Major League Career
Nineteen fifty-six was a banner year for Aparicio. He joined the Chicago White Sox, replacing fellow Venezuelan Chico Carrasquel as the starting shortstop, married Sonia Llorente (and later had five children), and was named the American League's Rookie of the Year. He remained with the White Sox for the next seven years, from 1956 to 1964, during which time he established his dominance at shortstop.
Nineteen fifty-nine was also a magical year for the starting shortstop and his close friend and fielding partner, second baseman, Nellie Fox. Second-baseman Nellie Fox paired with Aparicio for seven consecutive seasons (1956-1962) to form a defensive duo of great distinction. With Aparicio as the lead-off man for the White Sox and Fox batting second, the two earned considerable respect from fans and competitors alike. Opposing teams were well aware of the threat these two posed both on the field and at the plate. Many times players were "cheated" out of hits because of the exacting field chemistry displayed by these two Hall of Famers.
This strong pair were instrumental in helping the White Sox overcome their rivals, the New York Yankees, and go on to win the American League pennant. In fact, Aparicio made the final "out" of that season and Nellie Fox was named Most Valuable Player that year (with Aparicio coming in second). It was the first pennant win for the White Sox in forty years.
Traded to the Baltimore Orioles in 1963, Aparicio was a strong addition to his team, with his usual fielding skills. In 1968, Aparicio returned to the White Sox and remained there for the next three seasons. Two of these years were strong batting years for him. In 1969, he hit .280 and in 1970, he achieved his career high .313 batting average.