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Thread: Would it have changed history? Senators refused deal for Bob Gibson in 1960...

  1. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by DTF955 View Post
    They might not even trade Broglio in '64, if they need pitching. Brock remaining with the Cubs would be really interesting. Enough to give them the division perhaps in '70 if not '69, and maybe again in '73. So we could have the Cbus lose to the Reds in '70 (quite likely) but then beat the overconfident Reds in '73. Which would then perhaps delay the trade of Jenkins, Santo (which keeps Dick Allen from being in a tiff with him), etc. They'd still have Holtzman, perhaps, becasue they might not trade for Rick Monday from Oakland with a crowded outfield of Williams, Brock (or flip the two) and Cardenal. (Unless maybe he'd play center.)

    Or, here's a really weird thought. The Cardinals actually had a really good offense the first part of '63, but were hurting for pitching. They seemed close enough to the top, could they reacquire Gibson? It wouldn't be the first time a player was traded and then reacrquired, though it is very rare.
    Re: the bolded part of the post, the Senators were really bad in those years and were constantly trying to plug holes and fix weaknesses in their team. If Gibson proves out to them as being really valuable, I could easily see the Senators trading him to someone else, (whether it was the Cardinals or not) to get a big package of players that (they would at least perceive) would solve a lot of their problems at once. Sort of like the Denny McLain trade in reverse.

  2. #22
    I'm pretty strong on Cardinal history of this period, never heard about this trade rumor. Not doubting the authenticity, but just not sure how serious it was. I've got a feeling that in the days before free agency, trading restrictions, agents, etc. that all sorts of names were thrown about in discussions with GM's on a daily basis. In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team. The Cardinals knew he was a tremendous athlete and had a great arm, but was very wild. He had his breakthrough season in 61 after Solly Hemus was fired in July and Johnny Keane, who had managed Gibson a couple years in the minors, ended up putting him in the rotation as a regular starter.

    A couple of other Cardinal trades that didn't happen. Supposedly during the Frank Lane era, 56-58, after he pissed off everyone in town by trading away Red Schoendienst in June of 56, he was going to trade Musial for Robin Roberts. Gussie Busch had ordered Lane to check with him before trades after the Schoendienst deal and he squashed it. In 58 he wanted to trade Ken Boyer for Richie Ashburn but was fired before that happened and Bing Devine, the new GM, told the Phils the deal was off.
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  3. #23
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    Not sure what you mean by "serious", but I would be interested to see your citations for these trades that you have heard about and believe to be serious, so that we can see if they have more indicia of seriousness than the Gibson trade.
    The data that one can get on a failed trade is perforce limited, inasmuch as it would be bad form for a GM to let the player know that he was offered in a trade.

    In the Gibson trade "rumor", you have
    1. a reliable source (Sporting News)
    2. direct quotes from the GM that he made a "good offer" for Shantz, better in his opinion than what the Pirates offered
    3. subsequent confirmation that Shantz was traded
    4. Gibson's bad, minus-WAR year in 1960 lending plausibility
    5. Cards having traded Vinegar Bend Mizell (for Julian Javier) and being without a credible lefthander in the bullpen, lending plausibility



    I dont know if you get much more than that, when it comes to failed trades. Bing is gone. But while alive, the last thing Bing is going to admit to is almost trading Gibson in 1960.

    As far as "In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team". I am not sure how you would know that. Was Bennie Daniels, off of the Pirates minor league roster, a known commodity to an AL expansion team? The way the trade is outlined, Gibson was the only firm part of the package, Stone and Kline were options. So either the Senators asked for him by name, or Bing was trying to unload, yes, future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.

    Quote Originally Posted by 64Cards View Post
    I'm pretty strong on Cardinal history of this period, never heard about this trade rumor. Not doubting the authenticity, but just not sure how serious it was. I've got a feeling that in the days before free agency, trading restrictions, agents, etc. that all sorts of names were thrown about in discussions with GM's on a daily basis. In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team. The Cardinals knew he was a tremendous athlete and had a great arm, but was very wild. He had his breakthrough season in 61 after Solly Hemus was fired in July and Johnny Keane, who had managed Gibson a couple years in the minors, ended up putting him in the rotation as a regular starter.

