Frank Thomas explains why White Sox traded Sammy Sosa to crosstown Cubs

Chicago Cubs, Chicago White Sox

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The White Sox look bad for doing in hindsight, but Frank Thomas has explained why Sammy Sosa was traded to the crosstown rival Cubs.

On Mar. 30, 1992, the Chicago White Sox sent a young outfielder named Sammy Sosa to the Chicago Cubs with left-handed pitcher Ken Patterson for outfielder George Bell.

The Pale Hose got 25 home runs and 112 RBI from Bell in that 1992 season, then 1993 was his final major league season.

On the other side of the deal, that 1993 season was a breakout campaign for Sosa. He became the first Cub to go 30-30 (33 home runs, 36 stolen bases), and he would go on to hit 545 home runs (however eventually controversially) through the 2004 season in a Cubs’ uniform.

White Sox fans may still wonder why Sosa was traded, with having to watch him blossom with the crosstown rival Cubs as an extra layer to it. Well, there is an explanation now.

Frank Thomas explains why White Sox traded Sammy Sosa

Longtime White Sox slugger Frank Thomas was on the Sox Live pregame show Thursday. Via Yahoo!, he offered insight on why Sosa was traded.

He could of had a great, great ride on the south side. Him and Walt Hriniak didn’t get along. That’s why they had to trade him. He wouldn’t work with Walt anymore,” Thomas said.

He did not want to change his swing and he did not like the finish. So he wanted to be a two-handed guy and he didn’t fit in.”

After a run with the Boston Red Sox, Walt Hriniak was the White Sox hitting coach from 1989-1995. He was a proprietor of a one-handed finish for his hitters. He was not without critics for teaching that, including Ted Williams, but Thomas and Wade Boggs were among his disciples. The one-handed finish Hriniak taught is where Thomas’ reference to Sosa wanting to be a “two-handed guy” comes from.

There are times when players and coaches simply don’t connect, and there’s not necessarily blame to be placed on anyone. Sosa didn’t fit in with the White Sox, so visions of he and Thomas in the middle of the same lineup for years to come went away before they got off the ground in 1992.

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