Tough stuff... tuff stuff... that was fans reaction when this mid-season, 8 player trade hit the radio wires and newspapers. A much... a buzz.... went on for the remainder of the 1951 season. After-all... all eight were standout baseball players and all were popular with hometown fans.
On June 15, 1951 the Chicago Cubs traded All-Star centerfielder Handy Andy Pafko, long-time veteran pitcher Johnny Schmitz, young hustling infielder Wayne Terwilliger, and standout catcher Al Rube Walker to the old Brooklyn Dodgers for first-string catcher Bruce Edwards, mound star Joe Hatten, fans favorite Eddie Miksis and fleet-footed outfielder Gene Hermanski
So why trade such popular fans favorites baseball players. Well, here's why!
Mid-season trades are generally made because general managers and on-field managers are trying to cover-up poor on-field results or else think the addition of one or more players can mean they still think they can win the pennant. The Cubs were going nowhere during the late-1940s and thru most of the 1950s. In 1951 the Cubbbies finished with a 62-92 win - loss record, the worst in the then 8-team National League. Meanwhile the Brooklyn Dodgers were battling the New York Giants for the 1951 NL pennant. Brooklyn finished one game behind the Giants who came from behind under manager Leo Durocher with a tremendous late-season drive, and tied them Bums at the end of the regular season. The NY Giants then defeated the Dodgers for the pennant on Bobby Thomson’s ninth-inning home run in Game 3 of the tie-breaker playoff pennant series.
News item below and players profiles - click on special links below - You are entering baseballhistorian.com Archives Room!
Pafko, Terwilliger Leading Cubs' Attack - April 1951
Cubs Crush Cardinals on 2 Homers by Andy Pafko
Chicago Cubs Roster and Player Profiles - 1953
Rube Walker Wayne Terwilliger
Bruce Edwards Joe Hatten
Eddie Miksis Gene Hermanski
Gene Hermanski Johnny Schmitz
Al 'Rube' Walker, Chicago Cubs Catcher Bats LH, T RH - hit a fine .275 in his rookie year of 1948... and started strong with the Cubs in 1949 before breaking a leg and missing most of the season. Born in Lenoir, North Carolina Rube Walker played in the majors with various teams from 1948 until 1958 and later served as a major league pitching coach and was the one that starting the five-man pitching rotation.
The above courtsey of John R Balazs from our Chicago Office Archives Room of baseballhistorian.com