The Curse of Rocky Colavito

From SABR member Steve Treder at The Hardball Times on September 5, 2011:

Cleveland sportswriter Terry Pluto wrote a terrific book about the long-suffering Cleveland Indians of the 1960s, ’70s, ’80s, and early ’90s. He titled it The Curse of Rocky Colavito, and every Tribe fan knew exactly what he meant.


To be sure, neither Pluto nor anyone else actually believes in any manner of “curse” caused by the fateful Colavito trade. But it certainly is the case that if one could pinpoint an exact spot, a moment, at which the Cleveland franchise stopped being a perennial American League contender and started being a perennial American League afterthought, it was that one.

Well, what of it? Just how impactful was the Colavito trade on Cleveland fortunes in the years to follow? What other moves might they have made to alter their course?

Let’s find out. We’ll rewind the tape to April 1, 1960. We’ll inherit the actual Cleveland roster as of that day. But from that day forward, we aren’t compelled to execute the same transactions Indians’ GM Frank Lane made over the rest of the 1960 season, nor will we have to make the same moves as Lane’s successor, Gabe Paul, who took over the job in January 1961 and held it through 1968.

Can we kick the curse?

Read the full article here:

UPDATE (9/12/11): And here’s part 2.

Originally published: September 8, 2011. Last Updated: September 8, 2011.