Ozzie wins his first major award; a club hero and rabid Bears fan is sent east.
Ozzie Guillén of the White Sox was named AL Rookie of the Year by the Baseball Writers Association of America.
Guillén, who came to the Sox in a deal involving 1983 Cy Young winner LaMarr Hoyt, didn’t disappoint. His defense was outstanding, only committing 12 errors the entire season. Offensively, Ozzie recorded 134 hits and had a .273 batting average. He received 16 of 28 first-place votes and finished with 101 points. Teddy Higuera of the Brewers was second.
Ozzie returned as manager after his playing days ended. Twenty years after his ROY honors, Gullén piloted the White Sox to a 2005 World Series win.
White Sox GM Ken Williams rolled the dice and traded popular center fielder Aaron Rowand to the Phillies for slugger Jim Thome. The Peoria native hammered 42 home runs and garner AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2006, but many felt the trade changed the chemistry and philosophy of the club that won the World Series in 2005 — to say nothing of the defensive hole it created in center field.
Thome would play almost four years with the Sox and hit 134 home runs, along with three seasons of at least 90 RBIs. He hit his 500th career home run in 2007 at U.S. Cellular Field, beating the Angels with the walk-off blast.