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Today in White Sox History: March 20

The South Siders purchase their first skipper — and a nifty second-sacker, to boot

Believe it or not, the first White Sox manager was in Chicago for just one year, in the minors: Dick Padden.


The still-minor league White Sox purchase second baseman Dick Padden from the Washington Senators. In truth, Padden was sold to Detroit, but in some transaction lost to time, Padden ended up on the South Side, as the White Sox’s first player-manager. (Charles Comiskey is regarded as the 1900 team’s manager, but player-managers were the norm at the time, so at most the two men co-managed the White Sox.)

Padden, then 29, had his best season — unsurprising having moved “down” from the National League to the then-minor American. He hit a career-best .284 with another career high, 36 steals, while playing in 130 of Chicago’s 135 games.

Oh, and Padden led the White Sox to the first AL pennant, with an 82-53 record.

When the White Sox moved into the major leagues in 1901 and enticed pitching ace Clark Griffith to jump to the AL, part of the proviso was granting Griffith the manager’s role. Thus Madden re-jumped back to the National League, and the St. Louis Cardinals.

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