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April 17, 1960

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  • Phyllis M. LaVietes
    Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that sent Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey Kuenn. Thoughts?
    Message 1 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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      Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that
      sent Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey
      Kuenn. Thoughts? Memories?

      Phyl
    • stdebay@aol.com
      For me as a then Indians/Colavito fan, it was the last straw from that fool Frank Lane that RUINED the Indians team. If anyone wants to talk about a curse
      Message 2 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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        For me as a then Indians/Colavito fan, it was the last straw from that fool Frank Lane that RUINED the Indians team.  If anyone wants to talk about a "curse" -- it was NOT the "curse of Colavito" (sorry, Mr. Pluto), but rather "the curse of Frank Lane"!!
         
        --Steve DeFreytas
         
        In a message dated 4/17/2006 9:57:11 AM Eastern Daylight Time, lavietes@... writes:
        Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that
        sent Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey
        Kuenn.  Thoughts?  Memories?

        Phyl
      • REPolton@aol.com
        Forty six years ago, I was a ten year old Indian Fan and Vice President of the Paterson, NJ Rocky Colavito Fan Club -- my older cousin George was our leader
        Message 3 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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          Forty six years ago, I was a ten year old Indian Fan and Vice President of the Paterson, NJ Rocky Colavito Fan Club -- my older cousin George was our leader and recruited me. We were Indian fans because Larry Doby was from our home town and our parents were fans of his at Eastside High School. .
          The Rocky trade was especially devastating. I had written a letter during the Indian Spring Training in Arizona asking to meet my hero Rocky on a New York road trip. I had a hand written letter from Frank Lane authorizing me to go to the Roosevelt Hotel. This note would introduce me to Rocky and the rest of the Indians. Wow!
          Then, 46 years ago (as you remind me) I got a call from cousin George that the world as we knew it had ended. Rocky was now a Detroit Tiger. I was angry and bereft. My dad helped me write a telegram to the Indians titled "Don't Hock the Rock" that helped express my ten year old frustration. It was funny, sarcastic and hostile. It helped, but didn't stop the pain. And by the way, the pain lingers to this day.
          Baseball still entertains and I have revived my affection for the Indians. I loved the mid 1990s Tribe and have hopes for the current group. I have hopes, but deep in my heart I carry the realistic expectation that one day, just as happened 46 years ago, the pain will come.  
          Richard
        • MarksUA@aol.com
          Harvey who?
          Message 4 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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            Harvey who?
          • Pease, Betsy
            46 years ago, I was a thirteen-year-old non-baseball fan. With the Rocky trade, my Tiger fanhood began-- and my lifelong Rocky worship. -B From:
            Message 5 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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              Re: [RColavito] April 17, 1960 46 years ago, I was a thirteen-year-old non-baseball fan.
              With the Rocky trade, my Tiger fanhood began-- and my lifelong Rocky worship.
              -B



              From: <REPolton@...>
              Reply-To: <rcolavito@yahoogroups.com>
              Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 11:24:29 EDT
              To: <rcolavito@yahoogroups.com>
              Subject: Re: [RColavito] April 17, 1960

              Forty six years ago, I was a ten year old Indian Fan and Vice President of the Paterson, NJ Rocky Colavito Fan Club -- my older cousin George was our leader and recruited me. We were Indian fans because Larry Doby was from our home town and our parents were fans of his at Eastside High School. .
              The Rocky trade was especially devastating. I had written a letter during the Indian Spring Training in Arizona asking to meet my hero Rocky on a New York road trip. I had a hand written letter from Frank Lane authorizing me to go to the Roosevelt Hotel. This note would introduce me to Rocky and the rest of the Indians. Wow!
              Then, 46 years ago (as you remind me) I got a call from cousin George that the world as we knew it had ended. Rocky was now a Detroit Tiger. I was angry and bereft. My dad helped me write a telegram to the Indians titled "Don't Hock the Rock" that helped express my ten year old frustration. It was funny, sarcastic and hostile. It helped, but didn't stop the pain. And by the way, the pain lingers to this day.
              Baseball still entertains and I have revived my affection for the Indians. I loved the mid 1990s Tribe and have hopes for the current group. I have hopes, but deep in my heart I carry the realistic expectation that one day, just as happened 46 years ago, the pain will come.  
              Richard
               

               
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            • Beverly J. Hess
              WOW! 46 years ago. It is amazing how much it still hurts, even after all these years. I remember getting the phone call from Rocky telling me about the trade.
              Message 6 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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                WOW! 46 years ago. It is amazing how much it still hurts, even after
                all these years. I remember getting the phone call from Rocky telling me
                about the trade. At the end of the phone call we were both in tears. I
                can still hear the boos that continued throughout the 1960 season
                whenever Kuenn came up to bat. It's kind of sad for him too because he
                was a victim the same as Rocky. It is fortunate for all us Indians fans
                that trader Lane didn't last any longer than he did!! And yes, I agree
                with Steve, it was the "curse of Frank Lane".

