At the end of April in 1951 as the White Sox and the Indians challenged the Yankees for the AL pennant, a monster of a 3-team deal took place. On April 30, 1951 the Chicago White Sox traded two popular baseball players, outfielders Dave Philley and Gus Zernial to Connie Mack's Philadelphia Athletics for outfielder Paul Lehner, and the Cleveland Indians shipped young outfielder Minnie Minoso to Chicago, while the Athletics dealt pitching stalwart Lou Brissie to the Indians. And, Cleveland shipped pitcher Sam Zoldak and catcher Ray Murray to the A's. Note: the Yankees won World Series every year from 1949 thru 1953.
Setting the Stage of the seven baseball player 1951 deal
Cleveland notched the 1948 World Series under owner Bill Veeck and 24-year old player/manager, Lou Boudreau, and new Tribe manager Al Lopez eagerly wanted to hoist another World Series Flag. Lou Boudreau, meanwhile, took over the reins of managing the Boston Red Sox. Also freshman manager Paul Richards took over the reins of the White Sox in 1951.
Reviewing the baseball players
Dave Philley was a line drive hitter and an exceptionally quick, good defensive outfielder during his early days in major league baseball, the 1940s and early 1950s. A switch-hitter, Dave Philley played Chicago White Sox 1941, 1946-51, 1956; Philadelphia Athletics 1951-53; Indians 1954-55; Orioles 1955-56, 1960-61; Tigers 1957; Phillies 1958-60; SF Giants 1960; Red Sox 1962. In between he enlisted in the US Army at onset of World War II in 1942. Quote by Dave Philley: 'I was proud to join the army when the war broke out and I never regretted my decision.' His first two years, 1952-53, with the Athletics in Philly, Dave Philley hit .263 and .303, 1952-53, and then was traded in Feb of 1954 to Cleveland and helped the Indians win the American League pennant In 1950,
Gus Zernial, an right-handed outfielder, set a White Sox record in 1950, during his 2nd major league season in 1950 with 29 home runs in spacious Comiskey Park, where the foul lines where 352 feet down the lines and 410 feet in dead center. Gus Zernial led the team in the following catagories, 75 runs scored, 93 RBIs, 263 total bases and 152 hits. Then he was traded in April of 1951, and for the season led all American League baseball players with 33 homers and with 129 RBIs. The next two years in Philadelphia, 1952-52, Gus Zernial knocked in 100 runs and 108. Altogether, he played seven years, 1951-1957, with the Athletics, including 1955-57 when the team moved to Kansas City. Gus Zernial was traded to Detroit in 1958.
Minnie Minoso was a highly rated, all-around athletic with a burning desire to help his team win. A fleet-footed outfielder, he was just getting started in the majors in 1951 when this trade took place. Born in Havana Cuba, Minnie Minoso played with the White Sox seven seasons, 1951-1957, and Chicago fans loved him.An exciting baseball player from a fans view-point, Minoso led the league three straight seasons in stolen bases, 31, 22 and 25 during his first 3 years, 1951-53, and Minnie led the league in triples three times, with 14, 18 and 11, and also led the league with 37 doubles in 1957, all in Chicago, the City of Big Shoulders.
Sam Zoldak, a starting, left-handed pitcher. Nick named Sad Sam Zoldak. He broke into the majors with the old St. Louis Browns in 1944 and during the next two years worked in the bullpen . In 1944 he appeared in 18 games as a reliever as the Brownies won the AL pennant. In 1945, he had the Browns fans humming when he chalked up a 3-2 w/l record in 26 games and posted a miserly 0.50 earned runs per game. Moved into the starting rotation in 1946, Sam Zoldak went 9-11, 9-10 then was traded to Cleveland in 1948. For the Tribe he helped them win the 1948 pennant flag. Sam Zoldak pitched 9 years in the majors, 1944-1952 and won 43 games while losing 53.
For complete records of all baseball players, please see Players section on our home page.
Lou Brissie sparkled during his rookie major league season in 1947. That year, the tall, 6 foot 4.5 inches, 210 pounder, compiled a 14-10 record with a 4.13 earned run average, and completed 11 of 25 games, plus 14 relief appearances, striking out a career-high 127 batters in 194 innings of work. In the 1951 Who's Who Baseball Magazine it states, "Lou Brissie, the pink-cheeked war hero did the most pitching for the Philadelphia Athletics last season, and won 7 and lost 19. But he won't be sold or traded. He's too good." baseball historian notes: The A's in 1950 had the worst record in the majors, they won 52 games and lost 102. After he was traded to the Indians, 1952 Who's Who Baseball Magazine wrote, "Lou Brissie, bats and throws left, The pitcher over came the handicap of a shrapnel shattered leg, was obtained from the A's last year and gave the Tribe a real lift. His ERA in 54 relief jobs was only 3.20." Note: In 1951, Lou Brissie had a 4-5 record with 9 saves.
Paul Lehner, a left-handed outfielder, broke into the majors with the old St. Louis Browns back in 1946 and the next season took over the team's starting outfielder role. During his first full season, 1947, the fast running Paul Lehner batted .248 and lined career-highs with 25 doubles and 9 triples. After he was dealt to the Philadelphia A's, owner Connie Mack stated, "I believe he will give the A's the service of which he (Paul Lehner) is capable of, and prove worthy of a regular outfield job." Paul Lehner rose to the occasion his first year in Philly and hit a career high .309 and high of 9 homers. Paul Lehner played his final big league season with the Boston Red Sox in 1952. A contact batter, who liked to swing at the first pitch, Paul Lehner struck out just 118 times in over 1700 major league at bats.
Ray Murray, right-handed catcher. The muscular 6 foot 3 inch 204 pounds played his first full season in the majors in 1950 with the Cleveland Indians and batted a solid .273 in 75 games. In the 1950 Who's Who Baseball Magazine under the Rookies section it states, "Ray Murray. Catcher from Okalhoma City (minors). Talkative and peppery, the whooping back-stop may be Jim Hegan's (the Indians starting catcher) first replacement. He hit .319 last year, knocked in 94 runs (at Oklahoma City). Ray Murray played three seasons with Philadelphia, 1951-53. Ray Murray played his final MLB season in 1954 with the Baltimore Orioles.
To view some originial newspaper clippings from the 1950s, type in the words - today in time - into our 'Search' located on the Home Page