Traded for Ten Baseball Bats? This Would be a Good Time To Retire

Stuart MahoneyCorrespondent IMay 23, 2008

In my 26 years of living on this planet, I have witnessed more than my fair share of baseball games. 

From Little League to the majors, both in and outside of the United States, I have seen a good share of weird things happen in the "American Pastime".

I've seen an umpire in a Little League game get so fed up over the kid's parents that he literally ejected everyone in the stands and refused to resume play until everyone left.

I've seen former Seattle Mariner Tim Davis in his last major league appearance, in 1997, when he suffered a career-ending injury while throwing his eight warm up pitches on the mound before the top of the first.  He was credited with an appearance, even though he never threw an official pitch in that game.  Ironically, Davis was mostly used as a reliever in his career and this was supposed to be a spot start for another pitcher who was also unable to start that day.

I've seen a professional game in Japan between the Yakult Swallows and the Yokohama Bay Stars where both teams regularly used their star sluggers batting out of the third and fourth spots to lay down sacrifice bunts throughout the game.  (I found out later that this is actually rather common in Japan, but at the time I had no idea that was the case, and I still think it's pretty weird, so it made my list.)

I've seen a college intramural game where the catcher never did figure out that he shouldn't crouch so close to the plate, and ended up being called on catcher's interference twelve times.  And they only played six-inning games.  Ouch.

This is just in person. It isn't counting all the stuff I've seen on tv, like Randy Johnson hitting a bird with a pitch, or the infamous "Pine Tar Incident."  If I were to recount all of that, this article would probably never end.

Today, I read something that even surprised me.

John Odom was traded from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League to the Laredo Broncos of the United League.  In exchange, the Vipers received ten baseball bats.  No cash, no other players, nothing but baseball bats. 

Apparently the Vipers acquired Odom earlier this season, but due to a fight he got into several years ago while he was a teenager, the team was unable to get Odom into Canada to play for them.  After several unsuccessful attempts to get him into the country, the Vipers were desperate to deal him to a team in the United States, and this was the deal they worked out. 

I could only imagine what it would feel like to be traded for ten bats.  Granted, the Vipers demanded ten high-quality maple bats that retailed for $65.50 each (when ordered in groups of six or more), but I would personally regard this as much as an end to a major league dream as the season-ending injury sustained by Tim Davis in 1997.

Nevertheless, Odom remains optimistic.

"I don't really care. It'll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues," Odom told reporters on Friday.