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Tigers and Phillies Unlock Stalled Interleague Trade Market

Dec. 5, 1963 - The Detroit Tigers and Philadelphia Phillies unlocked the stalled interleague trading market today with a four-player deal. The Tigers got Don Demeter, a right-handed power-hitting outfielder, and Jack Hamilton, a young right-handed pitcher. To the Phillies went Jim Bunning (pictured in 1962), ranked until last season as one of the American League’s top-ranking right-handed pitchers, and Gus Triandos, a 33-year-old catcher who hits for distance. “We simply had to get a top-flight outfielder,” said manager Chuck Dressen of the Tigers, “and things couldn’t have broken better for us.” The Tigers recently traded Rocky Colavito to the Kansas City Athletics. “We also considered Felipe Alou, but when the Giants traded Alou to the Braves, we redoubled our efforts to land Demeter because he was, from the beginning, our No. 1 choice. We will play Demeter in center and shift Bill Bruton to left. We also expect to get some good pitching from young Hamilton.” Manager Gene Mauch of the Phillies was equally elated over the Phils’ acquisition of the 32-year-old Bunning, even though the tall, fireballing right-hander tailed off considerably last year. “I still rate him one of the top right-handers in the game, and I’m certain he’ll be a winning pitcher for us,” said Mauch. Bunning, who came up with Detroit in 1955, had his best season in 1957 when he won 20 and lost 8. The following year, he tossed a no-hitter against Boston. He was twice a 17-game winner and in 1962 won 19. Last season, however, he won only 12 games, lost 13, and had an ERA of 3.88. He was reportedly unhappy in Detroit. “I’m tickled to death I’ve been traded,” said Bunning today. “I feel certain coming into the other league is going to help me a lot, and I certainly hope it will help the Phillies.” The Phils also expect much from Triandos, a one-time Yankee who was traded to Baltimore in 1955. He hit 30 homers in 1958, tying the American League record for homers by a catcher set by Yogi Berra in 1952. The mark still stands.


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