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Today In Brewer History: Danny O'Connell's Big Deal

The Milwaukee Braves sent six players and cash to Pittsburgh for one infielder on this day in 1953.

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One of the biggest trades in Brewer franchise history was a six-for-three deal in December of 2003 that saw Richie Sexson and two others sent to Arizona in exchange for Chris Capuano, Lyle Overbay and others. 50 years earlier, though, the Milwaukee Braves were on the other side of an even more lopsided deal.

On this day in 1953 the Braves sent six players and cash to Pittsburgh for infielder Danny O'Connell. O'Connell was 26 and had played just one full season in the majors since returning from military service, but had hit .294/.361/.401 for the Pirates that year. In exchange for O'Connell the Pirates received:

  • Outfielder/third baseman Sid Gordon, who hit .306/.405/.438 in 131 games for Pittsburgh in 1954.
  • Pitcher Max Surkont, who appeared in 69 games for the Pirates over the next three seasons.
  • Pitcher Fred Waters, who appeared in 25 gmaes for the Pirates between 1955-56.
  • Minor league pitcher Curt Raydon, who went on to pitch 31 games for the Pirates in 1958.
  • Former Negro League outfielder Sam Jethroe, who played just two games as a Pirate.
  • Pitcher Larry Lassalle, who never reached the majors.
  • $100,000.

O'Connell, meanwhile, was a regular with the Braves for four seasons but never returned to his 1953 form. He's perhaps best known for being one of the players traded for Red Schoendienst during the Braves' run to the World Series in 1957.

With help from the B-Ref Play Index, happy birthday today to:

  • 2002-09 Brewer Bill Hall, who turns 33. We covered his birthday in this space last year.
  • Madison, Wisconsin native Zane Smith, who turns 52. Smith pitched 13 major league seasons between 1984-96 as a member of the Pirates, Braves and two other teams.