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Sports Then and Now



Trade You for a Catfish – the Most Bizarre Deals in Sporting History 0

Posted on December 12, 2017 by Rik Snuiverink
Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ken Krahenbuhl was part of one of the most unusual trades in baseball history.

Ah, the sporting trade – it conjures images of wholesome children in the sun-kissed days of yesteryear trading their baseball cards, or high school teams negotiating over the star soccer players, piles of sweaters at the ready as makeshift goalposts. Of course, in the world of professional sports, trading players is deadly serious, involving multi million dollar transactions.

At least, you might reasonably think so, but there have been some truly surreal sporting trades over the years.

Fighting over the best and betting on the outcomes

Whether it is draft picks in the NFL or European soccer stars in the transfer window, professional sports team love to negotiate with each other. Sometimes those negotiations can get intense – perhaps this is why, with the rise in online betting, the topic of who will complete what deal is becoming as popular a wager as the games themselves. The UK casino sites at TheCasinoDB.com are no strangers to sports betting, and if you take a look when January comes around and the transfer window opens, they will all be discussing the odds of potential trades.

Usually the who and the where are the focus of the average sporting trade, but sometimes it is the “for what,” as the following examples demonstrate.

The Pitcher and the Catfish

Poor Ken Krahenbuhl. First, the Pacific Suns traded him to the Greenville Bluesmen without even having the good grace to tell him about it, but regardless, he went out and pitched a perfect game in his very first outing for his new team. Yet despite his achievements against the odds, he has gone down in history as the man who was traded in exchange for 10lb of catfish.

Bussey Martin

Tom Martin was a journeyman NHL winger who served time with the Winnipeg Jets, the Hartford Whalers and the Minnesota North Stars in a seven-year career that was solid but unremarkable. However, before turning pro, he had the singular experience of being traded by the Seattle Breakers to the Victoria Cougars in exchange for a new team bus. As you might guess, there is more to the story than meets the eye, but the nickname Bussey lived with him for his entire career. Read the rest of this entry →

Spare the Grizzlies 20

Posted on January 31, 2015 by Peter Getty
Fresno Grizzlies

Fresno Grizzlies

The offseason is an important time for a baseball team. The winter is when a team’s farm system gets more attention than usual. For the Giants, that usually means there’s going to be some derision for their feeder teams. But is the Giants farm system really that bad?

Golden Gate Sports ran an article that puts the Giants farm system into better perspective. It’s easy to disregard the Fresno Grizzlies, our AAA team, which was 13 games behind last season – and hasn’t fared much better for years. The trouble is, this ‘ineffective’ farm system has produced some of the most valuable players of the Giants roster over the last 10 years!

Next time you hear a fan complaining about the Giant’s farm teams, remind them about the players who came up through that very system, leading to three World Series wins over five years.

Madison Bumgarner and Pablo Sandoval, both essential pieces of this year’s championship, were drafted by the Giants. Matt cain and Tim Lincecum, vital to the 2010 and 2012 teams, were too. And what would we have done without Travis Ishikawa’s World Series home run in 2014? Or Brian Wilson’s 2010 strikeout of Nelson Cruz? All these players played on farm teams for San Fran.

In fact, 13 of 25 players on this year’s World Series roster were drafted by San Fran. Two others had only ever pitched for the Giants. Similar numbers were true for 2012 and 2010. According to calculations made by Golden Gate Sports, a full 68% of the Giant’s full 40-man roster officially called San Francisco their first professional home.

This all points to the whole point of a farm system. I’d argue that they don’t exist to win minor league championships, but first and foremost to groom players for an eventual place on the major league team. After all, in the AAA’s Pacific Coast League, where the Grizzlie’s placed last in 2014, Reno had the best record. Reno is the feeder team for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who ranked last in the National League West, and dead last in the entire league.

So, which farm system is really working out?

Peter Getty’s love of sports began at the age of nine. Baseball first caught his attention when, growing up, he played catch with his dad, Gordon Peter Getty, the former CEO of Getty Oil.  During his youth, Peter participated in all the usual team sports–baseball, basketball, soccer and football. After coming to the realization that he was “awful” at all of them, he decided to be content with being a major sports fan by writing about them. Based in San Francisco, Peter stays current on all the Northern California teams, and has an excellent understanding of all professional sports. In addition to his posts on Sports Then and Now, you can also check out his own blog.

Mike Coolbaugh: There’s Nothing Minor League About the Life He Lived 0

Posted on September 22, 2009 by Todd Civin
Mike Coolbaugh checking out the sitaution with his two boys

Mike Coolbaugh checking out the sitaution with his two boys

As a writer who seems to specialize in the “xoxo” of the game, I often set out on a journalistic journey of sorts when I put words to paper. Although my intention is a good one, the motive often becomes a concentrated effort to elicit a certain response.

I’m not sure if it is a gift or simply the willingness to open up my heart, but more often than not, my goal is to make my audience feel the sorrow associated with an event. To warm the heart by moistening the heart. To make my readers feel the pain that the participants in the story felt themselves and to relate it to their own life.

And then sometimes, the story is so incredibly sad all on it’s own, that I don’t need to say a word. I simply need to recount the events and let the reader feel on their own. Read the rest of this entry →

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    • Billy Kilmer: Hard-Nosed Quarterback
      September 2, 2018 | 7:32 pm
      Kilmer

      Billy Kilmer

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month began his NFL career as an athletic running quarterback, but he endured a near fatal car accident to completely change his game during a career that spanned nearly two decades.

      Anyone who is familiar with former NFL quarterback Billy Kilmer probably remembers him as the portly, un-athletic, but very tough quarterback for the Washington Redskins in the 1970s. However, during his first two NFL seasons, Kilmer was primarily used as a running quarterback and running back for the San Francisco 49ers.

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