    A couple of other Cardinal trades that didn't happen. Supposedly during the Frank Lane era, 56-58, after he pissed off everyone in town by trading away Red Schoendienst in June of 56, he was going to trade Musial for Robin Roberts. Gussie Busch had ordered Lane to check with him before trades after the Schoendienst deal and he squashed it. In 58 he wanted to trade Ken Boyer for Richie Ashburn but was fired before that happened and Bing Devine, the new GM, told the Phils the deal was off.
    Last edited by Brownieand45sfan; 04-21-2017 at 07:05 AM.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64Cards View Post
    I'm pretty strong on Cardinal history of this period, never heard about this trade rumor. Not doubting the authenticity, but just not sure how serious it was. I've got a feeling that in the days before free agency, trading restrictions, agents, etc. that all sorts of names were thrown about in discussions with GM's on a daily basis. In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team. The Cardinals knew he was a tremendous athlete and had a great arm, but was very wild. He had his breakthrough season in 61 after Solly Hemus was fired in July and Johnny Keane, who had managed Gibson a couple years in the minors, ended up putting him in the rotation as a regular starter.

    A couple of other Cardinal trades that didn't happen. Supposedly during the Frank Lane era, 56-58, after he pissed off everyone in town by trading away Red Schoendienst in June of 56, he was going to trade Musial for Robin Roberts. Gussie Busch had ordered Lane to check with him before trades after the Schoendienst deal and he squashed it. In 58 he wanted to trade Ken Boyer for Richie Ashburn but was fired before that happened and Bing Devine, the new GM, told the Phils the deal was off.
    I never heard that rumor either, but knowing Solly Hemus's lack of enlightenment on racial issues, I don't imagine he and Gibson saw eye-to-eye on much. It wouldn't surprise me if he wanted to get rid of him.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    I never heard that rumor either, but knowing Solly Hemus's lack of enlightenment on racial issues, I don't imagine he and Gibson saw eye-to-eye on much. It wouldn't surprise me if he wanted to get rid of him.
    Doubtful that the GM who traded for Bill White, Curt Flood, and JuliŠn Javier, and was soon to trade the ace of his staff for Brock, would have done the bidding of a one-foot-out-the-door manager. Bing was not weak-willed. I think by Occam's Razor, it was simply that they needed a lefthander in the bullpen badly and Gibson had regressed in 1960 in every category, including ERA (5.61) and rWAR (-0.5). These things sometimes happen: they give up on a player too soon.

    (ps I follow whos alive and whos dead rigorously ... Hemus has been the only living manager from the 50s for about three years now.)

  6. #26
    Quote Originally Posted by ol' aches and pains View Post
    I never heard that rumor either, but knowing Solly Hemus's lack of enlightenment on racial issues, I don't imagine he and Gibson saw eye-to-eye on much. It wouldn't surprise me if he wanted to get rid of him.
    Solly's still alive and kicking, you know, at 94. He made a zillion dollars in the oil business after getting out of baseball. And he apparently reached out to both Gibson and (before he died) Flood to admit that he was wrong for how he treated them and to apologize, but they refused to accept. Sad in a way ... I've posted here before about Dixie Walker's mea culpa to Roger Kahn before he died, where he said the way he acted when Robinson came up was "the stupidest thing I ever did in my life" ... but in another way how can you blame them? My understanding is that how Hemus treated them went beyond trying to bully them into excelling, it was designed to wound.

  7. #27
    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    Not sure what you mean by "serious", but I would be interested to see your citations for these trades that you have heard about and believe to be serious, so that we can see if they have more indicia of seriousness than the Gibson trade.
    The data that one can get on a failed trade is perforce limited, inasmuch as it would be bad form for a GM to let the player know that he was offered in a trade.

