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Thurman Tucker [right] left the White Sox for eventual World Series winners Cleveland on this day, 76 years ago.

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Today in White Sox History: January 27

A center fielder punches his ticket out of Chicago — and to the World Series champs

1948

The White Sox acquired catcher Ralph Weigel from Cleveland for center fielder Thurman Tucker.

Weigel played just one year on the South Side, seeing action in 66 games and putting up a .607 OPS. Tucker, on the other hand, played three years in Cleveland, starting with a strong, 1.2 WAR season over 83 games for the eventual World Series champions. Thurman played in only the Game 4 clincher for Cleveland, but made key plays at bat and in the field to bring home what remains the franchise’s most recent title.


1953

Sometimes, GM Frank Lane made one too many trades, and this time it came over the objection of manager Paul Richards. This was one of those deals that seemed to be too good to be true, and turned out to be the case, as the White Sox acquired two-time American League batting champ Ferris “Burrhead” Fain from the Philadelphia A’s as part of a five-player deal. Fain and minor-leaguer Bobby Wilson cost the White Sox slugger Eddie Robinson, shortstop Joe DeMaestri and center fielder Ed McGhee.

Fain never came close to winning a batting title in Chicago, was a distraction off the field, was injured, and was rumored to have gotten into a fight with second baseman Nellie Fox that resulted in injuries. Lockers were supposedly pushed on top of Fox during the altercation, and he was pinned underneath them. The fight was thought to have taken place after a game in Washington, D.C. against the Senators.

Fain’s seasons in Chicago featured two All-Star appearances, but a lot of disappointment. The first baseman was packaged off to Detroit in a multi-player deal after the 1954 season, and the 1955 campaign would be his last.


2005

So ... who needs scouts?

(just joking ...)

White Sox GM Ken Williams signed Japanese second baseman Tadahito Iguchi after scouting him solely by watching video tape. Iguchi turned into a very solid second baseman and No. 2 hitter in the White Sox lineup, delivering defense, home runs and RBIs to a team that would go on to take the World Series.

Iguchi’s three-run home run in Game 2 of the 2005 ALDS turned that contest around and gave the White Sox a commanding, two-game lead in the best-of-five series.

The following year, Iguchi’s single in the 19th inning on July 9 beat the Red Sox, 6-5. That game tied for the fifth-longest in franchise history.

His best offensive game came a few weeks earlier, in a 10-9, extra-inning loss to the Astros. Iguchi drove in seven runs, five scoring on home runs in the eighth and ninth innings at U.S. Cellular Field.

And on April 15, 2006, Iguchi turned in one of the most incredible defensive plays in major league history, throwing out Toronto’s Bengie Molina in the ninth inning of a 4-2 White Sox win: Iguchi threw the ball to first base while sailing horizontally off the ground and from a most unusual throwing angle.


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