Days are Upon Us
This is the time of year when baseball trade talk is
all the rage. Where will Ken Griffey be traded to? Will he be a Met? Will
he be a Brave? Will he go to the Reds?
What about the Shawn Green for Raul Mondesi deal? Who
made out better - the Dodgers or the Blue Jays?
Day after day in this baseball hot stove season we
are treated to news of deals that have been made. The Cardinals picked up
pitchers Pat Hentgen, 1996 AL Cy Young winner, and Paul Spoljaric from the
Toronto Blue Jays for pitchers Lance Painter and Matt DeWitt, and catcher
The Los Angeles Dodgers acquired Kevin Orie from the
Florida Marlins for a player to be named later. That was always the
special route of Joe Garagiola who bragged, "I went through my
baseball life as 'a player to be named later.' "
The 1999 baseball season is history but next year is
kept in the forefront with trades, trade talk and rumors, and groundwork
for future deals laid by GMs for the winter meetings Dec. 10-14 in
Most trades wind up uneventful or as someone said,
"It all comes out when you wash the uniforms." But there have
been a couple of deals through the years that were steals for some teams
and big-time blunders for the others.
There are two such deals that stand out above all
On June 15, 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals sent Ernie
Broglio, Bobby Shantz and Doug Clemens to the Chicago Cubs. In return, the
Redbirds received Jack Spring, Paul Toth and a speedy runner named Lou
Brock, who went on to become their franchise player. It was a steal for
Cardinals and a big-time blunder for the Cubs.
On December 10, 1971, the New York Mets acquired
third baseman Jim Fregosi from the California Angels for a young,
hard-throwing pitcher named Nolan Ryan. It was a steal for the Angels and
a big-time blunder for the Mets.
"The American League and the California Angels
seemed like a million miles away," Ryan told me when I was writing
"Throwing Heat," Ryan's autobiography. "I read that Gil
Hodges (the manager then) approved the deal, that he wanted Jim Fregosi,
and that he thought I was the starting pitcher he would miss the
How wrong he was.
And then there was November 18, 1954. The New York
Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles began a trading binge that ended 15 days
later. In all, seventeen players were involved, in one of the most massive
trades in baseball history.
The Yankees received pitchers Don Larsen, Bob Turley,
and Mike Blyzka. They also obtained catcher Darrell Johnson, first baseman
Dick Kryhoski, shortstop Billy Hunter and outfielders Tim Fridley and Ted
del Guercio. Baltimore obtained pitchers Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Bill
Miller, catchers Gus Triandos and Hal Smith, second baseman Don Leppert,
third baseman Kal Segrist, shortstop Willy Miranda and outfielder Gene
Larsen went on to be an asset for the Yankees and
pitched the only perfect game in World Series history. Turley was a sturdy
starter for years. The rest just blended away underscoring baseball
immortal Branch Rickey's slogan: "Trade a player a year too early
rather than a year too late."
# # #
You can reach
Harvey Frommer at:
About the Author:
Harvey Frommer is in his 38th year of writing books.
A noted oral historian and sports journalist, the author of 42 sports
books including the classics: "New York City Baseball,1947-1957" and
"Shoeless Joe and Ragtime Baseball," his acclaimed REMEMBERING YANKEE
STADIUM was published in 2008 and his REMEMBERING FENWAY PARK: AN ORAL
AND NARRATIVE HISTORY OF THE HOME OF RED SOX NATION was published to
acclaim in 2011. The prolific Frommer is at work on When It Was
Just a Game, An Oral History on Super Bowel One.
His work has appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times,
Washington Post, New York Daily News, Newsday, USA Today, Men's Heath,
The Sporting News, among other publications.
FROMMER SPORTSNET (syndicated) reaches a readership in the millions and
is housed on Internet search engines for extended periods of time.
on Twitter: http://twitter.com/south2nd
on Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/edit?locale=en_US
on the Web: http://www.dartmouth.edu/~frommer
Dr. Frommer is the Official Book Reviewer of Travel-Watch.
*Autographed copies of Frommer books are available .
Other Frommer sports related articles can be
Frommer along with his wife, Myrna Katz Frommer are the authors of
five critically acclaimed oral/cultural histories, professors at Dartmouth
College, and travel writers who specialize in cultural history, food, wine, and Jewish history and heritage
in the United States, Europe, and the Caribbean.
This Article is Copyright
© 1995 - 2014 by Harvey Frommer.
All rights reserved worldwide.