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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | October 28, 2016

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Today in Tribe History: August 3, 1960

Today in Tribe History: August 3, 1960

| On 03, Aug 2015

1960 – Cleveland general manager Frank Lane pulls off yet another curious trade as he sends manager Joe Gordon to the Detroit Tigers for their skipper, Jimmy Dykes.

“Trader” Lane was known for his penchant for keeping clubhouses in a state of flux, but his move to send Gordon to the team’s division rival seemed strange at best. Gordon took over the Indians for the final 86 games of the 1958 season at the age of 43, leading the team to a 46-40 record and fourth place spot in the American League, seven games behind the New York Yankees. They were even better the following season, finishing 89-65 and in second place in the league, five games in back of the World Series champion Chicago White Sox and ten games in front of the third place Yankees.

The Indians were off to a 49-46 start in 1960 and were in fourth place at the time of the trade. Gordon was replaced by Jo-Jo White in Cleveland until Dykes could arrive and White won his lone game managing in his coaching career. Gordon would go 26-31 for the Tigers, who would finish 71-83 and in sixth place in the league, 26 games behind the Yankees. He was fired at the end of the year.

Dykes, in his 20th season managing and 63 years old, had last managed a club for a full season in the inaugural campaign of the Baltimore Orioles in 1954 after the team moved from St. Louis. He spent a handful of games as the manager of the Cincinnati Redlegs in 1958 and ended the 1959 season as the Tigers manager. Just 96 games into the 1960 season and after a 44-52 record, he was on the move to Cleveland. His sub-.500 effort in Detroit came with him, as the Indians went 26-32 to wrap up the season and finished 76-78, 21 games out of first. He would manage the Indians in 160 games in 1961 and the team finished fifth in the AL with a 78-83 record.


  1. Joe Barmess

    Prior to the crazy 1960 season, there were a host of crazy circumstances between the Chicago White Sox, who finished first in 1959, the Indians, who finished second, and the Detroit Tigers, who finished fourth. First of all, you have the fact that Al Lopez managed the Indians to the pennant in 1954 and the White Sox to the pennant in 1959. He was the only manager to win the A.L. pennant, besides Casey Stengel of the Yankees, between the years 1949 and 1959. Also, Minnie Minoso, legendary outfielder, who spent most of his time with the White Sox and to a lesser extent, with the Indians, would not join the Tribe until 1949, thus missing the 1948 championship year. By 1954 he had been traded to the White Sox, thus missing Cleveland’s 1954 pennant. By 1959 he was back in Cleveland, missing the White Sox pennant. On the other hand, another very good outfielder, Al Smith, played with the Indians in 1954 and the White Sox in 1959, thus playing on both pennant winners as well as Hall of Fame pitcher Early Wynn and Hall of Fame outfielder Lary Doby. Of course after the 1959 season and coming oh so close to the pennant, Frank Lane began his Tribe “wrecking ball” by trading All Star/home run leader/fan favorite Rocky Colavito to the Tigers for A.L. batting champ Harvey Kuenn–Kuenn lasted one year with the Tribe while Colavito had many productive All Star years for Detroit and even was traded back to the Tribe in another trade fiasco, this time engineered by Gabe Paul, who gave Chicago pitcher Tommy John and outfielder Tommy Agee for “The Rock”. Lesser recognized, but also a comedy of trading circumstances, First, Frank Lane traded Minnie Minoso back to Chicago in a multi-player deal, one of which was obtaining a young Norm Cash from the White Sox. But, before the season even began, Lane then traded Cash to Detroit for a third baseman, Steve Demeter. Cash, and Colavito, provided a home run and rbi producing duo for many years for the Tigers, Demeter played all of four or five games for the Indians. Finally, going further with bad trades, especially for third basemen, besides the Cash for Demeter trade, the Indians traded a still young Dennis Eckersley to Boston, in a multi-player deal for third baseman Ted Cox in 1978. In 2006 the Indians traded Coco Crisp, again to Boston, in a multi-player deal, for third baseman Andy Marte. Suffice it to say, Cash, Eckersley,and Crisp had long productive careers, Demeter, Cox, and Marte, never had the word productive associated with their careers. Final end note, that 1959 White Sox team, besides All Star catcher Sherm Lollar, also had catchers John Romano (traded to Cleveland) and Earl Battey (traded to Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins). Had Chicago held on to at least one of them they could have moved seamlessly from one All Star catcher (Lollar) to another All Star Catcher (Battey or Romano).