Hurte: The infamous trade of 1972

From SABR member Bob Hurte at on August 4, 2012:

The image of our sports heroes have become tarnished ever since Bouton’s infamous baseball diary, “Ball Four.” As Art Spander stated in his April 1973 column for The Sporting News, “Baseball is deceptively simple, a man throwing a ball, another trying to catch it.” Before Bouton’s book, the players we knew only went to church, signed autographs and hit home runs. At least this is what we were led to believe. Reporters who covered teams, covered up the scandals, they were an extension for the club’s public relations department. For many years, baseball players were not human. They were Gods!

There was a story told by Yankee reporters during the heyday of Babe Ruth. It seems that on a train ride, the Babe ran through the car naked, with a naked woman chasing after him, armed with a knife. One of the reporters told his peers, “You know if she stabs him, we’re going to have to write about it.” This was an example of the ‘un-written’ law among the beat writers around baseball. This was true until the news broke out about the Peterson/ Kekich swap during the Yankees’ spring training camp in 1973!

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Originally published: August 5, 2012. Last Updated: August 5, 2012.