A few days ago, I discussed the Joe Torre for Orlando Cepeda trade. I said this was the only straight swap of Hall of Famers I could think of.
Initially, I thought the 1930 mid-season trade that sent Heine Manush from the St. Louis Browns to the Washington Senators in exchange for Goose Goslin was another such deal. When I researched it, however, I learned that Alvin “General” Crowder also came to the Senators in the trade.
It made sense that St. Louis threw in another player. Goslin was clearly better than Manush. Over the previous seven seasons, Goose had averaged 112 RBIs and was on his way to a 100 RBI year in 1930. Manush had driven in 100 or more just once during this span. In my opinion, he doesn’t deserve to be in the Hall of Fame.
Even so, General Crowder was a considerable asset for the Browns to throw into the trade. He had won 38 games in 1928-1929, with only 20 losses.
The General (so named, I’m guessing, because he served in the Army after World War I) was struggling in 1930 for St. Louis, but would win 15 games in his three-and-a-half months with Washington that year.
The Senators were the big winners in the deal. In fact, the trade was key to the Senators capturing the pennant in 1933 — Washington’s last trip to the World Series.
Manush, Crowder, and Goslin all played for that team, Washington having brought Goose back in a December 1932 trade with the Browns.
Goslin and Manush, both now in their 30s and a bit past their primes had pretty good seasons, usually batting second and third in the order. Goslin hit .297; Manush .336. Both slugged in the mid .450s.
Crowder, for his part, won a league-leading 24 games. The team’s biggest star, though, was its player-manager, Joe Cronin.
The 1933 Senators also received a solid contribution from Walter “Lefty” Stewart, who came over from the Browns with Goslin in the December 1932 trade. Stewart went 15-6.
Fred Schulte, acquired with Goslin and Stewart, played center field, in between Manush in left and Goslin in right. Schulte batted .295 and scored 98 runs.
Two of the players St. Louis received in the December 1932 trade — Sam West and Carl Reynolds — had good seasons. But once again, the Browns got the short end of their deal with Clark Griffith.
The 1933 Senators fell to the New York Giants in the World Series, 4 games to 1. Goslin hit .250 with one RBI. Manush hit .111 with none. Crowder went 0-1 with an ERA in excess of 7.00 in two games as a starter.
Goslin would play in the next two World Series, but not for Washington. The Senators traded him to Detroit after the 1933 season for outfielder John Stone, a younger player who gave the Senators four straight plus .300 seasons.
In all Goslin played in five World Series, three for Washington and two for Detroit. He was on the winning side twice, once for each club. In his 129 World Series at-bats, Goslin batted .287 and slugged .488.
Goslin ranks with Frank Howard and Bryce Harper as Washington’s most productive all-time outfielders (with honorable mention to Roy Sievers), and is the only one of three to win a championship, or even play in a World Series, here. So far, he’s also the only one of the three in the Hall of Fame.
UPDATE: I’m informed that Crowder was named General because a real General shared his name. Enoch Crowder, an army lawyer, ran the “work or fight program” for President Wilson during World War I and founded the Selective Service.