This Day in Baseball History: March 30th, 1992

Ignorance was bliss, wasn’t it?

On March 30, 1992:

The Chicago White Sox trade Sammy Sosa and Kenny Patterson to the Chicago Cubs for George Bell.

George Bell was a well-known slugger that had spent most of his career in Toronto. In 1990, he signed with the Cubs as a free-agent to play with them for the 1991 season. Bell had a difficult relationship with Blue Jay manager Jimy Williams, and his defense, never very good, was worsening to the point that fans couldn’t overlook it for his offense. Sammy Sosa was a young and somewhat frustrating outfielder, but at age 22, his talent and potential were there. Ken Patterson was a 27-year old middle reliever averaging in the mid-60’s of innings pitched and a high-3 ERA.

Bell, 32, had just had a bounce-back season for the Cubs. In 1992, he contributed well for the White Sox in terms of home runs (25) and RBI (112), but he was his typical terrible self when it came to OBP. His OPS+ dropped from 117 to 99, and at that point, his offense wasn’t equaling his defensive shortcomings. Still, he would receive some MVP votes for his contributions for that season. The next season, Bell rapidly declined due to a knee injury. He wouldn’t play in the playoffs and was released after the season. Bell would go on to retire.

Sosa would … well … you know for the next 13 years, but it didn’t start out so well. He only played in 67 games during the 1993 season, but the numbers weren’t bad considering the time played. 1993 would be his break-out season? Do you remember when Sosa could steal bases? I can’t, but he bashed 33 HR while also stealing 36 bases. He would never steal more bases than number of home runs again, but that wasn’t so bad. After only playing 105 the next season, Sosa would really break-out and become a household name.

Patterson wouldn’t be so successful. The young reliever only threw 41.2 innings, and his ERA rose 1 whole point from the previous season. Following the season, he was released. He would try with the California Angels the next season, but his ERA rose another .6 points. After being released, he caught on with the Reds who released him at the end of Spring Training. Patterson made one more attempt with the California Angels in 1994, but after those whopping .2 IP, he wasn’t heard from again.

Sorry for the nothing this weekend. It was my 21st birthday on Saturday, so I … uh … didn’t exactly have the motivation or … capabilities of coherently posting anything worthwhile. However, evidently I was hilarious Saturday night, so it may have been worthwhile, just not for baseball reasons.


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