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StatManDu
03-11-2008, 08:13 AM
MARCH 10TH: PUDGE, BO AND AIR
(Sorry this is a late ... an eventful day)

NO RISK … IT’S FISK
1981: In one of the great moves in the history of the franchise, the new ownership group of Jerry Reinsdorf and Eddie Einhorn signed All-Star catcher Carlton Fisk giving their regime instant credibility. Fisk became a free agent when the Boston Red Sox failed to postmark his contract. The Sox literally camped out on Fisk’s doorstep in getting him to agree to a $3 million contract. Fisk became a legend in his first game with the Sox when he launched a game-winning homer against his old team in his old park. Days later, in his home debut, Fisk thrilled the 51,560 at ComiskeyPark with a grand slam. Fisk went on to become one of the greatest and most popular players in team history despite his many squabbles with management throughout his tenure in Chicago.

GEORGE KELLL: HALL OF FAMER
1983: George Kell, who played for the White Sox from 1954 to 1956, was elected to the Hall of Fame via the Veterans Committee. Kell, a third baseman, hit .312 with eight homers and 81 RBIs for the 1955 White Sox.

BO KNOWS COMING, GOING, COMING AND SURGERY
1992: On a day he was both demoted and retained, White Sox DH Bo Jackson announced he would have surgery – most likely replacement surgery -- on his ailing hip. Jackson injured his left hip while playing for the Raiders on Jan. 14, 1991. Bo was released by the Royals but signed by the Sox and he joined the team for September of that season. The following spring training was a struggle for Jackson. While his numbers were good, the hip ailment curtailed his mobility. It was sad seeing Jackson struggle out of the box to first base even if it was in a Sox uniform. On this date, the Sox demoted Jackson to Triple-A Vancouver. Upon refusing the assignment, Bo became a free agent and agreed to a one-year pact with two options. Jackson sat out the 1992 season after having reconstructive hip surgery on April 5. Jackson made history when he became the first player in history to appear in a big league game with an artificial hip on April 9, 1993.

LETTING THE AIR OUT
1995: Farmhand Michael Jordan walked out of the White Sox spring camp in Sarasota, Fla., ending his quest to become a Major Leaguer. Publicly, Jordan did not blame anyone for his decision to retire but he was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Owners were using replacement players in exhibition games while the union was still on strike. Union chief Donald Fehr countered by declaring that minor leaguers who played in paid exhibition games would be considered strikebreakers. To avoid the mess, which obviously made him uncomfortable, Jordan bolted. Eight days later, Jordan announced he was returning to the NBA. Jordan spent 1994 at the Sox Double-A affiliate in Birmingham, Ala. Playing the outfield, Jordan hit .202 with three homers, 51 RBIs and 30 stolen bases while setting attendance records throughout the Southern League. Not bad for a guy who had never played professional baseball before.

ROID RAGE
2003: Sixteen White Sox expressed a desire to refuse a steroid test in hopes of inflating the failure rate. A refusal counted as a failure and if the failure rate got over five percent, mandatory testing would continue through 2005. A few veteran players talked the 16 members of the team out of their plan.


Editor's Note: Information for these entries is gleaned from the author's files, retrosheet.org, various Internet sources, press reports of the day, White Sox media guides and the many White Sox books written by the great Rich Lindberg.