40 years ago today: The Trade Parade

Forty years ago today, on November 30, 1972, there were 9 trades in MLB:

The Detroit Tigers traded Jim Foor and Norm McRae to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Dick Sharon.

The Chicago Cubs traded Bob Maneely (minors), Joe Decker and Bill Hands to the Minnesota Twins for Dave LaRoche.

The Texas Rangers traded Horacio Pina to the Oakland Athletics for Mike Epstein.

The Texas Rangers traded Tom Ragland to the Cleveland Indians for Vince Colbert.

The Philadelphia Phillies traded Joe LisKen Reynolds and Ken Sanders to the Minnesota Twins for Cesar Tovar.

The San Diego Padres traded Al Severinsen to the New York Mets for Dave Marshall.

The Cincinnati Reds traded Hal McRae and Wayne Simpson to the Kansas City Royals for Roger Nelson and Richie Scheinblum.

The Cleveland Indians traded Terry Wedgewood (minors) and Del Unser to the Philadelphia Phillies for Roger Freed and Oscar Gamble.

The Atlanta Braves traded Taylor Duncan and Earl Williams to the Baltimore Orioles for Pat DobsonRoric HarrisonDavey Johnson and Johnny Oates.

Some notes on these trades:

  • Two different McRaes were traded
  • All-Stars: LaRoche, Hal McRae, Simpson, Scheinblum, Dobson, Johnson
  • Players w/ memorable nicknames: Superjew, Pepito, Spider
  • Future managers: McRae, Johnson, Oates

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40 Comments on "40 years ago today: The Trade Parade"

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Ed
Guest

Almost three years later (Nov. 22 1975), Pat Dobson and Oscar Gamble were traded straight up for one another.

PP
Guest

Still hard to believe that Minnesota writer gave Tovar a first place MVP vote in ’67.

PP
Guest

I guess it has to be one of the worst 1st place votes ever.

Richard Chester
Guest

In 1947 Eddie Joost got 2 first-place votes with an OPS+ of 88. Tovar’s was 97.

PP
Guest

In the last two games of that season, which the Sox had to win, Yaz went 7 for 8 with 6 RBIs, 2 runs scored and a homer (strangely, they didn’t intentionally walk him even though Harrelson wasn’t hitting). Tovar went 1 for 8 with 2 runs scored and 1 GIDP.

Lawrence Azrin
Guest

Yaz also threw Bob Allison out at second base to kill a rally, and also helped several little old ladies cross Lansdowne Street.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Joost was worth 2.0 rWAR; Tovar 2.1. Michael Young was worth 2.1 last season (125 OPS+ from a DH/atrocious infielder) and got a first-place vote.

brp
Guest

I didn’t realize TimmyP had an MVP vote!

Ed
Guest
The distinction of lowest WAR for a position player receiving a first place MVP vote goes to Dante Bichette’s who received 6 first place votes in 1995 despite a WAR of 1.0. Understandable, though, given his counting stats. If you include pitchers, then the record goes to Bruce Sutter who received two first place votes in 1982 despite a WAR of 0.8. A curious case is Harry Danning who received a first place vote in 1937 despite only playing in 93 games, having 312 PAs and hitting a modest .288 with 8 home runs, 51 RBIs, and 30 runs scored.… Read more »
Doug
Guest
Catchers got a lot of respect in those days; maybe too much. In 1926, Bob O’Farrell won the MVP as the catcher on the WS champ Cardinals, despite ranking only 6th on his team in OPS+. Those Cardinals included Rajah who was MVP the year before, and therefore was ineligible. Perhaps the voters were impressed with O’Farrell making the clinching play in the 7-game WS, by throwing out Ruth for the final out. Hornsby actually had an off year in 1926, the lowest OPS+ year (124) of his career, among qualifying seasons. He had been league leader in BA, OBP,… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

I guess you’re saying that back then the MVP voting took place after the WS.

Doug
Guest

Actually, I was just being facetious. I don’t when the voting happened.

Steven
Guest

Hornsby was also the manager of the Cardinals that season. He was traded to the Giants after the 1926 Series for another future player-manager: Frankie Frisch. O’Farrell also would become a player-manager for St. Louis-in 1927.

Doug
Guest

That Unser for Gamble swap worked out remarkably well for both clubs. In the 3 preceding years, Gamble was 80 OPS+ in limited playing time, and Unser was 85 OPS+ as a regular. In the first two years with their new teams, Gamble had 131 OPS+ and 4.6 WAR, while Unser was 108/4.7.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Should we all know who was nicknamed Superjew? I’m guessing it wasn’t Oscar Gamble.

