1984 Fleer #65 - Jerry Koosman
On this day in 1984, the Chicago White Sox sent Jerry Koosman to the Philadelphia Phillies to complete a trade for Ron Reed on December 5, 1983.
Perhaps the greatest failure of the eighties for the White Sox was trading Jerry Koosman away. While Koosman did not have a winning record for the Phillies in 1984, he did manage to win fourteen games. Compare that record with the eight managed by all the fifth starters combined and Koosman's 3.25 ERA and you have the difference between a team on the rise and a team on the decline.
The AL West division was won with 84 games in 1984. Certainly plugging in Koosman for the season and having every other fifth starter that season concentrate in the bullpen could have made up the ten game deficit. It's plausible. Surely, Juan Agosto or Al Jones could have picked up the slack in the closing department over Ron Reed.
Nobody could have predicted how bad Britt Burns' 1984 season could have turned out. Even Mike Squires was called in to pitch once to clean up a bad Britt Burns performance. Jerry Koosman is quite possibly the lynchpin that unraveled the eighties Chicago White Sox dynasty.