The Cincinnati-White Sox connection

When Junior accepted the trade to the Chicago White Sox, it got me thinking about other players who played in both the Queen City and the Windy City.

I will not display the entire list here (you can see this page at baseball-reference.com for that), but I would like to throw out a few of the big names, at least to me.

C, Smoky Burgess – The man ate 100 hot dogs in 30 minutes, and made the All-Star team in 1964 while playing for the Pirates…because he was a good pinch-hitter. And he played for both the Reds and the White Sox. But wait, there’s more! When the Reds traded him in 1959 to the Pirates, they got Frank Thomas in return! No, not that Frank Thomas…the other one.

1B, Ted Kluszewski – With the Reds, Big Klu slugged 251 home runs. With the Sox, only 7. My dad tells me he was a great player, and was one of the most dangerous hitters in the game. I only wish I could have seen him play. He went to the All-Star game four times while in Cincinnati, but didn’t make the postseason until he made the move to Chicago (after a brief layover in Pittsburgh). Hopefully Griffey will also be able to play baseball in October this year as well.

SS, Royce Clayton – He only played 50 games for the Redlegs in 2006, and only two season for the Sox, but I had to have a middle infielder on the list, and I didn’t recognize any second sackers on the list. So Royce has a lot of room to cover there up the middle.

3B, Chris Sabo – Spuds was the 1988 Rookie of the Year for the Reds, and one of the hustlin’est players on the planet. His fortunes faded as he traveled away from Cincinnati, playing a year in Baltimore, followed by a 20-game stint on the southside and a 5-game stint in St. Louis. But he ended his career where he started it, and was welcomed back with open arms in Cincinnati. Speaking of Sabes, does anyone have a photo of him in a Cards uni? Maybe I should send Paul Lukas an e-mail.

OF, George Foster – Big Bad George played 15 games for the Sox in 1986, the last 15 games he would ever play. He did manage to hit a home run during that time, which was only 51 fewer than his career high. This is another one I have to e-mail Mr. Lukas about, since I have never seen a photo of Foster where the south side colors.

OF, Gary Redus – I’ve come to realize that a lot of guys who have played for the Reds and ChiSox have also played for the Pirates. Here is another example.

OF, Ruben Sierra – A four-time All-Star, Sierra landed in the top 10 MVP voting twice, including a second-place finish in 1989 (Robin Yount won). But that was all long before his 25-game stay in Cincinnati and 27-game run with Chicago. But no, he never played for the Pirates.

SP, Tom Seaver – He was already a superstar when he came to Cincinnati from the New York Mets, and continued pitching well for the Redlegs until 1982, when he went 5-13 with a 5.50 ERA. The Mets received Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman for Seaver when they sent him to the Queen City in the middle of the 1977 season. Five years later, the Reds shipped him back to the Big Apple in exchange for Charlie Puleo, Lloyd McClendon, and Jason Felice. Not sure who got the better end of that deal. He only spent the 1983 with the Mets before the White Sox picked him up as compensation for losing a free agent, winning 33 games on the south side before jetting off to Boston for the final days of his career. The ChiSox got Steve “Psycho” Lyons from the BoSox for Seaver. “Psycho” is perhaps most well known for pulling down his pants to dust them off after reaching first base during a nationally televised baseball game.

P, Jim O’Toole – A very solid workhorse for the Reds in the early 1960s, O’Toole played in one All-Star game and even finished 10th in the MVP race in 1961. He was traded after the 1966 season to the Sox for Floyd Robinson.

RP, Rob Dibble – One of the Nasty Boys. And when I say Nasty, I mean NAST-EEEE. The dude was amazing as a Red, but injuries kept him from being totally awesome. After playing in Cincinnati from 1988-1993, he took 1994 off before joining the Sox and striking out 16 batters in 14 1/3 innings. After a release from the Sox, Dibble signed on with the Brewers to finish out the 1995 season and his career. Some time ago, Steve over at White Sox Cards posted a scan of this card at my request because I had never seen Dibble in anything but Reds duds. For the record, the Beckett “value” of this 1995 Kodak Dibble is a whopping quarter.

There are several other notable names that played for both teams: Paul Konerko, Tim Belcher, and Edd Roush among them. For the full list of 144 players, click here. And for the best White Sox blog on the internet, click here.

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About JT

Christian. Husband. Dad. 911 dispatcher. Baseball fan. Horror nut. Music nerd. Bookworm. Time Magazine's 2006 Person of the Year.

Posted on August 1, 2008, in baseball, baseball cards and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. If you ever find a picture of George Foster wearing a White Sox uniform, let me know. I’ve never been able to track one down. I only have my fuzzy memories.

  2. I have sent an e-mail to Paul Lukas, the uniform expert for ESPN’s Page 2. I’ll let you (and everyone else) know if I have any success.

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