Richard Chester
Guest

It can be only one of three guys: Scheinblum, Epstein or Sharon. See if you can guess which one.

Richard Chester
Guest

I wrote this without being aware of Andy’s post 12.

Bryan O'Connor
Editor

Totally missed Epstein’s name in Andy’s post. I wouldn’t think Dick Sharon would need a nickname- just a misspelling.

Paul E
Guest

Is that Ariel Sharon, Tel Aviv Toppers’ GM?

Brent
Guest
Ah yes, 1972, back when it was considered lucky to be a Royals fan. Before that fleecing of the Reds for McRae, the Royals had traded Joe Foy for Amos Otis (12/3/69), Jim Campanis, Jackie Hernandez and Bob Johnson for Freddie Patek and a couple other guys (12/3/70); Lance Clemons and Jim York for John Mayberry (12/2/71; then the McRae trade on 11/30/72 (note all those trades came in the same week of the year). In those 4 trades they got everyday starters at 1B, SS, CF and DH for their first 3 division winning teams. Maybe the worm has… Read more »
nightfly
Guest

What’s so funny is that I usually play the Islanders’ retirees, among whom are Denis Potvin (#5), Mike Bossy (#22), and Bob Nystrom (#23). From there, however, it breaks down. Bryan Trottier (#19), Clark Gillies (#9), and Battlin’ Billy Smith (#31) are the others – with Smitty as the powerball/goaltender.

I could have gone with Ken Morrow (#6) and Pat LaFontaine (#16) as stars whose jerseys are still active, but the best #29 off the top of my head is probably Kenny Jonsson.

So yeah, things might take more time for my Islanders.

bstar
Guest

Brent, the family said that had nothing to do with their selection of powerball numbers, but they were indeed Royals fans.

John Autin
Editor

Thanks to Andy’s post, I learned a new word: halachically.

According to his Bullpen page, Dick Sharon “had a Jewish father but was not halachically Jewish.”

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_does_halachically_Jewish_mean

I can’t wait to use it in a sentence! Perhaps this Chanukkah.

John Autin
Editor
Bill James wrote that Hal McRae’s broken leg in 1968-69 winter ball “beyond any question, cost McRae the Hall of Fame.” I can’t see it. http://www.amazon.com/Bill-James-Historical-Baseball-Abstract/dp/0743227220 His argument has 3 points — that it delayed his career by several years; that it cost him his shot with the Big Red Machine; and that it cost him his speed. But the last one is key, because it underlies the notion that McRae would have been a much better player than he was. My main bone of contention is this: “Before the accident, McRae was a burner, a center fielder who could… Read more »
Ed
Guest
John – I’ve generally found that it’s best to ignore anything Bill James has written re: the Royals or their players. He had an incredibly large blind spot in that area, a blind spot that he seemed to be completely unaware of. Anyway, adding to your comments…doesn’t it seem likely that had Mcrae played 2b or CF that he would have been injured a lot? Part of the reason he had the career he did was because he mostly played DH. I just have a hard time seeing him staying healthy as a 2b or CF, given his all-out-style of… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
McRae led the league in OPS in 1976 with an .868 Lowest leader since then? 1984 .919 Schmidt The last leader to post lower than .868 ? 1945 .862 Snuffy Last lower than .868 without most of the good players overseas? Dead ball. 1919 .823 Heinie Groh _________________ McRae also had only 8 homeruns that year. Any OPS leaders lower? Yep. 1988 5 Wade Boggs 1976 8 McRae then… 1919 5 Heinie Groh 1918 5 Edd Roush 1917 6 Tyrus 1915 3 Tyrus 1914 2 Tyrus 1913 7 Shoeless Joe 1912 7 Tyrus 1911 8 Tyrus 1910 8 Tyrus 1910… Read more »
Voomo Zanzibar
Guest

Those numbers clumped together when they were published.
I meant for the post to be a bit more friendly to the eyes.

