1997 Chicago White Sox
Record: 80-81, Finished 2nd in AL Central Division (1997 AL)
Managed by Terry Bevington
Coaches: Bill Buckner, Ron Jackson, Art Kusnyer, Bryan Little, Joe Nossek, Mike Pazik, Doug Rader and Mark Salas
History, Comments, Contributions
Prior to the season, the 1997 Chicago White Sox signed free agent Albert Belle and made him the highest-paid player in baseball. However, the Sox were dealt a blow in spring training when Gold Glove third baseman Robin Ventura suffered a gruesome broken leg. During the first half of the season, the team underperformed, hovering around .500. Still, the Sox remained within a handful of games of the division-leading Cleveland Indians.
On July 31st, the Sox trailed the Indians by just 3 1/2 games, but the club made a trade that convinced fans they were giving up. In what became known as the "White Flag Trade", the Sox sent starters Wilson Alvarez, Danny Darwin, and closer Roberto Hernández to the San Francisco Giants for six minor league prospects. Sox fans were upset, and the team ended up finishing six games behind the Indians. But of the six players acquired by the Sox, three made significant impacts with the club. Shortstop Mike Caruso was a starter for the 1998 team, hitting over .300. Bobby Howry saved 49 games for the Sox over the next five seasons. Keith Foulke had the greatest impact, notching 100 saves with the club as the Sox closer.
After the season, manager Terry Bevington was fired and replaced by Jerry Manuel.
1997 Opening Day Lineup
Tony Phillips, rf
Dave Martinez, cf
Frank Thomas, 1b
Albert Belle, lf
Harold Baines, dh
Chris Snopek, 3b
Ray Durham, 2b
Ozzie Guillen, ss
Awards and Honors
- All-Stars: Albert Belle and Frank Thomas
AL East: Baltimore • Boston • Detroit • New York • Toronto
NL East: Atlanta • Florida • Montréal • New York • Philadelphia
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