August 8, 1960 – Only Manager-for-Manager Trade in MLB History
The Indians were visiting the Senators in the Nation’s Capital at Griffith Park. Mudcat Grant was pitching for the Tribe against Washington’s Jack Kralick. Johnny Temple led off the game with a single to center. Ken Aspromonte put the Tribe ahead with a two-run home run to deep left.
In the bottom of the first, Lenny Green knocked a triple into center field. After striking out Harmon Killebrew, Mudcat threw a wild pitch that allowed Green to score from third.
Mudcat Grant helped out his own cause by leading off the top of the third with a single. He was driven home by Aspromonte to extend the Indians lead to 3-1.
The Senators took the lead on a home run by Faye Thornberry in the bottom of the sixth, but the Indians constructed a rally in the bottom of the sixth. With two outs, Senators shortstop Billy Consolo mishandled a Johnny Temple grounder and Temple reached on the E6 and Tito Francona was able to score from second.
Consolo committed a second straight error on an Aspromonte ground ball, further extending the inning. Harvey Kuenn and Vic Power hit consecutive RBI singles to give the Tribe the 6-4 lead. Mudcat grant had another RBI single in the top of the eighth that sealed the 7-4 victory.
After Game 96 is when things got interesting.
The Indians GM at the time was the infamous “Frantic” Frank Lane, or “Trader” Lane who dealt ballplayers left and right. Lane was already infamous for shipping Rocky Colavito out of town prior to the 1960 season.
After the win in Washington, Lane traded manager Joe Gordon to the Tigers straight up for their manager Jimmy Dykes. Joe Gordon was a Hall-of-Fame second baseman in his own right who spent the prime of his career winning championships with the Yankees. Jimmy Dykes was also a talented infielder, playing primarily for the Athletics in the WWI era. He is still the franchise leader in doubles for the As.
This is the only time in MLB history that a manager has been traded for another manager–and mid-season.
JoJo White served one game as manager, presumably to allow the managers to travel to their new cities. His only managerial experience was a win against the Orioles in Game 97.
Ultimately it was just another Trader Lane publicity stunt. Both teams were sub-.500 before the manager swap, and both teams finished below .500 and out of the playoff race of 1960.