    In the Gibson trade "rumor", you have
    1. a reliable source (Sporting News)
    2. direct quotes from the GM that he made a "good offer" for Shantz, better in his opinion than what the Pirates offered
    3. subsequent confirmation that Shantz was traded
    4. Gibson's bad, minus-WAR year in 1960 lending plausibility
    5. Cards having traded Vinegar Bend Mizell (for Julian Javier) and being without a credible lefthander in the bullpen, lending plausibility



    I dont know if you get much more than that, when it comes to failed trades. Bing is gone. But while alive, the last thing Bing is going to admit to is almost trading Gibson in 1960.

    As far as "In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team". I am not sure how you would know that. Was Bennie Daniels, off of the Pirates minor league roster, a known commodity to an AL expansion team? The way the trade is outlined, Gibson was the only firm part of the package, Stone and Kline were options. So either the Senators asked for him by name, or Bing was trying to unload, yes, future Hall of Famer Bob Gibson.
    As far as the other trades, I saw an interview with Devine on an old Cardinal history VHS tape that he mentioned turning down the Boyer trade was his first business as GM. The Musial-Roberts rumor was a quote from Bob Broeg, who was a Cards beat writer and later would be Musial's ghostwriter. Rereading the newspaper quote it had Devine quoted as saying the Nats expressed an interest in Gibson and later said Devine declined to name whom they offered in deal and mentioned another source as mentioning the Gibson and other players package for Shantz. So like I said, back then trade rumors and names were tossed about constantly. In 1960 Devine may have been very willing to trade an unproven Gibson for Shantz even up, who by then was strictly a relief pitcher, but was 35 years old. If he had to throw in a couple more players, it was a deal breaker.
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  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    Doubtful that the GM who traded for Bill White, Curt Flood, and JuliŠn Javier, and was soon to trade the ace of his staff for Brock, would have done the bidding of a one-foot-out-the-door manager.)
    Of course not, I wasn't implying that he would, and he obviously didn't. I was implying that Hemus may have been the source or reason for the rumor.
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  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by PRW View Post
    Solly's still alive and kicking, you know, at 94. He made a zillion dollars in the oil business after getting out of baseball. And he apparently reached out to both Gibson and (before he died) Flood to admit that he was wrong for how he treated them and to apologize, but they refused to accept. Sad in a way ... I've posted here before about Dixie Walker's mea culpa to Roger Kahn before he died, where he said the way he acted when Robinson came up was "the stupidest thing I ever did in my life" ... but in another way how can you blame them? My understanding is that how Hemus treated them went beyond trying to bully them into excelling, it was designed to wound.
    I read in one of Roger Kahn's books (I forget which one) that he was standing around the batting cage with Red Sox manager Mike Higgins one day in the mid-50s, watching Minnie Minoso hit. Kahn turned to Higgins and said "Minnie's probably the best player in the league right now". Higgins gave Kahn a look of disgust, and said "Why you're nothing but a n***** lover". This was years after the league was integrated. That mindset persisted for a long time.
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  10. #30
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    Since you brought up two Kahn stories, and youre obviously a fan, allow me to recommend the book:

    Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Roger Kahn: Author of the Classic Baseball Book The Boys of Summer". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 113Ė123. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5. This chapter in Ruttman's history, based on September 30, 2007 and January 31, 2008 interviews with Kahn conducted for the book, discusses Kahn's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    Since you brought up two Kahn stories, and youre obviously a fan, allow me to recommend the book:

    Ruttman, Larry (2013). "Roger Kahn: Author of the Classic Baseball Book The Boys of Summer". American Jews and America's Game: Voices of a Growing Legacy in Baseball. Lincoln, Nebraska and London, England: University of Nebraska Press. pp. 113–123. ISBN 978-0-8032-6475-5. This chapter in Ruttman's history, based on September 30, 2007 and January 31, 2008 interviews with Kahn conducted for the book, discusses Kahn's American, Jewish, baseball, and life experiences from youth to the present.
    Well, I only brought up one of them, but I am a fan, and I would be interested in that book for obvious reasons. But first I have to read my latest acquisition, Kahn's Good Enough To Dream, which is about his season as owner of the Utica Blue Sox in Utica, NY. Since I'm now living in Utica, this has a special interest for me. But I will check out American Jews And America's Game; thanks for the recommendation.
    Shalom, y'all!
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  12. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by 64Cards View Post
    I'm pretty strong on Cardinal history of this period, never heard about this trade rumor. Not doubting the authenticity, but just not sure how serious it was. I've got a feeling that in the days before free agency, trading restrictions, agents, etc. that all sorts of names were thrown about in discussions with GM's on a daily basis. In December 1960 Gibson was pretty much an unknown commodity, at least to an AL expansion team. The Cardinals knew he was a tremendous athlete and had a great arm, but was very wild. He had his breakthrough season in 61 after Solly Hemus was fired in July and Johnny Keane, who had managed Gibson a couple years in the minors, ended up putting him in the rotation as a regular starter.

