April 25 is the anniversary of one of my favorite trades of all-time
On April 25, 1962, the Cleveland Indians sent catcher Harry Chiti to the expansion New York Mets for cash and the very famous “player to be named later.”
On June 15, the Mets completed the deal by selling Harry Chiti back to the Indians.
Yes, Harry Chiti, in essence, was traded for himself, a transaction you could go blind enjoying.
Chiti was actually sold directly to the Cleveland affiliate Jacksonville Suns, a Triple A team that also had on the roster in 1963: Ted Abernathy, Walt Bond, Mike Cuellar, Tommy John, Sudden Sam McDowell, Sonny Siebert, Willie Tasby, Sammy Taylor, and many others. Chiti hit .234 in 177 games.
Chiti briefly played again in the minors in 1964 and called it a career.
Chiti’s Career Transactions
- June 29, 1950: Signed by the Chicago Cubs as an amateur free agent. – Chiti played 755 games with the Cubs over five seasons and hit .239
- December 11, 1956: The Chicago Cubs sent a player to be named later to the New York Yankees for Charlie Silvera and cash and another player to be named.
- December 14, 1956: Guess who the Cubs sent Chiti to the Yankees to complete the December 11 deal? You guessed right, Harry Chiti. Chiti never played in the majors for the Yankees
- December 2, 1957: Chiti was drafted by the Kansas City Athletics from the Yankees in the 1957 rule 5 draft. Chiti played three seasons with the Athletics and hit .255.
- July 26, 1960: Purchased by the Detroit Tigers from the Kansas City Athletics. Chiti played portions of two seasons with Detroit and hit .155.
- July 21, 1961: Chiti was traded by the Tigers to the Baltimore Orioles for Frank House. Chiti never played in the majors for the Orioles.
- November 16, 1961: Chiti was traded by the Baltimore Orioles with Arthur Kay (minors) and Ray Barker to the Cleveland Indians for Johnny Temple. Chiti never played in the majors for the Indians.
- April 25, 1962: Chiti was purchased by the New York Mets from the Cleveland Indians.
- June 10, 1962: Chiti played his last MLB game
- June 15, 1962: Chiti was returned to the Cleveland Indians by the New York Mets. Chiti this time never played in the majors for the Indians.
- January 31, 2002: Harry Chiti died in Florida at the age of 69
Here’s three more…
Since Chiti, Brad Gulden (1980 -from the Yankees to the Mariners and then back to New York), Dickie Noles (1987 -from the Cubs to the Tigers and then back to Chicago), and John McDonald (2005 – from the Blue Jays to Detroit and then back to Toronto), have all been traded for themselves