                Bev Hess

                Phyllis M. LaVietes wrote:

                >Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that
                >sent Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey
                >Kuenn. Thoughts? Memories?
                >
                >Phyl
                >
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                >Yahoo! Groups Links
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              • Shardale22@aol.com
                As with Richard, I was eight, and a fan of Rocky. He was WHY I became a baseball fan. Tho I still rooted for the Indians (much more subdued) I followed
                Message 7 of 12 , Apr 17, 2006
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                  As with Richard, I was eight, and a fan of Rocky. He was WHY I became a baseball fan.  Tho I still rooted for the Indians (much more subdued) I followed Rocky to Detroit and then to KC with my team allegiance.  We'll never know for sure just what that trade cost us all; the Indians, Rocky, and all his fans, and who knows what his production would have been had he stayed put, in a more comfortable surrounding.  I was glad when he returned a few years later, but it was never the same.  The curse of Traitor Lane....
                • buffalo27@aol.com
                  I was a Cleveland fan, then a Detroit fan, then a Cleveland fan again. When the Rock left Kansas City I was the only kid on my neighborhood with a KC hat so I
                  Message 8 of 12 , Apr 19, 2006
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                    I was a Cleveland fan, then a Detroit fan, then a Cleveland fan again. When the Rock left Kansas City I was the only kid on my neighborhood with a KC hat so I stuck with them. So I have been an A's fan since 1962. Rocky's fault. My favorite times though were listening to the Tigers and Ernie Harwell saying Don't knock the Rock.
                    It was not easy being an A's fan with an old Moe Drabowsky and Orlando Pena as their best pitchers and being the Yankees farm team, and the Finley goats and white shoes. The A's did make up for it though and love them as being a small market competitive team. Reggie and Catfish make me sick with their old timer Yankee uniforms. And when the Rock wound up on the Yankees I though I would lay an egg.
                    Still the Rock in that Indians uniform just seems right.
                    I hope he knows how many people he inspired.
                    Charley in Buffalo  
                  • Towarnicky, Joe
                    Yo Yo is too kind. Yes he did. But people don t talk about it because he acquired Cash just a few months earlier from the White Sox as a throw in with the
                    Message 9 of 12 , Apr 20, 2006
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                      Yo Yo is too kind.  Yes he did.  But people don't talk about it because he acquired Cash just a few months earlier from the White Sox as a throw in with the MInnie Minoso trade and then traded him for Steve Demeter.  Steve who?   He had a two cups of coffee with the sox.
                       
                      BTW. Have you heard the story that Kaline, Cash, and Colavito almost became Indians? 
                       
                      Frank Lane was trying to become the all-time greatest trader.  So, what better way to do that but to trade an entire team.  In late July /early August 1960 the Indians and Tigers had identical records.  So Frank proposed trading the entire team to Detroit for Detroit's team.  (just 3 1/2 months after the Rocky and Cash trades).  The Detroit GM declined; but they decided to trade managers:  and Joe Gordon went to detroit for Jimmy Dykes.
                       
                      You can look it up (as Casey would say).  Dykes and Gordon managed 94-95 games with Detroit/Cleveland and the rest of the season with the other.
                       
                      Cleveland finished 5 games ahead of Detroit that year with 78 wins.  But the next year, Cleveland won 78 games again (even though the schedule was expanded to 162 games) and Detroit won 101. 
                       

                      Joseph M. Towarnicky, Ph.D.
                      Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc.
                      756 Park Meadow Road
                      Westerville, Ohio 43081

                      (614) 508-1200
                      (614) 508-1212 (direct)
                      (614) 207-5397 (cell)
                      (614) 508-1201 (fax)
                      jtowarnicky@... (email)
                      www.lata.com

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                      This message is intended only for use by the individual or entity to which it is addressed.  This message may contain information that is confidential or privileged.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination, or other use of (or any action taken in reliance upon) this information by persons or entities other than the intended recipient is prohibited.  If you received this message in error, please contact the sender via email or LATA at (614) 508-1200. 

