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White Sox deal Pena to Houston

August 15, 1997

CHICAGO (AP) _ The Chicago White Sox have traded veteran catcher Tony Pena, who plans to retire at the end of the season, to the Houston Astros for minor league pitcher Julien Tucker.

Pena, 40, was hitting .164 with eight RBIs in 31 games for the White Sox. The five-time All-Star ranks fourth on baseball’s career games caught list with 1,942, trailing Carlton Fisk (2,226), Bob Boone (2,225) and Gary Carter (2,056).

Pena nearly quit upon hearing of the trade Thursday, but was talked into finishing the season with the first-place Astros by White Sox general manager Ron Schueler.

``I thought this was going to be the last uniform I was going to wear,″ Pena said of the White Sox. ``When I signed this year, I signed because of my association with the players here. They are great human beings. They treated me with a lot of respect.″

Signed as a free agent by the White Sox in the offseason, Pena started his major league career in 1980 with Pittsburgh and also played for St. Louis, Boston and Cleveland. Pena, who entered the season with a .261 career batting average and 107 homers, played in the World Series in 1987 with St. Louis and in 1995 with Cleveland.

Tucker, 24, was 8-7 with a 5.22 ERA in 34 games at Class A Kissimmee of the Florida State League, but the right-hander is 2-0 with a 0.84 ERA in August. He will report to the White Sox’s Class A Hickory team in the South Atlantic League.

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