    A couple of other Cardinal trades that didn't happen. Supposedly during the Frank Lane era, 56-58, after he pissed off everyone in town by trading away Red Schoendienst in June of 56, he was going to trade Musial for Robin Roberts. Gussie Busch had ordered Lane to check with him before trades after the Schoendienst deal and he squashed it. In 58 he wanted to trade Ken Boyer for Richie Ashburn but was fired before that happened and Bing Devine, the new GM, told the Phils the deal was off.
    This is "Trader" Lane we're talking about here. Would have loved to have NL MVP Boyer on the '64 Phillies with Dick Allen at first base. Probably wouldn't have choked down the stretch.
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    This is a great what if scenario...

    I'm in the group that believes Bob would have still found himself and become the Bob Gibson we came to know. Mind you, he wouldn't have had the same kind of record or accomplishments, but I believe he would have gotten his game. However, if that happened, I speculate that he would have been traded again, this time for a much bigger haul. Sens could have gotten a couple of good young players for him as a guy like that would have been in big demand.
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    This is a great what if scenario...

    I'm in the group that believes Bob would have still found himself and become the Bob Gibson we came to know. Mind you, he wouldn't have had the same kind of record or accomplishments, but I believe he would have gotten his game. However, if that happened, I speculate that he would have been traded again, this time for a much bigger haul. Sens could have gotten a couple of good young players for him as a guy like that would have been in big demand.
    ďWell, I like to say Iím completely focused, right? I mean, the gameís on the line. Itís not like Iím thinking about what does barbecue Pop Chips and Cholula taste like. Because I already know that answer ó it tastes frigginí awesome!"--Brian Wilson

  15. #35
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    I agree that Bob Gibson would be Bob Gibson wherever he went, but he sure wouldn't have all those dandy World Series records had he gone to the Senators.
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    Sure, Gibson alone could not have brought Washington the World Series. But I thought I would investigate what sort of ripple effect it might have had in the way that the Senators drafted. And sure enough, in terms of the June amateur draft, to the extent they were blessed with top 25 picks from 1965 to 1968, four of those six picks were for pitchers, (and only one of them who did anything useful in his career was Joe Coleman.). They also traded future rookie of the year and All-Star Lou Piniella for a pitcher named Buster Narum (who was on leaderboards in '64 & '65 for ... nothing good: Home Runs, Bases on Balls, Losses, Hit By Pitch and Earned Runs).

    If the Senators had had Gibby, (plus to a much, much lesser extent, useful arms Stone and Kline) maybe the front office doesnt "lean in" to pitching so heavily, and instead doesnt "miss" the likes of Fosse, Carbo, Luzinski, Munson, Buckner and Matthews in the draft.

    The Senators were last or second-to-last in ERA+ every year from 1963-1968 except 1964 when they were third-to-last. That has to do a number on the (collective) head of a team's front office..

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brownieand45sfan View Post
    Sure, Gibson alone could not have brought Washington the World Series. But I thought I would investigate what sort of ripple effect it might have had in the way that the Senators drafted. And sure enough, in terms of the June amateur draft, to the extent they were blessed with top 25 picks from 1965 to 1968, four of those six picks were for pitchers, (and only one of them who did anything useful in his career was Joe Coleman.). They also traded future rookie of the year and All-Star Lou Piniella for a pitcher named Buster Narum (who was on leaderboards in '64 & '65 for ... nothing good: Home Runs, Bases on Balls, Losses, Hit By Pitch and Earned Runs).