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                      From: rcolavito@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rcolavito@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of linquini54@...
                      Sent: Wednesday, April 19, 2006 7:53 PM
                      To: rcolavito@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [RColavito] April 17, 1960

                      It seems many of the people on this Rocky Group
                      are Cleveland Rocky Fans,
                      I am a Detroit Rocky fan,
                      I'll tell you, (as if you didn't know)
                      I loved it when Rocky came to the Tigers,
                      Cash, Colavito, Kaline, What a line-up,
                       
                      But I have a question?
                       
                      Did this (GM of Cleveland) Frankie Lane also
                      give away Norm Cash to the Tigers?
                       
                      If so, What a Yo-Yo!
                       
                      Marty
                       
                       
                       
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: Towarnicky, Joe <jtowarnicky@...>
                      To: rcolavito@yahoogroups.com
                      Sent: Wed, 19 Apr 2006 12:08:42 -0400
                      Subject: FW: [RColavito] April 17, 1960

                       
                      
                      
                      April 17, 1960, was the date I started the process of becoming an adult -- I 
                      would never again have the optimism inherent in being a child.  I remember 
                      hoping that it was some sort of April fools' joke; that any minute, Frank Lane 
                      would come to his senses and cancel the trade.  
                      
                      I've attached an article on April blockbusters that goes into depth about the 
                      Rocky trade.  It's the last couple of paragraphs.  I've attached the whole 
                      article so it is properly attributed. 
                      
                      
                      
                      Joseph M. Towarnicky, Ph.D.
                      Los Alamos Technical Associates, Inc. 
                      756 Park Meadow Road
                      Westerville, Ohio 43081
                      
                      (614) 508-1200
                      (614) 508-1212 (direct)
                      (614) 207-5397 (cell)
                      (614) 508-1201 (fax)
                      jtowarnicky@... (email)
                      www.lata.com
                      
                      ******************************************************************
                      This message is intended only for use by the individual or entity to which it is 
                      addressed.  This message may contain information that is confidential or 
                      privileged.  Any review, retransmission, dissemination, or other use of (or any 
                      action taken in reliance upon) this information by persons or entities other 
                      than the intended recipient is prohibited.  If you received this message in 
                      error, please contact the sender via email or LATA at (614) 508-1200.  
                      ******************************************************************
                      Subject: THT article: Mid-Season Blockbusters: April 
                      
                      Mid-Season Blockbusters:  April
                      by Steve Treder of The Hardball Times
                      April 11, 2006 
                      
                      http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/mid-season-blockbusters-april/
                      
                      
                      Hallelujah!  The regular season is upon us again.
                      
                      It's time to turn our attention to the subject of trades made during the season.  
                      Mid-season trades are, of course, not as common as trades made during the 
                      offseason (although that seems to be changing in recent years, as we will 
                      explore).  There are complicating factors that crop up when exchanging players 
                      between two (or occasionally more than two!) teams while a season is underway. 
                      
                      Perhaps it's the audacity of teams agreeing that, the hell with the 
                      complications, let's do it, that makes mid-season trades somehow more fun than 
                      offseason trades.  It's also this: for at least one of the teams involved in any 
                      mid-season trade, immediate payoff is anticipated.  A mid-season trade is the 
                      very essence of a maneuver that demands short-term results, for at least one of 
                      the parties involved.  Therefore there's a distinct air of urgency about them, 
                      and usually it's clear within a matter of months, sometimes within a matter of 
                      weeks, whether the trade has met its objective, again for at least one of the 
                      teams involved. 
                      
                      This is the first of what will be a monthly series examining the most prominent 
                      mid-season trades made during each month throughout history.  
                      There have been a whole lot of trades made over the years, so we'll have to 
                      limit ourselves to looking only at the very biggest ones: the blockbusters. 
                      
                      How will we define blockbuster?  It isn't terribly precise: a trade involving at 
                      least one player who was, if not a full-fledged star, at least a prominent, 
                      established regular, either at or reasonably near the peak of his career.  So a 
                      trade involving a Hall of Famer in his final phase, such as, say, Steve Carlton 
                      getting shuttled around at age 42, won't be included.  Nor will one involving a 
                      couple of kids, one of whom later blossoms into a big star, such as George 
                      Foster getting traded during his rookie year.  To be included here, a trade had 
                      to be perceived as a blockbuster at the time it was made-these deals were all on 
                      the front page of the sports section for the teams involved, and many were 
                      front-page news 
                      across the country.    
                      
