This Date In Baseball History- November 27, 1972. The Cleveland Indians trade third baseman Graig Nettles- an excellent fielding third baseman with a lot of pop in his bat- and at 27 years old was entering his prime- to the New York Yankees for a package of four players- catcher John Ellis, infielder Jerry Kenney and a couple outfielders- Charlie Spikes and Rusty Torres. It turned out to be one of the greatest trades in Yankee history- and for the Indians- another disastrous deal. The Indians in the 1970’s and through the 80’s were probably the worst franchise in baseball.
Graig Nettles would spend 11 years with the Yankees- a 5 time all-star and a two time Gold Glove Award winner- certainly one of the best third base gloves in baseball. Not a hitter for average – his career .248 average won’t impress anyone but he hit 390 career home runs and was a consistent producer in the Yankee line-up for four Yankee American League pennant winners.
What did the Indians get out of the deal? Very little. Charlie Spikes in his first two years had good seasons in Cleveland- and looked like a potential upcoming star- but after the age of 23 tailed off drastically. John Ellis likewise had a couple decent seasons and then tailed off quickly- the other two were non-factors. A total dumpster fire for the Indians.
What an awful trade this was. He was a cornerstone of the Yankees during their seventies run. Without him…one of those Championships is questionable. One of the best defensive displays I’ve seen in a World Series.
The Indians in the 70’s- couldn’t get much right- the one trade they made that worked out big- I will be writing about later today- the Gaylord Perry trade.. The Yankees would rip the Indians off again in this decade- the Chris Chambliss deal… it was like the Indians were the Yankees farm team.
They did go by batting average then more…my gosh what a stupid trade.
the career batting average hurts his chances but i think he deserves hall of fame consideration.
Yes I do also. His obp and slugging wasn’t exceptionally good either but his defense must make up some with his power.
That man made a young Max very angry more than once.
He had an exceptional series- which year was it? It was a Brooks Robinson type performance…
1978…oh yes I remember well! Bases loaded and Garvey smashed one down the line and he played spiderman and got it…same with a Lopes hit later. I wasn’t at the age where I tipped my hat lol.
Nettles was near the end of his career when the San Diego Padres picked him up in 1984, but he was a great example for the young guys and a solid contributor in the Friars’ ’84 NL Championship season.
He hit 20 homers that year- when 20 home runs meant something…