John Autin
Editor
Don’t worry, Voomo. Looks aren’t everything. The point comes through. I’m glad you mentioned McRae’s ’76 OPS title. I’d never noticed it before; everyone knows about the ’76 batting race (won by Brett on the final day), but I hadn’t noticed that McRae nevertheless led in on-base percentage, 30 points above Brett. It’s further interesting that, despite the OPS crown and 149 games played, McRae was nowhere among the WAR leaders (he ranked 12th in the AL), nor even in oWAR. He did rate 3rd in Rbat, but the positional adjustment as a DH sank his WAR. It’s surprising that… Read more »
Ed
Guest
McRae’s .868 OPS would have placed him 17th in the AL in 1975, 7th in 1977. It’s also interesting that McRae finished 4th in the MVP voting in 1976, even though he was basically a full-time DH. (he played 248.1 innings in left field). Did voters accommodate that quickly to the idea of voting for a DH as MVP? Or was it because we were still in the low-information age and voters didn’t realize he had been switched to DH? (he played nearly 1,000 innings in the field the year before). Obviously his OPS crown didn’t help him since no… Read more »
Ed
Guest
A bit of follow-up…the first full-time DH to finish in the top 10 in MVP voting occurred the very first year of the DH! Tommy Davis finished 10th in the voting despite what appears to be a fairly pedestrian season: .306, 7 HR, 89 RBI, 53 runs scored. But Davis played for the first place Orioles and from what I can tell, voters in that era placed a LOT of value on playing for a first place team, more so than any other factor. Otherwise, how to explain how Davis finished ahead of Tommy Harper (13th) and Yaz (19th) both… Read more »
Richard Chester
Guest

Reply to #29.
Also Davis led the Orioles in RBIs.

John Autin
Editor

Ed @28 re: MVP voters accepting the DH — I’m not really surprised, since they gave many MVPs to players with no defensive value. Just in the run-up to the DH rule, we had Dick Allen, Joe Torre (at 3B), Boog Powell, Harmon Killebrew (mainly at 3B).

In the expansion era, MVP voters have mostly cared about offense.

Voomo Zanzibar
Guest
Here’s the numbers of a player comparable to McRae through age 29: .290 .353 .458 .811 130 1576 hits 324 doubles 55 triples 158 homers 475 stolen bases 4 -time allstar 5 gold gloves 47.2 WAR ___________________________________ This is Cesar Cedeno ___________________________________ …and just a note on the 1972 Astros, and a question for managers Harry the Hat Walker and Leo the Lip. His 2,3,4,5 guys were ops+ 162 Cedeno 146 Wynn 137 May 141 Watson They had the #1 offense in the league. It wasn’t enough – they finished 10 games behind the Reds. What, though, might have been,… Read more »
John Autin
Editor

Voomo @33 — And yet, there were TWO teams in the league with worse leadoff OBP — LA .273 and SD .268 — and SIX with fewer leadoff runs, bottomed by the Phillies with 61. Bad times.

Speaking of which … This year in the NL, leadoff men combined for a miserable .319 OBP — worse than every spot from #2-6, and barely better than the #7-8 men (.311). The Reds’ troubles were well documented, but the Dodgers, Marlins and Pirates all had sub-.300 leadoff OBP, and no team was above .346 OBP or .279 BA. Oy!

Brent
Guest
So, my memories of McRae are colored by the fact that he already had his injury to his leg before I was watching him. However, I would note that Brian, his son, was extremely fast. I guess it could be posited that Hal was too. As for his arm, again, by the time of my memory he had the upper extremity injury that destroyed his ability to throw at all. Once in a while, the Royals would have to play him in the outfield in a pinch. He would get the ball back to the infield on a sort of… Read more »
Ed
Guest
Good points Brent. It seems to me that there’s one other problem with James’ thinking. As John pointed out, contrary to what James thought, McRae was actually a second baseman in the minors. And when the Reds brought him up in 1968, McRae played exclusively at 2b. Now, the best player on the Big Red Machine was the 2nd baseman, Joe Morgan. Actually Morgan was by far the best player in baseball from ’72-76 (47.1 WAR, 13.8 WAR more than Bobby Grich). Which raises the question…if McRae hadn’t gotten hurt, maybe the Reds don’t make the trade for Morgan in… Read more »
nightfly
Guest

The Mets traded for one of the league’s best bandleaders, but he never threw a pitch in the majors after his trade from San Diego. And Marshall only played 39 games before he too was OOB. Of course, they were arguably his best 39 games, resulting in the only positive WAR season of his career (0.2).

JDV
Guest
I think the biggest headline generator from this list — even though it’s hard to believe today — was the Orioles acquisition of Earl Williams from Atlanta. He had been a long-time top prospect who finally came through with a stellar ROY 1971 season and was solid again in ’72, mostly as a power-hitter. He was hoped to be the Orioles answer at catcher for the next decade, but it wasn’t to be. This was at least partly because some ‘pitchhing & defense-minded’ Oriole veterans weren’t too crazy about using such an important position just to get a bat in… Read more »
Doug
Editor

Earl Williams is one of only 3 catchers with 20+ HR and 80+ RBI in each of their first 3 qualifying seasons. The other two are Roy Campanella and Mike Piazza.

You could win a few bets with that trivia question, even spotting your mark the other two answers.

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