On what is his 86th birthday, the only White Sox fitting to spotlight today is the man nicknamed ‘Little Louie,’ Luis Aparicio.
The Venezuelan-born shortstop made his Major League Baseball debut on April 17, 1956. He joined a team that included fellow franchise greats and center fielder Larry Doby, second baseman Nellie Fox, and left fielder Minnie Minoso.
He spent 18 seasons in the big leagues, 10 of which came on the Southside of Chicago, in two different stints (1956-1962 and 1968-1970). He played five seasons with the Baltimore Orioles and his final three in Boston with the Red Sox.
In addition to winning the 1956 Rookie of the Year Award, Aparicio was selected to the All-Star team 13 times and was a nine-time Gold Glove Award winner.
In addition to his prowess at the shortstop position, Aparicio was also known for his speed and base-stealing ability. He led the league in stolen bases each of his first nine major league seasons, stealing more than 50 bags four times.
He compiled 2,677 career hits, had nine separate seasons where he totaled over 150 hits, and finished another two seasons with 148.
Although he wasn’t fortunate to do so with the White Sox, Aparicio was a member of the 1966 World Series Championship Orioles team.
Aparicio was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1984
His jersey, No. 11, is one of only 12 retired by the White Sox organization, though he did allow for a specific player to wear it post-retirement.
In 2010, 11-time Gold Glove winner Omar Vizquel signed with the White Sox. His usual number 13 belonged to Ozzie Guillen, whose number was already retired as well. Aparicio himself requested Vizquel, a fellow Venezuelan born player, be allowed to wear No. 11.
Happy 86th Birthday to Luis Aparicio.