    If the Senators had had Gibby, (plus to a much, much lesser extent, useful arms Stone and Kline) maybe the front office doesnt "lean in" to pitching so heavily, and instead doesnt "miss" the likes of Fosse, Carbo, Luzinski, Munson, Buckner and Matthews in the draft.

    The Senators were last or second-to-last in ERA+ every year from 1963-1968 except 1964 when they were third-to-last. That has to do a number on the (collective) head of a team's front office..

    Maybe they take Buckner and still have Ted Williams as manager who then teachers Buckner how to work a count. That would have been quite a drastic change.
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    Quote Originally Posted by sturg1dj View Post
    Maybe they take Buckner and still have Ted Williams as manager who then teachers Buckner how to work a count. That would have been quite a drastic change.
    Yep. Speaking of Williams, you know, Teddy Ballgame very much wanted Curt Flood to stay on (he was only 33) in '71. Maybe, under this what-if scenario, Curt relishes reuniting with his old teammate (and Hemus-foil), Gibson, and wins his 8th straight golden glove patrolling the pastures of CF in RFK?

  19. #39
    Bob Gibson was really not that great until the Cardinals opened pitcher friendly new Busch Stadium in 1966. His stats suddenly got much better and the second dead ball era even made him look way better. I believe he led the league in HR allowed in 1965. Gibson was also babied with 4 days rest between starts during an era when aces pitched on 3 days rest.

    Would these factors be different if he was on a broken down second division team?

    Gibson' Achilles heel was walks. Putting extra base runners on base with what would be expected to be a poor fielding team would be frightenly bad.

    I believe Gibson only finished first or second in ERA once in his career and his documented record vs the top 2 teams he could face on a year in year out basis was around a pitiful .362 (1960-69). This was for a team that won 3 pennants. Would it have been worse playing for a bad team? That is ugly to think about.

    Gibson was a lot like me Hank Aaron who hit 24 and 32 home runs in 1964 and 1965 but suddenly hit 44 after moving to the launching pad in 1966. Gibson suddenly "got better" when he started pitching in a pitcher friendly stadium.

    But as that unbiased pundit Tim McCarver told everyone on national TV for 30 years, he was one tough hombre, and a mean dude, and the fiercest competitor you ever saw.

    Lol.
    Last edited by 9RoyHobbsRF; Yesterday at 06:26 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 9RoyHobbsRF View Post
    Bob Gibson was really not that great until the Cardinals opened pitcher friendly new Busch Stadium in 1966. His stats suddenly got much better and the second dead ball era even made him look way better. I believe he led the league in HR allowed in 1965. Gibson was also babied with 4 days rest between starts during an era when aces pitched on 3 days rest.

    Would these factors be different if he was on a broken down second division team?

    I believe Gibson only finished first or second in ERA once in his career and his documented record vs the top 2 teams he could face on a year in year out basis was around a pitiful .362 (1960-69). This was for a team that won 3 pennants. Would it have been worse playing for a bad team? That is ugly to think about.

    Gibson was a lot like me Hank Aaron who hit 24 and 32 home runs in 1964 and 1965 but suddenly hit 44 after moving to the launching pad in 1966. Gibson suddenly "got better" when he started pitching in a pitcher friendly stadium.

    But as that unbiased pundit Tim McCarver told everyone on national TV for 30 years, he was one tough hombre, and a mean dude, and the fiercest competitor you ever saw.

    Lol.
    With all due respect I think if you are going to call a Hall of Famer overrated, babied. gopher magnet etc, you have got to tie it back to some universal statistic. Are you looking at WAR, ERA+? And Busch Stadium versus RFK was only 6 feet to center deeper and actually 5 feet shorter down the lines.

    I am looking at the 1964 World Series as an example. Where he was (the first black) World Series MVP in the non-pitcher friendly Busch Stadium and the left-handed hitting-friendly House That Ruth Built. And seems to have babied himself into more innings that year than anyone on either the Cardinals or Yankees staffs.

    Oh …and he was top 10 in innings from 1963 through 1972 except for the year he broke his leg. Pretty outrageous, really.
    Last edited by Brownieand45sfan; Yesterday at 06:34 PM.

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