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The Weird History of Baseball Trades


Well, the Major League Baseball non-waiver trade deadline is over, and as wordy and annoying that phrase is,  there was some real action. At least, more action than there normally is in a game where three quarters of the game is all the players standing around. Trust me, I timed it.

That said, I still love baseball, but it’s always nice when it gets exciting. Not “Roid Rage” exciting but exciting enough where I can take a great from football and make a joke about baseball other than “Derek Jeter has probably slept with your girlfriend.”

One of the more hilarious things about baseball seems to be historical trades.

Joel Youngblood, 1982


Joel Youngblood is the only player in MLB history to get a hit for two different teams in two different cities when the Mets traded him to the Expos in the middle of the day. After hitting a 2-run single in Chicago for the New York Mets, Youngblood was traded and shipped to the Montreal Expos, who were playing in Philadelphia. Youngblood arrived late and hit a 7th inning single.

The Mets won the game anyway, so fans can look back on Youngblood with pride rather than angst. Can you imagine if they lost?

Tim Fortugno, 1989


Usually people joke about a player being traded for a bag of balls. It’s the ultimate slight on a player’s talent. Unfortunately, Tim Fortugno actually was traded for a bag of baseballs, along with some cash.

To Tim’s credit, he was traded by minor league affiliate Reno Silver Fox to the Milwaukee Brewers, which is a step off. And those minor league teams really need equipment.

Harry Chiti, 1962


Harry Chiti was first player to be traded for himself due to a Player To Be Named Later stipulation. The trade was between the New York Mets and the Cleveland Indians. Harry Chiti was traded to the Mets for a player to be named later. When the two teams couldn’t agree on that player, Chiti was returned, therefore becoming the player to be named later in his own trade. Other honorary mentions players traded for themselves are Brad Gulden, Dickie Noles, and John McDonald.

Wil Nieves, 2011

Wil Nieves

Anyone who complains about how much money Major League baseball players make needs to learn about Wil Nieves. In 2011, the Milwaukee Brewers traded Nieves to the Braves for $1.00, which is less than the materials to create his baseball card.

It should be noted, however, that the Brewers also traded away Nieves’ contract, too, which saved them much more than a buck.

Joe Gordon for Jimmy Dykes, 1960


What do baseball owners do when their teams can’t get any worse? How about trading managers? That’s what the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers did in 1960. This mostly had to do with Cleveland Indians owner Frank Lane, who allegedly wanted to trade his whole team to Detroit as a publicity stunt, but he settled on just trading his skipper.

About Author

Patrick is a self-proclaimed NFL analyst, critic, and lampooner, but he has also been known to provide commentary on baseball, basketball, hockey, MMA, and even cricket one time when he was delirious. Patrick is also a major homer when it comes to sports teams in his home state of NY, although he reserves the majority of his mockery to those teams. His heartbreaking teams are the New York Jets (football), New York Knicks (basketball), New York Islanders (hockey), Long Island Lizards (lacrosse), and evens it all out as a fan of the New York Yankees (baseball).