The White Sox traded shortstop Ron Hansen and pitchers Dennis Higgins and Steve Jones to Washington for infielder Tim Cullen and pitchers Bob Priddy and Buster Narum. (On August 2, the Senators would flip Hansen back to the White Sox for Cullen.)
Hansen’s career 18.1 WAR over seven seasons in Chicago makes him the seventh-best shortstop in White Sox history. And his stellar 1964 that produced 7.7 WAR is the sixth best season by a player in team history. Just four players — Minnie Miñoso, Dick Allen, Eddie Collins and Nellie Fox — ever had better years.
Tragedy struck the White Sox as promising young pitcher Paul Edmondson and his girlfriend were killed in an accident on US-101 near Santa Barbara, Calif. En route to spring training on a rain-slicked highway, Edmondson’s car skidded into oncoming traffic and was struck by another vehicle.
In his major league debut in Anaheim on June 20, 1969, Edmondson fired a complete game two-hitter, beating California, 9- 1. It would be his only major league win. In the game, Edmondson also had two hits, scored two runs and drove in a run.
Edmondson appeared in 14 games in 1969, starting 13 of them. In six contests he’d pitch at least seven innings, giving up three runs or less. He ended up with a 1-6 record because the 1969 White Sox were awful, but his 3.70 ERA and 1.7 WAR (roughly a 3.9-WAR pace over the 32-start seasons of today) spoke to how great Edmondson was in the majors.
The tragedy came six years to the day that young Cubs star Ken Hubbs died in a plane crash at 22. Edmondson’s death came one day after his 27th birthday.
For the second time in two months, Ron Hassey was involved in a White Sox trade. This time, Hassey was sent back to the Yankees in exchange for Neil Allen and Scott Bradley. By July 30, Hassey would be back with the White Sox, in a swap back from the Yankees.
Was there method to oft-castigated GM Ken Harrelson’s madness? Well, these three trades brought Joe Cowley, Allen, Bradley, Bill Lindsey and Carlos Martinez to the White Sox, with the South Siders giving up just Ron Kittle, Wayne Tolleson and Joel Skinner, for a net WAR of 0.4. And Harrelson would flip Bradley to Seattle for the 9.0 WAR White Sox career of Iván Calderon.
Washington dealt Jerry Owens to the White Sox for outfielder Álex Escobar, who would soon be out of baseball.
Owens’ wheels packed some promise, as he won the Southern League batting title in his first year in the White Sox organization, stealing 38 bases and hitting .331 for the Birmingham Barons. He lit up Triple-A with Charlotte in 2006 as well, but the best the fleet center fielder could do to parlay that success in the majors was a 32-steal season in 2007. Ultimately, Owens would see action in just 129 games from 2006-09.
Owens played his last Sox and MLB game at the end of April 2009. He left the game for three years, then became a Mexican League and Indy ball stalwart, playing until age 35 (2017). He stole 302 bases across all levels of his career, and managed in the Cleveland organization at the start of the 2020s.