As the new year comes to a close with the Red Sox being a very early favorite for the American League, let's take a look back at one of the "greatest" trades that never happened.
The Yankees and the Red Sox rivalry is easily the biggest, and most heated in all of sports.
In the 1950s, Ted Williams, the greatest hitter of all time, was the "face" of the Boston Red Sox.
Joe DiMaggio, the Yankee Clipper, was the face of New York and the most popular athlete at that time, as well.
Can you imagine if either of these legends were swapped to each others opposing teams?
Well, it almost happened. Rumor has it that in 1947, Tom Yawkey, Red Sox owner, and Lee MacPhail, the Yankee GM, had agreed to trade Williams to New York in exchange for DiMaggio.
Had this trade been agreed upon, Yankee-Redsox history, no, baseball history would be extremely altered as we know it.
So, what was the reason this trade never went through? Well, for one thing, Tom Yawkey and Lee MacPhail were both known to be drunk at the time the trade was proposed. More importantly, Yawkey wanted more for Williams.
A young left-field prospect by the name of Yogi Berra to be exact.
Lets take a look how the Red Sox lineup would look in 1948 with Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra (Defensively, based off of 1948 Red Sox Lineup)
C Birdie Tebbetts (later would be Yogi Berra)
1B Billy Goodman
2B Bobby Doerr
SS Vern Stephens
3B Johnny Pesky
OF Joe DiMaggio
OF Dom DiMaggio
OF Yogi Berra (for now)
Seems like a very good lineup, doesn't it?
Now here's the predicted Yankees lineup with Ted "Splendid Splinter" Williams:
C Gus Niarhos
1B George McQuinn
2B Snuffy Stirnweiss
SS Phil Rizzuto
3B Billy Johnson
OF Ted Williams
OF Johnny Lindell
OF Tommy Henrich
Now, how many players can you recognize off the bat? Most likely two or three.
Could these have been rough times without the playing time of Berra AND DiMaggio? One would imagine. The Yankees still had younger players like Hank Bauer, who would later go on to start in the 50s.
Although it would have been fun to see how many home runs Williams could have hit in New York, the bats of DiMaggio and Berra would have been greatly missed.
The "Curse of the Bambino" quite possibly could have been broken by a previous Yankees legend as a well as a soon to be legend. Kind of ironic, isn't it?
Who knows how many more championships the Red Sox could have won, and how many the Yankees could have won?
Yankees fan are very happy this trade did not go down. It may have seemed smart at the time, but in the long run, I think New York would have been the loser.
Joe DiMaggio and Yogi Berra for Ted Williams
Who is the winner?
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