This Date In Baseball History- December 13, 1956- The Brooklyn Dodgers trade Jackie Robinson to the rival New York Giants for pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000 cash.
Not long after I became a baseball fan- I had an interest in baseball history. After learning about Jackie Robinson and his impact on the game I was shocked to learn that the Dodgers had actually traded Robinson. In looking at the record- it doesn’t show Robinson playing for anyone other than the Brooklyn Dodgers- from 1947-1956. What was the story?
I found out that after the 1956 season- a season in which Robinson at the age of 37 was showing signs of physical decline- the result of diabetes. In 1956 Robinson had 10 home runs 43 RBI’s with a .275 average. He scored 61 runs and stole 12 bases. His last at -bat that season and it turns out in his career – he struck out ending Game 7 of the 1956 World Series.
On this date the unthinkable happened- not only did they trade Robinson but they traded him to their hated rival- the New York Giants. In return the Dodgers were to receive pitcher Dick Littlefield and $35,000 in cash. The trade was never completed.
No one knew at the time of the deal but Robinson had already agreed to become the President of Chock-ful O Nuts – and was going to retire from baseball. Robinson did retire and never appeared in a uniform other than that of the Brooklyn Dodgers.
I couldn’t have imagined Robinson in a Giants uniform…I wish he could have started earlier…of course that wasn’t his fault.