Tigers fans were not the only fans to shake their heads and raise their eyebrows with this trade. The fans of the Cleveland Indians were upset that their favorite player was sent to their rivals to the north. Long after the trade, Colavito was still upset about being sent away from a team that felt like home.
Once he was added to the lineup, he hit between Kaline and Norm Cash. The trio was known as “Murders Row” and they were only stopped by the Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris lineup in 1961. He played in Detroit for four seasons, but was quietly traded in the fall of 1963 for two pitchers and an infielder. Jerry Lumpe, Dave Wickersham, and Ed Rakow did not perform to the same ability as Colavito. Rumor has it that Colavito was sent away to open up a spot for Willie Horton – this is the “nice” rumor. The other rumor is that Colavito was sent away because he wanted too much money, supposedly $1000 more than Kaline made – this is the “not-so-nice” rumor.
He was traded to the Kansas City Athletics in the 1964 season, then he made it back to Cleveland in 1965. But, the Tigers lost out on one of the most consistent hitters in the history of the game.
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