The Strangest and Weirdest Trades in Baseball History
The July 31 MLB trade deadline has been infamous for providing some blockbuster trades over the past few years.
In retrospect, some of these deals have been pretty lopsided—but nothing compares to trades in the past which include a bag of baseballs, 10 pounds of catfish, or even a nice sit-down dinner.
Here is a look at some of the strangest and weirdest trades in baseball history.
1973: Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich Trade Places
Before there was ever Trading Spouses or Wife Swap, Peterson and Kekich did the unthinkable in 1973 when they literally traded lives with each other.
In a move that would shock even Ron Burgundy, they swapped wives, houses, children, and cars during Yankees spring training.
1989: Tom Fortugno Traded for a Dozen Baseballs
It took real balls for the Reno Silver Sox to pull off this deal, but back in 1989 they traded Tom Fortugno to the Milwaukee Brewers organization for a bag of baseballs and $2,500.
Fortugno played for 15 pro teams over the course of his career but will probably be most remembered for being traded for inanimate objects.
1994: Dave Winfield Traded for a Dinner
In a move that most likely started in the board room and ended in the dining room, the Minnesota Twins and Cleveland Indians struck up a deal to bring Dave Winfield to Cleveland.
Two weeks into the 1994 MLB strike, Winfield was traded from the Twins to the Indians for a player to be named later.
Since the season never resumed, the Cleveland Indians took the Minnesota Twins executives out to dinner and picked up the tab in compensation.
1998: Ken Krahenbuhl Traded for 10 Pounds of Catfish
In one of the fishiest deals in baseball history, the Pacific Suns shipped Ken Krahenbuhl to the Greensville Bluesmen for 10 pounds of catfish, a player to be named later, and cash.
But Ken proved he was more valuable than a cooler of catfish; just a few days later, Krahenbuhl came out and pitched a perfect game for the Greenville Bluesmen.
This deal inspired other teams to include their city’s signature dish in future trades, which means any upcoming deals with the Philadelphia Phillies may or may not include Philly Cheesesteaks.
2005: John McDonald Traded for John McDonald
Along with being the Prime Minister of Defense, John McDonald has the distinction of being one of just a handful of players to be traded for himself.
In July 2005, McDonald was sent to the Detroit Tigers for future considerations, after which the Tigers turned around and traded him back to the Jays at the end of the season.
There is still no word on which team was on the winning end of the deal.
2008: John Odom Traded for a Bag of Bats
Since Canada and the United States are large trade partners, it only makes sense for them to trade baseball players too.
In May 2008, minor league pitcher John Odom was traded from the Calgary Vipers to the Laredo Broncos for a bag of Prairie Sticks maple bats.
Unlike previous transactions between the USA and Canada, there were no lumber trade disputes here.
Eventually, the bats were auctioned off for charity as Ripley’s Believe It or Not! offered to buy them for $10,000.