Mark Armour (the “Founding Father” of our illustrious committee) and I recently consummated a transaction in which we exchanged autographed 8” x 10” photos. “Trader Mark” sent George “Boomer” Scott my way in exchange for Lou Brock. Although this trade may seem to be in the same vain as Brock for Broglio, we both had two autographed photos of the players in the trade. Mark tried to get Brock for Lee Stange, but I held out for more.
Acquiring the Scott photo reminded me of the blockbuster deal that sent “Boomer” to the Brewers from the Red Sox before the 1972 season. Seattle Pilots General Manager, Marvin Milkes, accompanied the club to Milwaukee in 1970. He was dismissed after the season and surprisingly replaced by the legendary Frank “Trader” Lane, who lived up to his nickname.
In the 1950s, Lane was known for his multi-player trades which often seemed to be done just to shake things up. Thus, Lane decided to shed some of the last vestiges of the Pilots to remake the “Brew Crew.”
The trade involved nine major league players and one minor leaguer. The Red Sox sent Scott, Ken Brett, Joe Lahoud, Dan Pavletich, Billy Conigliaro, and Jim Lonborg to the Brewers in return for Tommy Harper, Marty Pattin, Lew Krausse and AAA player Patrick Skrable.
In the 1972 card set, Topps responded to the deal in two ways: upturned head shots and airbrushed logos. Apparently, Topps had a stash of Red Sox photos featuring players looking skyward. Only Jim Lonborg received an airbrushed Brewers cap. On the other hand, the three players sent to Boston have airbrushed cap insignia.
The crack airbrush team at Topps did an excellent job on Marty Pattin. His cap is either navy blue or black with the Boston “B” rendered expertly. Of course, you must ignore the royal blue seats at Tempe Diablo Stadium in the background.
Tommy Harper’s photo, taken at Tiger Stadium, is less convincing. The powder blue uniform and cap just don’t scream Bosox.
Lew Krausse has some strange stuff going on around his collar. Odds are, he had on a Pilots/Brewers warm up jacket with gold piping. Thus, he gets a blue and grey combo to cover up the gold.
Though his 1967 season is immortalized in the hearts and minds of all Red Sox fans, Jim Lonborg’s 1972 card will not be remember as fondly. The sideways turn of the head complicated the formation of the “M” logo. One “leg” appears shorter than the other.
As mentioned earlier, the airbrush was put away for the rest of new Brewers in favor of the “nostril” shot. George Scott’s gaze into the Winter Haven sun or the Fenway press box is not a thing of beauty. His cap is tilted so far back that the #5 inked on to the bill is visible.
Billy Conigliaro and Ken Brett both suffered the misfortune of having brothers who were better players. Billy probably welcomed a chance to shed Tony’s shadow in Boston. This trade would start Brett on a vagabond odyssey that would produce some true airbrushed gems. Here is a link to a previous post on this topic.
With the leather-lined padding exposed under his batting helmet and a slight smile, Joe Lahoud’s card is a bit more interesting than the others. Perhaps Joe is smiling over the prospect of more playing time outside of Beantown.
By far, the worst photo is that of journeyman catcher Don Pavletich. He was apparently very surly at the prospect of another trade, having been dispatched by the Reds to the White Sox in 1969 and on to the Red Sox in 1970.
I would be remiss if I didn’t show a card (postcard with the Reading Phillies) of Patrick Skrable, the veteran minor league player the Brewers tossed into the trade mix. Although Pat never made it to the big leagues, he was a master of placing the “Q” on a triple-letter space.
Which team came out on top of this deal? Harper had good years with Boston, but George Scott developed into one of the most feared power hitters in the American League. Plus, when the Red Sox reacquired him from Milwaukee, they gave up Cecil Cooper. So, advantage Brewers.