Today in Tribe History: May 17, 1931

Just one full season after winning the 1929 batting title, the Cleveland Indians send Lew Fonseca to the Chicago White Sox for Willie Kamm.

Fonseca joined the Indians in 1927 after stops with the Cincinnati Reds and Philadelphia Phillies. He hit over .300 in each of his first three seasons with the club, including his .369 season in 1929 when he also knocked in a career-high 103 runs. He was limited to 40 games in 1930 and was dealt after 26 games to start the ’31 season, despite a .370 batting average. He would play with the White Sox through 1933, but just sparingly after hitting .299 in the remaining 121 games of his first season in Chicago. In retirement from baseball, he worked as a proponent of baseball highlight films and as an MLB producer. He remained involved in the game well into the latter years of his life, working as a hitting instructor for the Chicago Cubs in his early 80’s.

Kamm had been the everyday third baseman for the White Sox since he debuted in the Big Leagues in 1923. He missed no more than a dozen games in a season until 1930, when he was limited to 112. He would hit .295 in his first season with Cleveland and held down the hot corner regularly through 1934. His playing career ended with six games for the club in 1935 before his release in June. He was regularly among the best fielding third baseman in the league throughout his career. Following his playing days, he remained in the dugout briefly, managing in the Pacific Coast League.

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