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Today in White Sox History: March 18

Pudge swaps Sox, Red for White

Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics
The White Sox inked future Hall-of-Famer Carlton Fisk on this day, 42 years ago.


White Sox manager Jimmy Dykes grants Black players Jackie Robinson and Nate Moreland a tryout with the White Sox, while the Pale Hose conduct Spring Training in Pasadena, Calif. Neither player makes the cut.

Robinson is signed to play for the Kansas City Monarchs three years later, becoming an All-Star as a rookie and breaking the color barrier in MLB in 1947. Moreland had pitched in 15 games for the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues in 1940, but would pitch in just one more Negro League game after his tryout with Chicago.

Interestingly, the White Sox were on the brink of a deal to bring Jackie Robinson to the White Sox in 1955, but the Cincinnati Reds claimed him on trade waivers, nixing the deal.


The White Sox purchase the contract of veteran pitcher Don Mossi from the Tigers for $20,000. Mossi would have a spectacular season for the White Sox — who lost the pennant by one game — going 3-1 with seven saves and an ERA of 2.92. Mossi teamed up with Hoyt Wilhelm and Eddie Fisher to give the club the best bullpen in the league.

At the end of the year, however, Mossi was released.


Carlton Fisk signs a free agent deal with the White Sox, beginning the process of turning a laughable organization into a real, legitimate major league franchise. The All-Star catcher and future Hall-of-Famer got his free agency after the Red Sox did not tender him a contract by the CBA’s required date. Immediately, White Sox co-owner Eddie Einhorn and GM Roland Hemond jumped at the chance to get a player of Fisk’s caliber on to the team.

Fisk would play 13 years on the South Side, make four All-Star teams as a member of the White Sox, and have his No. 72 retired in 1997. At the time he retired, he also held the team record for most home runs, as well as most home runs in MLB history hit by a catcher. His two best seasons were in 1983 (when he rebounded from a very slow start to hit .289 with 26 home runs and 89 RBIs for the Western Division champions, finishing third in the MVP voting) and 1985, his career season (Fisk hit only .238, but blasted 37 home runs with 107 RBIs).