Thomas Jefferson and John Adams died on the 50th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. On Monday, Clete Boyer died on the 50th anniversary of being sent to the New York Yankees as a “player to be named later” in a trade with Kansas City.
MORE TRIVIA: In February 1957, the Yankees had sent to Kansas City Irv Noren, Milt Graff, Mickey McDermott, Rip Coleman, Tom Morgan, Billy Hunter and a player to be named later in exchange for Art Ditmar, Bobby Shantz, Jack McMahan, Wayne Belardi, and two players to be named later. In April, New York received Curt Roberts and Kansas City got Jack Urban. When K.C. sent Boyer to the Yanks in June the deal was complete.
Like most transactions between the clubs, this was a steal for the Yankees. Shantz had the best ERA in the American League in 1957 and continued to pitch well for the Yanks through 1960. Ditmar gave them an average of about 200 solid innings a year during that same period. Just as Shantz and Ditmar stopped contributing, Boyer became a fine starting third baseman, giving the Yanks seven solid years. The A’s got one decent year out of Urban and that was about it.
UPDATE: A week or two after obtaining Boyer, the Yankees traded Billy Martin to Kansas City. This was the result of the famous brawl at the Copacabana, which occurred when Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford, and a few other Yankees celebrated Martin’s birthday there (it’s said that Martin took offense when a group of drunks hurled racial insults at Sammy Davis,Jr. who was performing that night). The Yankees traded Martin because they thought he was a bad influence on Mantle and Ford.
Along with Martin, the Yankees dealt Ralph Terry, Woodie Held, and Bob Martyn to Kansas City for Harry Simpson, Ryne Duren, and Jim Pisoni. This would have been an excellent trade for the Athletics but for the fact that they traded Terry back to New York in 1959, just as he was turning into a quality pitcher. Terry went 17-28 for K.C. but for New York was 16-3 in 1961 and 23-12 in 1962. The Terry deals more than any others caused fans to view Kansas City as a Yankee farm club.
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