September 28, 2021

The Looie (Aparicio) Curse

February 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

The news that Luis Aparicio has let the White Sox unretire his jersey, number 11, to let Omar Vizquel wear it in tribute to his Venezuelan predecessor called to mind the story of the Looie Curse, said to have been pronounced on the Sox by Aparicio in revenge for being traded to Baltimore in January 1963. I haven’t found many details about it, and it certainly never became Chicago legend, maybe because it involved the Sox, not the Cubs.

Anyway, a look back at Luis Aparicio from 2004 says: “As he left the organization, Aparicio started ‘the Looie Curse,’ often forgotten about by baseball fans who continue to only remember billy goats and Babe Ruth. Aparicio told the Chicago media that ‘it took the Sox 40 years to win a pennant, it’ll take them another 40 years to win another one.’ Maybe Looie really meant 50 years…or 60….or 75?”

And Bob Vanderberg’s book, Sox: From Lane and Fain to Zisk and Fisk, says: “Fearing a repeat of the case of [Chico] Carrasquel, who had played indifferently in his last year in Chicago and whose career had not lasted nearly as long as everyone had anticipated, the Sox unloaded Looie to Baltimore in January 1963.

“Aparicio immediately proclaimed that the White Sox would not win another pennant for another 40 years.”

In October 2005, with the curse having ended, the Chicago Tribune’s Ed Sherman added: “Perhaps, though, it came down to the curse. No, not the one involving Joe Jackson and the Black Sox.

“This curse came from one of the team’s favorite sons. Luis Aparicio was furious when the Sox traded him to Baltimore in 1963. The angry shortstop left with this parting shot: ‘The Sox will need 40 years to win the pennant again.'”

It was the Looie Curse, and whether Aparicio really meant it or not, it was fulfilled: the Sox won their next pennant in 2005, 42 years later, and 46 years after their 1959 pennant. Aparicio has apparently forgiven the team by now: he said, “If there is one player who I would like to see wear my uniform with the White Sox, it is Omar Vizquel.”

Arne Christensen runs Misc. Baseball, a blog assembling eclectic items about baseball’s history, and 1995 Mariners.

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