                      This month's edition will look at blockbusters occurring after Opening Day, but 
                      before the end of April.  Not surprisingly, this list isn't nearly as long as 
                      those we'll be scrutinizing in the months ahead: 
                      historically, the regular season didn't start until mid-April (often more like 
                      late April), and generally it's seemed to be the case that teams haven't been as 
                      motivated to pull the trigger on a big deal so early in the young season. 
                      
                      
                      April 27, 1932:  The Chicago White Sox traded pitcher Bump Hadley and outfielder 
                      Bruce Campbell to the St. Louis Browns for infielder Red Kress. 
                      
                      April 29, 1932:  The Chicago White Sox traded outfielder Smead Jolley, 
                      outfielder-first baseman Johnny Watwood, and catcher Bennie Tate to the Boston 
                      Red Sox for catcher Charlie Berry.  
                      
                      The 1920s had been an era without much mid-season trading activity.  But the 
                      1930s were different, as illustrated by these two rather big ones taking place 
                      two days apart in early 1932, both involving the White Sox.  The Pale Hose had 
                      finished in last place in 1931, and were off to another slow start in '32 (5-8 
                      through games of April 27th, 5-10 through the 29th), and clearly they were 
                      adopting a talent buyer's posture, with 2-for-1 and
                      3-for-1 deals here. 
                      
                      But the specifics of these are puzzlers.  Kress was a very good young 
                      shortstop-third baseman, but the White Sox had a 25-year-old Luke Appling 
                      already on hand at short, and proceeded to give Kress almost no action at third.  
                      And Berry was a decent catcher, but hardly a star, not someone you'd need to 
                      give up three guys (including Jolley, who was a fine hitter) to get.  The White 
                      Sox surrendered a lot of talent in these moves, and it really isn't clear what 
                      they were thinking.  For what it's worth, they finished the '32 season with a 
                      record of 49-102. 
                      
                      
                      April 27, 1943:  The New York Giants traded second baseman Connie Ryan and 
                      catcher Hugh Poland to the Boston Braves for catcher Ernie Lombardi. 
                      
                      This was a textbook circumstance of a contender (the Giants had finished third 
                      in 1942) sending a good prospect (that would be Ryan; Poland was just roster 
                      filler) to a bottom-feeder (the Braves had finished seventh in '42) for a 
                      veteran star (Lombardi had led the league in batting average in '42, but was 35 
                      years old).  It would take the 23-year-old rookie Ryan a year to settle in, but 
                      he turned out to be a solid player.  Lombardi did well for the Giants, but with 
                      a wartime-draft-depleted roster, they thudded to last place in 1943 anyway. 
                      
                      
                      April 27, 1945:  The Detroit Tigers traded third baseman-outfielder Don Ross and 
                      second baseman Dutch Meyer to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Roy 
                      Cullenbine. 
                      
                      Cullenbine was 31 years old, a switch-hitter with power and a veritable OBP 
                      machine who had given the Indians two outstanding years.  Nonetheless, off to a 
                      1-5 start in the early going of '45, the Tribe decided they would find more 
                      value from two journeymen.  Cleveland had finished in fifth in 1944, and they 
                      came in fifth again in '45.  The Tigers got a great year from Cullenbine and won 
                      the 1945 pennant.  
                      
                      
                      April 30, 1951:  In a three-club deal, the Philadelphia Athletics sent pitcher 
                      Lou Brissie to the Cleveland Indians and outfielder Paul Lehner to the Chicago 
                      White Sox; the Indians sent pitcher Sam Zoldak and catcher Ray Murray to the 
                      Athletics and outfielder-third baseman Orestes "Minnie" 
                      Miñoso to the White Sox; and the White Sox sent outfielders Gus Zernial and Dave 
                      Philley to the Athletics. 
                      
                      One of the most fascinating trades ever made.  
                      
                      Until that day, like the great majority of major league teams, the White Sox 
                      were still racially segregated, a whites-only operation.  As of April 29, 1951, 
                      the only franchises deploying players of color were the Brooklyn Dodgers, New 
                      York Giants, and Boston Braves in the National League, and the Cleveland Indians 
                      in the American:  four years following Jackie Robinson's breakthrough, 
                      three-quarters of major league baseball remained segregated, and it was a valid 
                      question as to whether the general integration of the sport would ever occur. 
                      
