On this date in 1984, general manager Roland Hemond made a trade that reshape the immediate and long-term fortunes of the Chicago White Sox.
Looking to get younger, tighter and faster, the Sox acquired a little-known shortstop named Ozzie Guillen, infielder Luis Salazar and pitchers Tim Lollar and Bill Long from San Diego for LaMarr Hoyt, Todd Simmons and Kevin Kristan.
While he didn’t know he was acquiring a World Series manager at the time, Hemond said Guillen displayed leadership ability early in his professional career.
“(White Sox) scouts Jerry Krause and Duane Shaffer told me how much (Guillen) loved to play,” Hemond said in an April 2006 interview in my pre-SoxNerd days. “When he showed up the next spring, I was stunned to see how small he was. (Manager) Tony LaRussa had a great chat with him in spring training (in 1985) and he went about his work real well.
“He took charge of the infield. He’d come in and talk to the pitcher. He was always very much into the game. He showed traits of leadership and managerial possibilities. When he was playing in the farm system of the Padres, he was the same way. He showed the attributes of being a manager. You can’t predict what happened (with the World Series) but it’s not surprising that he was Manager of the Year and had all that success.”