White Sox: All-time major award winners

Dick Allen of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images)
Dick Allen of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Ron Vesely/Getty Images) /
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White Sox
Jeff Torborg of the Chicago White Sox. (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /

1990: Jeff Torborg, American League Manager of the Year

The Chicago White Sox were just 69-92 in 1989, their first season under manager Jeff Torborg, while finishing below .500 for the fourth consecutive season.

But in 1990, the White Sox rode a dominant bullpen into contention and came within shouting distance of going from last place in the AL West to first place.

In the end, Chicago was no match for the defending World Series champion Oakland A’s, finishing nine games behind Oakland for second place in the division. The White Sox spent 11 days in first place, the last of which being July 7, the latest they had the division lead since entering the All-Star break atop the AL West in 1984.

Torborg pieced together a lineup centered around Ivan Calderon, 42-year-old Carlton Fisk and 21-year-old Sammy Sosa. Calderon led the club with 74 RBI, Sosa drove in 70 despite hitting only .233/.282/.404 and Fisk had a team-high 18 home runs.

But Torborg rode setup men Barry Jones (65 appearances) and Scott Radinsky (62 games) to get the ball to closer Bobby Thigpen, who shattered the major league single-season record with 57 saves.

Torborg left after the 1991 season having gone 250-235 in three seasons. He also managed the Cleveland Indians for the final 104 games in 1977 through the first 95 games of the 1979 season, the Mets in 1992 and for the first 38 games in 1993, the Montreal Expos for the final 109 games in 2001 and the Florida Marlins in 2002 and 38 games into the 2003 season.