                      Thus the White Sox's acquisition of Miñoso was a very bold move, from several 
                      perspectives: not only were they joining the Indians as just the second 
                      integrated team in the AL (the St. Louis Browns had taken the step in mid-1947, 
                      only to quickly retreat), and not only were they becoming the first ball club to 
                      integrate in the city of Chicago, but they were also doing so with a black 
                      player who was Cuban, and thus facing full-scale cultural and linguistic 
                      obstacles along with the thorny racial issues.  On top of that, with Paul 
                      Richards as their manager, the White Sox were the first ball club to integrate 
                      under a white Southerner's direction. 
                        
                      Moreover, Miñoso was anything but an established major league talent.  He was 
                      (apparently) 28 years old, but since being signed by the Cleveland organization 
                      in late 1948, had played in just 17 major league games, having spent nearly all 
                      of his time in the Pacific Coast League.  Despite all this, at a point at which 
                      the White Sox were already off to a surprisingly good
                      6-4 start, general manger Frank Lane executed this huge deal, surrendering two 
                      standout regulars (slugging left fielder Zernial and switch-hitting center 
                      fielder Philley) in exchange for Miñoso and 30-year-old journeyman outfielder 
                      Lehner.  It was, in every regard, an extremely high-risk decision, as there were 
                      a multitude of ways in which the acquisition of Miñoso might have been a 
                      disaster. 
                      
                      It paid off magnificently.  The white Texan Richards managed the integration of 
                      the Spanish-speaking black into the White Sox's clubhouse and lineup without 
                      incident.  Miñoso responded with a brilliant, electrifying performance in his 
                      first opportunity for regular play in the majors.  He was immediately a huge fan 
                      favorite in Chicago, and the question of racial integration of baseball in the 
                      city was emphatically resolved.  Later that season, the White Sox deployed two 
                      African-American players (Sammy Hairston and Bob Boyd), and no White Sox edition 
                      since has failed to include players 
                      of color.    
                      
                       
                      April 30, 1955:  The Philadelphia Phillies traded catcher Smoky Burgess, 
                      outfielder Stan Palys, and pitcher Steve Ridzik to the Cincinnati Reds for 
                      outfielders Jim Greengrass and Glen Gorbous and catcher Andy Seminick.  
                      
                      Philadelphia and Cincinnati had been nearly exact equals in the middle of the 
                      National League standings in 1954, but they were off to different starts in '55: 
                      the Phillies at 9-6, the Reds at 4-11. 
                      
                      In that '54 season, Burgess had burst out with a tremendous .368 performance as 
                      a 27-year-old platoon catcher.  But his platoon partner, 28-year-old Stan 
                      Lopata, had also stepped forward with a terrific year.  
                      Consider the line of the Phillies catching duo in 1954:  .334/.405/.531, 140 
                      OPS+, including 41 doubles, 10 triples, 18 homers, and 75 walks in 604
                      at-bats.  These two guys were hitting up a flipping storm. 
                      
                      So the Phillies reasonably concluded  that they had a talent surplus behind the 
                      plate, and in early 1955 decided to convert Burgess into Greengrass, a 
                      27-year-old corner outfielder who'd driven in 95 runs in '54, and 100 in 1953.  
                      (Palys and Gorbous were both rookies, and neither would ever be a regular.  
                      Seminick had once been a star, in fact for the Phils, but was now a role player, 
                      and Ridzik was a nothing-special long reliever-spot starter.) 
                      
                      Burgess would continue to hit wonderfully for the Reds, although it's 
                      questionable why they acquired him, given that they had the young Ed Bailey on 
                      hand.  Greengrass would struggle and then completely collapse for the Phillies.  
                      Thus a deal that looked to be more sensible from the Phils standpoint turned out 
                      much better for the Reds. 
                      
                      
                      Speaking of Ed Bailey ...
                      
                      April 27, 1961:  The San Francisco Giants traded second baseman Don Blasingame, 
                      catcher Bob Schmidt, and a player to be named later to the Cincinnati Reds for 
                      catcher Ed Bailey.  (On May 13, 1961, the Giants sent pitcher Sherman Jones to 
                      the Reds, completing the deal.)  
                      
                      The Giants had given up quite a bit (Daryl Spencer and Leon Wagner) to get 
                      Blasingame, but he'd turned out to be a major disappointment.  By late April of 
                      '61 he'd lost his second base job to Chuck Hiller, and when you've lost your 
                      second base job to "Iron Hands" Hiller, you've done some losing.  This deal came 
                      out fine for the Giants, as Bailey did well while both Blasingame and Schmidt 
                      bombed for the Reds in '61-though the Reds won the pennant that year anyway.  
                      
