Feb 2, 2011, 1:16 PM EDT
Back in December of 1984 the White Sox acquired Ozzie Guillen from the Padres as part of a six-player trade that included LaMarr Hoyt going to San Diego.
Roland Hemold was the White Sox’s general manager at the time and recently spoke to a banquet audience about how Guillen came to be part of the trade:
I enlisted Jerry [Krause] to go find the best shortstop he could in the Triple-A ranks, and maybe we could make a trade and bring in a shortstop that we thought we needed. He watched Ozzie Guillen for a week in Las Vegas. And every day he would call me and say, “That little guy can play.” I never asked how much he weighed or anything, as long as Jerry said he could play.
We traded LaMarr Hoyt for Ozzie Guillen, sight unseen on my part. When Ozzie showed up at spring training straight from Venezuela, and I was told he was in the clubhouse, I went down to greet him and give him a good handshake. And he was sitting at the training table … with his shirt off and his baseball trousers on. I looked at that skinny kid, and I said, “Oh, I am so happy to have you here.” Then I went into the office and said, “I’m scared. I think we just signed a jockey.” Anyway, he became the Rookie of the Year.
Not only did Guillen win the Rookie of the Year award in 1985 (despite a .291 on-base percentage and .358 slugging percentage), he went on to play 13 seasons for the White Sox and is now in his eighth season as Chicago’s manager. And he’s even managed to put on a little weight since then.
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