1956: Luis Aparicio, American League Rookie of the Year
At the time the White Sox made the deal, they were banking on a shortstop who wouldn’t turn 22 until after Opening Day, a shortstop signed out of Venezuela two years earlier who had exactly one year of experience at the Class B level and one year of playing at the Double-A level.
Luis Aparicio made the move pay off for Chicago, winning the first of nine consecutive American League stolen base titles in 1956 with 21 while hitting .266/.311/.341 in 152 games and 583 plate appearances. Aparicio added 19 doubles, six triples and three home runs, scoring 69 times and finishing with 56 RBI.
He walked 34 times, struck out 63 and also led the AL with 14 sacrifice bunts. That earned Aparicio the first major award in franchise history, the AL Rookie of the Year award.
Chicago traded Aparicio in January 1963 to the Baltimore Orioles in a six-player swap that sent Al Smith to the Orioles as well, with Hall of Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm among the four players heading to the White Sox.
But in November 1967, Aparicio was reacquired from Baltimore and played three more seasons in Chicago before being traded to the Boston Red Sox in December 1970.
In 10 years overall with the White Sox, Aparicio hit .269/.319/.348 in 1,511 games and 6,438 plate appearances. He had 223 doubles, 54 triples, 43 homers and 464 RBI while scoring 791 runs.
Aparicio’s 318 stolen bases are second in franchise history behind dead-ball era standout Eddie Collins’ 348. Defense got Aparicio into the Hall of Fame — he won nine Gold Gloves, seven of those while with the White Sox.