5 Ridiculous Pro Sports Transactions

  • November 17, 2010
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Lefty Grove can save you the cost of a handyman

Lefty Grove is one of the all-time pitching greats in Major League Baseball history. Over the course of his 17 year career, he amassed 300 wins with a 3.06 earned run average and struck out more than 2,200 batters while pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics and Boston Red Sox. Of course when he was just a minor league hurler playing for the Martinsburg Mountaineers, no one knew how great he would become, so it can hardly come as a shock that he was traded at the age of 20. What’s shocking is the fact that he was traded for a fence.

It turns out that a terrible storm had completely destroyed the outfield fence at the field where Martinsburg played and the cost to repair it would be approximately $3,500. Rather than shelling out the cash to pay for a new fence, the Mountaineers did the only sensible thing they could think of: they traded away a future Hall of Famer for the cost of fixing a broken down fence. By the way, Lefty Grove is the same guy who, five years later, was signed by Philadelphia for a bigger contract than the Yankees had given Babe Ruth. Just a bit of a step up from those early fence fixing days, eh, Lefty?


It would have been really convenient if he could have just fixed the fence himself.


Is swapping managers like swapping wives?

Now most instances of bizarre trades involve, you know, players. There have been a few rare cases where broadcasters have been traded and, as we’ve already told you, inanimate objects are tossed from one team to another in exchange for cash, players or, sometimes, both. But as far as we can tell, there has been only one time when two Major League Baseball managers were swapped. And we’re not talking about this as being sort of an end of the season or preseason deal, either. We’re talking a freaking middle of the season swap.

Jimmy Dykes was the manager of the Detroit Tigers and Joe Gordon was managing the Cleveland Indians in 1960 and, apparently, neither team’s general manager was happy with the performance of his skipper. So in a totally one of a kind move, the two clubs decided that rather than changing up the make up of the team, they would just see how it would work if they just swapped managers. Detroit sent Dykes to the Indians for Gordon in a straight up deal that will likely never, ever be repeated, no matter how badly Dallas Cowboy fans wish they could trade away Wade Phillips.



Written by Jeff Kelly – Copyrighted © www.weirdworm.com Image Sources

Image sources:

  • - Tim Fortugno is worth exactly one trip to the sporting goods store: http://caimages.collectors.com/psaimages/3948/15477694/93ToppsTimFortugno.jpg
  • - “I’ll give you Harry Chiti for Harry Chiti.”: http://blog.seattletimes.nwsource.com/mariners/Harry_Chiti.jpg
  • - “I’ll give you Dave Winfield for a nice steak dinner.”: http://www.posters.ws/images/836947/dave_winfield_twins_batting_photofile.jpg
  • - Lefty Grove can save you the cost of a handyman: http://sonsofsamhorn.net/wiki/images/9/9d/Lefty_Grove.jpg
  • - Is swapping managers like swapping wives?: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/7/7d/Jimmy-dykes.jpg/200px-Jimmy-dykes.jpg