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Indians Send Seerey, Gettel to Chicago for Kennedy

Indians Send Seerey, Gettel to Chicago for Kennedy

| On 22, Nov 2015

June 3, 1948

After being linked to several teams already this season, Pat Seerey finally was dealt to the Chicago White Sox late Tuesday evening with pitcher Al Gettel for outfielder Bob Kennedy.

Catcher Ray Murray, who had been travelling with the team because of the injury to reserve backstop Joe Tipton, has been added to the active roster to fill one of the spots on the team created by the trade.

Kennedy becomes a strange addition to an Indians roster that already was overloaded with outfielders. The team, needing an upgrade on the pitching staff or even in the infield, brought in another flycatcher to create clutter in the outfield patrol.

The right-handed hitting Kennedy will join the Indians immediately on their 14-game road trip through the east coast. He was batting .248 at the time of the trade and had 14 RBI in 30 games on the season. He had split time between left and right field for the White Sox.

While he likely will see the bulk of his playing time in the outfield, Kennedy might provide the ball club with some depth in the infield if manager Lou Boudreau elects to use him as a backup for Ken Keltner at third base.

The native Chicagoan was a sandlot star in his city growing up and had spent his entire career in the Windy City. He entered the season with a career .246 batting average for the White Sox. He will jump from the cellar of the American League right into the middle of an early season pennant race.

The trade ends the largely disappointing tenure of Seerey in an Indians uniform. After joining the team in 1943 as a 20-year-old rookie, he led the league in strikeouts three straight seasons from 1944 through 1946. While his power numbers blossomed to a career-best 26 home runs and 62 RBI in 1946, his numbers fell back off the next season.

The ceiling on Seerey was thought to be extremely high. Instead, he heads to the basement in Chicago.

A failure in many regards with the lofty expectations placed upon him, Seerey once was thought to be capable of chasing down the home run crown, or at least putting on some impressive power displays if nothing else.

Instead, he struggled mightily with the strikeout, and tutoring from baseball legends Rogers Hornsby and Hank Greenberg failed to turn him into the ball player he could have been. Bill Veeck even placed him on a special diet plan over this past winter, hoping to turn him into a better athlete. Both Pat and his wife stayed in California in the offseason at the team’s expense while the club supervised his eating to try to reduce his sizable frame. All attempts failed.

The Indians had tried unsuccessfully to pass him through waivers so that they could send him down to the farm club in Baltimore, but other teams in the American League twice filed waiver claims.

He ends his Indians career with 68 home runs over parts of six seasons. He hit .223 for the Tribe.

Gettel had been largely underwhelming in the early going this season.

In his first start of the season, he gave up four runs and four hits in two innings to the Detroit Tigers. The Indians went on to win the game. In his second start, he again allowed four runs on four hits and mixed in three walks while pitching into the third inning. The Indians won again, but no thanks to his efforts.

He appeared in three more games for the Tribe, all in relief, and allowed seven more earned runs in three and two-thirds innings. He exits Cleveland with an 0-1 record and a 17.61 ERA on the season.

He ends his Cleveland career with an 11-11 record and a 3.91 ERA. He appeared in 36 games, 23 as a starter, in parts of the last two seasons.

Neither Seerey nor Gettel had contributed much to the Indians’ success this season and were deemed expendable parts.

Kennedy is expected to be in the starting lineup for Thursday’s game against the southpaw Mickey Haefner. He joined the team in Washington from Philadelphia, where he had been playing with Chicago.

Photo: Indians promotional postcard