                      
                      April 21, 1966:  The Philadelphia Phillies traded pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, 
                      outfielder Adolfo Phillips, and first baseman-outfielder John Herrnstein to the 
                      Chicago Cubs for pitchers Larry Jackson and Bob Buhl.  
                      
                      The logic of a contending team sending a package of prospects to a rebuilding 
                      team for in exchange for established veterans is obvious from both perspectives.  
                      And at least in Jackson, the Phillies got exactly what they were looking for 
                      here: a rock-solid workhorse.  But the risk of giving up prospects is that you 
                      never know for sure if one of them will rapidly bloom into a major star and go 
                      on to the Hall of Fame.  Oops. 
                      
                      
                      April 19, 1969:  The Cleveland Indians traded pitchers Sonny Siebert and Vicente 
                      Romo and catcher Joe Azcue to the Boston Red Sox for first baseman-oufielder Ken 
                      Harrelson and pitchers Dick Ellsworth and Juan Pizarro.  
                      
                      Young fans may be familiar with "Hawk" Harrelson only as a free-spirited 
                      broadcaster, but trust me on this, he was a free-spirited ballplayer too.  
                      At the time of this trade, he was 27, wore longish "mod" hair and frequently 
                      sported a Nehru jacket, and had already been fired by Charlie Finley for having 
                      too much attitude-no small feat.  He'd also led the major leagues in RBIs in 
                      1968, but with the 1969 return of Tony Conigliaro from his terrible injury, the 
                      Red Sox accepted this Indians' offer of a substantial pitching upgrade. 
                      
                      Harrelson, for his part, immediately announced he would retire from baseball 
                      instead of reporting to Cleveland.  He was persuaded to change his mind after a 
                      few days; the Indians' sudden offer of a two-year contract that nearly doubled 
                      his salary was probably helpful in that regard. 
                      
                      
                      April 26, 1974:  The New York Yankees traded pitchers Fritz Peterson, Steve 
                      Kline, Fred Beene, and Tom Buskey to the Cleveland Indians for first baseman 
                      Chris Chambliss and pitchers Dick Tidrow and Cecil Upshaw. 
                      
                      The Yankees would never have become quite the juggernaut they were in the late 
                      1950s and early 1960s without the kind assistance of the Kansas City Athletics, 
                      tossing them regular trade lollipops.  Similarly, George Steinbrenner's first 
                      great Yankee team owed a debt of gratitude to the incompetence of Cleveland 
                      Indians' management, both in this deal and the 
                      Graig Nettles laugher.   
                      
                      
                      April 27, 1977:  The New York Yankees traded pitcher Dock Ellis, infielder Marty 
                      Perez, and outfielder Larry Murray to the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Mike 
                      Torrez. 
                      
                      Rather than lose Torrez to his impending free agency, Charlie Finley decided 
                      he'd be better off with this package.  If Ellis had performed at anything close 
                      to his established level-in eight full seasons coming into '77, he'd been 
                      extremely consistent, with ERAs between 2.70 and 3.79-it would have paid off. 
                      
                      Buuuut, no.  Here's how Dock Ellis did in 1977:
                      
                      -With the Yankees, in three starts and 20 innings, a 1.83 ERA -With the A's, in 
                      seven starts and 26 innings, a 9.69 ERA
                      
                      In mid-June, an exasperated Finley sold Ellis to Texas, and for the rest of the 
                      year: 
                      
                      -  With the Rangers, in 22 starts and 167 innings, a 2.90 ERA
                      
                      The Dockster!  You had to love him.
                      
                       
                      April 22, 1988:  The Minnesota Twins traded outfielder Tom Brunansky to the St. 
                      Louis Cardinals for second baseman Tommy Herr.  
                      
                      This one was a stunner.  After having faced off in a seven-game World Series the 
                      previous October, both the Twins and Cardinals got off to bad starts in '88, and 
                      then decided to swap veteran regulars. 
                      
                      Brunansky and Herr were complete opposite types, but actually quite similar in 
                      bottom-line ability.  In '88, Herr had some injuries with the Twins, and didn't 
                      have a good year, while Brunansky had his usual solid season for the Cards-but 
                      the Twins rebounded from their slow start to come in second, while the Cardinals 
                      finished at 76-86, in fifth place. 
                      
                      April Bonus!
                      Okay, none of the following deals meet the qualification as mid-season 
                      transactions; all occurred prior to Opening Day.  But all were just before 
                      Opening Day, and well into the month of April, and they were just such 
                      stupendous blockbusters that we ought to talk about them anyway.  So here we go. 
                      
