Friday, July 28, 2006

July 28th, 1925

Freddie Fitzsimmons Born

It isn't often that you can trade a thirty-five year old pitcher putting up a 4.61 ERA for a twenty-four year old pitcher and end up looking pretty bad, but it does happen. Such was the case with "Fat" Freddie Fitzsimmons. Fitzsimmons was the sometime ace of the Giants' staff, winning twenty games once and fifteen or more seven times. By 1937 however, he was looking washed. Fitzsimmons had gone 10-7 in limited time the year before and was now 2-2 with the aforementioned 4.61 ERA. The Dodgers however, decided to take a chance on Fat Freddie, and exchanged young Tom Baker for him.

As it turned out, Fitzsimmons wasn't all that great for the Dodgers either that year--but he was also hardly cooked. Freddie lasted another six seasons in Brooklyn (until he was forty-three) winning as many as sixteen games in a season and once throwing seven shut out innings in the World Series. Baker meanwhile flamed out in a huge way for the Giants, posting a 4.37 ERA in just thirty-seven innings before being out of the Majors for good at age twenty-five in 1938.

As the deadline approaches, it is easy to look back on veteran-for-prospect deals gone horribly wrong (
Scott Kazmir, anyone?) but it is worth remembering that sometimes it is the team with the veteran that wins out.

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