Today in Tribe History: March 24, 1973
Bob Toth | On 24, Mar 2021
The Cleveland Indians send two-time All-Star and Gold Glove winning catcher Ray Fosse to the Oakland Athletics with utility infielder Jack Heidemann for catcher Dave Duncan and outfielder George Hendrick.
“I’m shocked, that’s all I can say right now,” Fosse was quoted as saying in the March 25, 1973, edition of The Plain Dealer. “In a way, I’m disappointed because I’ve spent my entire career with the Indians’ organization and I had a feeling of growing up with the club that’s being built and someday getting to the top with it. The organization was always great to me, and so were the people of Cleveland. That’s another reason I’m a little disappointed. But on the other hand, I’m going to a world’s championship team that ought to be even better than it was last year. So I have no bitterness toward anybody. I’m just shocked by it all, and the way I found out about the trade.”
It was after a shopping trip with his wife after morning workouts at Hi Corbett Field that Fosse returned to his apartment and found a note on his door that said “Congratulations! – and call Mr. Seghi [Indians GM Phil Seghi] immediately.”
Fosse played in a career-high 143 games for Oakland in his first season with the club as it won its second of three straight World Series. He would remain with the A’s until 1976, when he was purchased back by the Indians. He was later traded to Seattle and also spent time with Milwaukee. Heidemann, after four years with Cleveland, would spend the 1973 season in the minors and would be purchased back by the Indians one day short of the year anniversary of the trade. He would also play for St. Louis, the New York Mets, and Milwaukee during his eight-year career.
Duncan would appear in a pair of seasons behind the plate for the Tribe, batting .215 with 33 home runs in his time with the club before he was dealt to the Baltimore Orioles as part of the Boog Powell trade. Hendrick would blossom into a power-hitting threat after two lackluster seasons in Oakland, making two All-Star trips in 1974 and 1975 for Cleveland while batting .267 with 89 home runs in 546 games over four seasons. He was traded following the 1976 season to San Diego for three players.