                      
                      
                      April 12, 1916: The Cleveland Indians traded pitcher Sam Jones, third baseman 
                      Fred Thomas, and $55,000 cash to the Boston Red Sox for outfielder Tris Speaker.  
                      
                      
                      The enormousness of this deal is difficult to overstate.  Jones and Thomas were 
                      just prospects (though Jones would later emerge as a star).  But $55,000 was a 
                      gargantuan sum in the baseball business of 1916.  And Tris Speaker was 28 years 
                      old, and the close rival of Ty Cobb as the very best player in the game.  
                      
                      
                      April 16, 1938:  The Chicago Cubs traded pitchers Curt Davis and Clyde Shoun, 
                      outfielder Tuck Stainback, and $185,000 cash to the St. Louis Cardinals for 
                      pitcher Dizzy Dean. 
                      
                      One of Branch Rickey's famous maxims was, "It's better to trade a player a year 
                      too early than a year too late."  Never was he more quick on the trigger than in 
                      this case.  His tremendous young ace Dean had developed arm trouble in 1937 (the 
                      familiar explanation being that Dean attempted to come back too soon from the 
                      broken toe he suffered in that year's All-Star Game, but I've often wondered if 
                      the sore arm would have come along anyway).  In the spring of '38, with Dean 
                      still hurting, Rickey wasn't inclined to be patient, instead accepting this 
                      lavish offer from the Cubs. 
                      
                      The Mahatma had read the situation perfectly.  Dean was able to use his 
                      impeccable control to give the Cubs effective results in very limited work in 
                      1938, but after that he was basically done.  Meanwhile, Davis and Shoun both had 
                      several good years for the Cardinals, and, oh yes, that small fortune in cash 
                      was nice too. 
                      
                      
                      April 17, 1960: The Cleveland Indians traded outfielder Rocky Colavito to the 
                      Detroit Tigers for outfielder Harvey Kuenn.  
                      
                      Frantic Frankie Lane was the general manager in Cleveland at this point, and was 
                      guilty on more than one occasion of making a trade for a trade's sake.  
                      Later in 1960, for instance, he swapped managers with Detroit.  But this 
                      particular deal, swung on the eve of Opening Day, was no doubt his silliest. 
                      
                      Kuenn was a very fine ballplayer, of course, and had been forging an outstanding 
                      career with the Tigers.  But not only was he three years older than Colavito, in 
                      1957, 1958, and 1959 Colavito had been a better ballplayer.  Here are their Win 
                      Shares entering 1960:  
                      
                      YearKuennColavito
                      1952    2   x
                      1953    19  x
                      1954    19  x
                      1955    2   21
                      1956    26  16
                      1957    15  18
                      1958    21  32
                      1959    25  29
                      Total   149 96
                      So not only could the 26-year-old Colavito have been expected to have a better 
                      future ahead of him than Kuenn, he was already enjoying a better present. 
                      
                      Nevertheless, Colavito had an off-year in his first season for Detroit, and for 
                      1960, the Indians won this deal.  However, Colavito rebounded strongly in '61, 
                      and for the remainder of both of their careers, he was far and away superior to 
                      Kuenn.  One a pure value-for-value basis, the trade wasn't close. 
                      
                      YearKuennColavito
                      1960    18  13
                      1961    10  33
                      1962    18  26
                      1963    14  21
                      1964    8   22
                      1965    3   28
                      1966    3   18
                      1967    x   10
                      1968    x   6
                      Tota    l74 177
                      But, wait a minute, I hear you saying.  It isn't this simple.  Not only did 
                      Kuenn not spend the remainder of his career with Cleveland-indeed he was traded 
                      away in December of 1960-but Colavito himself came back to Cleveland, rejoining 
                      the Indians beginning in 1965.  So instead of just comparing Kuenn and Colavito, 
                      it might make more sense to compile the comparative Win Shares of the entire 
                      chain of Indians players who were linked following the initial swap. 
                      
                      Kuenn was traded for Willie Kirkland and Johnny Antonelli, so we'll count the 
                      Win Shares they accumulated for the Indians in the "Received" column below, 
                      while beginning in '61, Kuenn's Win Shares now go in the "Traded" 
                      category along with Colavito's.  Following 1963, Kirkland was swapped for Al 
                      Smith, so Smith's Cleveland Win Shares get counted in 1964-er, they would have, 
                      if Smith had accumulated more than zero for Cleveland in '64.  He was at the end 
                      of the line that year (as Antonelli had been in 1961), and so by the end of 
                      1964, the Kuenn-Kirkland-Antonelli-Smith line had petered out for the Indians. 
                      
