Today in Tribe History: March 19, 1981
Bob Toth | On 19, Mar 2015
Remembered for his penchant for change and trades, former Major League Baseball and National Basketball Association general manager Frank “Trader” Lane passes away at the age of 85.
Lane was heavily involved in sports throughout his lifetime, beginning with some professional action with football teams in Ohio prior to the advent of the National Football League. He played some minor league baseball, worked as a referee, was a front office member of the Cincinnati Reds at the minor and Major League levels, and was a member of the United States Navy during World War II before getting a four-decade tour of the league as a GM.
He rebuilt the Chicago White Sox and joined the St. Louis Browns before coming to Cleveland to take a wrecking ball to the Indians, infamously trading away Rocky Colavito, Norm Cash, Roger Maris, and manager Joe Gordon from the club. He left prior to the 1961 season as an executive for the Philadelphia Athletics, but a front office battle with owner Charlie Finley ended his employ there and, unable to work in baseball due to a related lawsuit, worked in the NBA with the Chicago Packers as their general manager. He would return to baseball as a special assistant with the Baltimore Orioles and then general manager of the Milwaukee Brewers and a scout for the California Angels and Texas Rangers.