Dorothy Rigney, grandaughter of White Sox founder Charles Comiskey and the majority owner of the club, reached an agreement to sell the team to Bill Veeck. After the sale, Dorothy’s brother Chuck Comiskey becomes the largest single stockholder in the club, but at just 46%, not enough to control it. Veeck’s takeover for 1959 makes it the first time in club history a member of the Comiskey familty is not in charge.


Michael Jordan signed a minor league deal with the White Sox, officially reporting to spring training later in the month and eventually starting his professional baseball career at Double-A Birmingham.


After one of the more acrimonious disputes in team history, free agent and four-time All-Star Magglio Ordoñez signed with the Detroit Tigers for five years and $75 million.

Ordoñez engaged Sox management in a war of words over how he was treated, the contract offered to him, and his health status. Magglio’s agent, Scott Boras, refused to turn over medical information, which infuriated GM Ken Williams and basically sealed Ordoñez’s fate. Additionally, manager Ozzie Guillén publicly called out Ordoñez in no uncertain terms over the contract situation.

Considering the severity of Ordoñez’s knee injury — which required a secret trip to Austria for experimental surgery — it was hard to blame the Sox for their stance.

Ordoñez, who was almost traded to the Red Sox at the 2003 Winter Meetings for Nomar Garciaparra, played with the team for six full seasons and parts of two others, with 187 home runs and 702 RBIs. In his full seasons, Ordoñez never hit worse than .282, and in five of those years he hit better than .300.