Interesting baseball trade


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I think it was 40 to 45 years ago, I met a guy out in California who had an avocado farm. He'd started it with an old buddy, Duke Snider, with whom he played in the minor leagues. it was about 65 acres, if I recall correctly, and one of the best in all of California. The guy's name was Cliff Dapper.

Anyhow, in the late 40s, he was playing for Montreal at a AAA level, in the Dodgers organization. Branch Rickey, who owned the Dodgers wanted to hire Ernie Harwell who was the radio announcer for an AA team named the Atlanta Crackers. Harwell would fill in for Red Barber, who was ill. Atlanta said they wanted a player for their announcer, and Cliff was the player.

As Dapper told the story, those of us sitting there with him were laughing our asses off. A player traded for a radio announcer.

As it were, Dapper went on to coach and play in the Dodgers system again.

When the Manager of the Montreal team went to Dapper, to tell him about the trade, he wasn't sure how to handle it. So, he sat with Dapper and said; "I heard once a guy was traded for an ice-box. Ever heard of anything like that?" "No.," Dapper answered. "Another was traded for three head of cattle and a truck. Heard about that one?" "No. Can't say I have." Dapper responded. "Well Cliff you got them beat. You've been traded for a guy who Mr. Rickey wants to be an announcer. But he did say he wants to thank you for your support, and that when you're done over there, you come back and see us. There's always room for you in Brooklyn. It's Atlanta. You're gonna be a Cracker."

Cliff had learned to laugh about it. At the time, Harwell was still broadcasting the Tigers games.

Cliff's comment to us, at the end, smiling; "It took one of the greatest announcers in the game to pry me away from Mr. Rickey. I was traded for the best."