TRIVIA WINNER: Congrats to Mike Bresina of Menomonie, WI., who correctly identified Jay Hook as the pitcher who posted the first ever New York Mets win. The Prize: Starbucks Gift Card.
TRIVIA QUESTION: In December, 1964 Bob Chance (seen pictured with Tommy John below) was also traded, along with Woody Held to Washington. Who did Cleveland get in return?
ANSWER TO TRIVIA QUESTION IN THE PREVIOUS COLUMN: Jay Hook was the first pitcher to ever be credited with a win in a New York Mets uniform.
The past week or so a number of key players changed hands as teams who feel they are close to the Playoffs and teams trying to rebuild, scurry to get that right player to put them over the top, or lay the foundation for future winners. The Winter Meetings are always a time of excitement for baseball fans hoping their team will make just the right move, putting them in the next World Series. Cue to Covid the Meetings are on quite a different scale, but it doesn't stop us from taking a look back at some of those hopes which did not pan out in the 1960s.
The 1967 Pirates could hit despite the fall off from the Lumber Company of 1966. The club still needed pitching and thought one great pitcher would put them over the top. They set their eyes on one of the all-time greats; Jim Bunning, a future HOFer. The Phillies needed youth, the Bucs needed a Horse and Bunning was coming off another amazing season with a 2.29 ERA and a 17-15 recording while leading the league with 40 starts, 302 innings and 253 strike outs. He also led the league in shutouts with six. The perfect fit.
Bunning had the worst year of his career in Pittsburgh in 1968, ending 4-14 with an 3.88 ERA, was traded to the Dodgers the following season and while coming back at 13-10 in 1969, was released. Fryman went onto pitch into the 1980s and won 141 games, Money (a four time all-star) had a 16 year career, batting .261 with 176 homers.
Rocky Colavito. In what turned out to be a massive three team trade in January 1965, the Indians got Colavito from Kansas City. They gave up, to the White Sox, future stars Tommie Agee, Tommy John and slugging catcher John Romano.
A third trade involved a couple of minor league players and is the "who would have thunk it?" trade. The White Sox had a super minor leaguer who had been in their system for some time and he ended up in the Angels organization during the year of expansion. Joe Hicks was a pretty good slugger which the new Washington Senators liked. The Angels liked a young pitcher the Sens had signed by the name of Dean Chance. In December of 1960, they swapped the two players.
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