Many Cincinnati Reds’ fans will never forget Milt Pappas, who died this week at the age of 76.
Following the 1965 season, Cincinnati traded slugging outfielder Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles for pitchers Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson.
Robinson was National League Rookie of the Year in 1956 and had won the NL Most Valuable Player award in 1961, but by 1965, Reds’ owner Bill DeWitt believed Robinson was “not a young 30.”
Robinson was traded for three players, but the key player in the deal was Pappas, who was an All-Star in 1962 and started the All-Star Game in 1965.
From 1959-65, Pappas won between 13 and 16 games each season for the Orioles.
Reds’ fans were irate over the trade of Robinson, who went on to win the Triple Crown and AL MVP award in 1966 as the Orioles won the world championship.
Pappas, meanwhile, went 12-11 for the Reds in 1966 and was 16-13 with a 3.35 ERA in 1967, which by today’s standards would be considered an outstanding season.
The Reds traded Pappas to the Atlanta Braves in 1968, and Robinson went on to be elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Pappas did have a fine 17-year career, winning 209 games with 43 shutouts and a 3.40 ERA.
The late Champaign County native Harvey Haddix played a role in the Frank Robinson/Milt Pappas trade.
Haddix had played with Robinson in Cincinnati in 1958, and with Pappas in Baltimore in 1964-65.
“(Baltimore manager) Hank Bauer called me after the 1965 season to ask me about Robinson and I told Hank, if you can get him, do it, because he’s one of the best players in the game,” said Haddix during a 1991 interview.
Trivia Time – Nick Faldo won the 1996 Masters when Greg Norman faltered in the final round.
This week’s question – What was Milt Pappas’ birth name?