On this date in 1980, general manager Roland Hemond pulled off another one of those quietly effective deals when snared switch-hitting second baseman Tony Bernazard from the Montreal Expos for erratic left-handed pitcher Rich “Tex” Wortham.
Bernazard was a rock for the Sox, especially in 1982 when he hit .256 with 11 homers and 56 RBIs.
Any chance the Sox had at winning the A.L. West that year ended when Bernazard suffered a season-ending leg injury Sept. 12 in Oakland.
After playing 59 games in 1983, Bernazard was dealt to Seattle in a June 15 deadline deal in which the Sox got fellow second baseman Julio Cruz, who played an instrumental role in the team’s surge to the A.L. West title.
It must have been crushing for Bernazard to watch his old team celebrate the division title on Sept. 17, 1983 when the Sox clinched with a 4-3 win over Seattlebefore 45,646 at Comiskey Park.
Eight years later, Bernazard was on the other side of another historic White Sox moment though he probably enjoyed this one a little more than he did in 1983. Bernazard went 1-for-2 off the bench in the Tigers’ 16-0 win over the White Sox in the first game at “new” Comiskey Park April 18, 1991.
Bernazard also presented the ball that Frank Thomas hit for the first All-Star home run in White Sox history to the “Big Hurt” in 1995.
The home run traveled into the second deck and landed in the Players’ Association suite where Alex Fehr, the nine-year old nephew of union chief Donald Fehr caught the ball.
White Sox Manager of Scoreboard Operations Jeff Szynal, who also serves as the team’s Hall of Fame curator, left his seat in the left field stands to retrieve the ball. Szynal and Bernazard, who was in the MLPA suite, took the ball to the American League clubhouse and gave it to Thomas.
Thanks As for Wortham, he had one game left in his arm and it came in 1983 for Oakland.