                      But Colavito was still going strong.  And the good news was that the Indians now 
                      got him back in a trade, along with backup catcher Camilo Carreon.  
                      That's the good news.  Here's the bad news:  in order to get Colavito and 
                      Carreon, Cleveland surrendered Johnny Romano, Tommie Agee, and-hoo boy-Tommy 
                      John.  So all their post-1964 Win Shares get counted in the "Traded" column. 
                      
                      Carreon was essentially done following '65.  Colavito remained with the Indians 
                      through mid-1967, at which point he was traded for Jim King, who gave Cleveland 
                      zero Win Shares and then was done himself.  Agee at that point had his best 
                      seasons yet to come, and John ... well, let's just say he had a whole long way 
                      yet to go. 
                      
                      Year  Received  Traded
                      1960     18       13
                      1961     18       43
                      1962      7       44
                      1963     11       35
                      1964      0       35
                      1965     30       42
                      1966     18       64
                      1967      5       36
                      1968      x       20
                      1969      x       45
                      1970      x       40
                      1971      x       29
                      1972      x       22
                      1973      x       20
                      1974      x       11
                      1975      x        x
                      1976      x       13
                      1977      x       19
                      1978      x       12
                      1979      x       23
                      1980      x       19
                      1981      x       10
                      1982      x       12
                      1983      x       10
                      1984      x        7
                      1985      x        1
                      1986      x        6
                      1987      x       13
                      1988      x        7
                      1989      x        0
                      Total   107      651
                      It ain't a pretty picture.  Sorry, Indians' fans.
                      
                      Next month: the May blockbusters.
                      
                      -----Original Message-----
                      From: rcolavito@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rcolavito@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of 
                      Beverly J. Hess
                      Sent: Monday, April 17, 2006 12:13 PM
                      To: rcolavito@yahoogroups.com
                      Subject: Re: [RColavito] April 17, 1960
                      
                      WOW! 46 years ago.  It is amazing how much it still hurts, even after all these 
                      years. I remember getting the phone call from Rocky telling me about the trade. 
                      At the end of the phone call we were both in tears.  I can still hear the boos 
                      that continued throughout the 1960 season whenever Kuenn came up to bat.  It's 
                      kind of sad for him too because he was a victim the same as Rocky. It is 
                      fortunate for all us Indians fans that trader Lane didn't last any longer than 
                      he did!!  And yes, I agree with Steve, it was the "curse of Frank Lane".
                      
                      Bev Hess
                      
                      Phyllis M. LaVietes wrote:
                      
                      
                      >Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that sent >Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey Kuenn. >Thoughts? Memories? > >Phyl > > > > >Yahoo! Groups Links > > > > > > > > > >
                      Yahoo! Groups Links Yahoo! Groups Links <*> To visit your group on the web, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rcolavito/ <*> To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to: rcolavito-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com <*> Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to: http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
                    • rockyguzman@aol.com
                      Does anyone know if Rocky Colavito is doing any signings within the near future? I would appreciate any info. Thanks! Rocky Guzman
                      Message 10 of 12 , Apr 25, 2006
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                        Does anyone know if Rocky Colavito is doing any signings within the near future? I would appreciate any info. Thanks!
                         
                        Rocky Guzman
                      • Nahhh....
                        My Dad raved about that trade! He came back from Cleveland in 1958 with an autographed baseball by the entire Indians team including Rocky. He was really
                        Message 11 of 12 , May 21, 2006
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                          My Dad raved about that trade! He came back from Cleveland in 1958
                          with an autographed baseball by the entire Indians team including
                          Rocky. He was really impressed with Rocky the man as well.

                          By the way, that baseball is available for a price!

                          --- In rcolavito@yahoogroups.com, "Phyllis M. LaVietes" <lavietes@...>
                          wrote:
                          >
                          > Today is the 46th anniversary of the still-talked-about trade that
                          > sent Rocky from the Indians to the Tigers in exchange for Harvey
                          > Kuenn. Thoughts? Memories?
                          >
                          > Phyl
                          >
                        • Phyllis LaVietes
                          Well, it s the anniversary of The Trade.  Comments and reminiscences? Phyl Well, it s the anniversary of The Trade. Comments and reminiscences? Phyl
                          Message 12 of 12 , Apr 17, 2009
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                            Well, it's the anniversary of The Trade.  Comments and reminiscences?

                            Phyl

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