Today is the MLB Trade Deadline.
Of course, the most infamous trade deadline deal made by the White Sox was the “White Flag Trade” on July 31, 1997. Despite being only 3 ½ games behind Cleveland, the Sox traded 3 major league pitchers to the Giants for 6 prospects.
The Giants received Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin, and Roberto Hernandez.
The Sox received Keith Foulke, Bobby Howry, Mike Caruso, and 3 others.
The Giants went on to win the NL West, but were swept by the Marlins in 3 games with Hernandez losing game-2 and Alvarez losing game-3.
Bobby Howry became the Sox closer and saved 28 games in 1999. He was replaced as closer in 2000 by Keith Foulke who saved exactly 100 games for the Sox over the next few years. Keith later led the league in saves for the A’s (43 in 2003) but didn’t become a Foulke Hero until he saved the final game of the 2004 World Series for the Red Sox.
(Picture from Boston Herald)
For one year, it looked like Mike Caruso might be the steal of the trade. In 1998, Mike played 133 games at SS, batted .306, and finished 3rd in the Rookie of the Year voting. However, in 1999, he dropped to .250 in 136 games (he did lead the league in caught stealing with 14). The remainder of Mike’s MLB career consisted of 12 games with the Royals in 2002.
On June 20, 2008, I attended a Joliet Jack Hammers game. The Hammers’ designated hitter that evening was a player who they signed earlier in the day — Mike Caruso.
On July 31, 2005, the White Sox acquired Geoff Blum from San Diego as a utility player for the stretch run. Ozzie Guillen was familiar with Geoff who played for the Expos when Ozzie was their 3rd base coach some years earlier. The deal was underwhelming but as all Sox fans know, it paid a big dividend. During the season’s last two months, Geoff appeared in 31 games — playing all four infield positions.
In the 14th inning of the longest World Series game ever played (time-wise at 5:41), Geoff hit a home run to give the Sox the lead. This was Geoff’s only World Series AB, but it earned him a place on the Championship Moments Monument (bottom right).
There has been one other 14-inning WS game. In 1916, the Red Sox beat the Dodgers 2-1. Boston’s winning pitcher that day threw a 14-inning complete game, but eventually had even more success as a hitter. Babe Ruth.
A few years ago, Barb and I went to a Sox game on her birthday – August 1.