Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wonderful Willie Smith is Traded for George Banks

Been awhile, but we have been searching for more undocumented or unfound trades.

George Banks was a slugging utility player for the Twins and Indians in the sixties. He had a hard time sticking with the big clubs and bounced around between there and AAA through 1966.

In 1967 his Baseball Reference minor league page shows him playing in the Angels system, in Seattle, but there is no transaction listed for this move.

Checking around the Googlesphere, I found a number of articles describing his season with Seattle, and that he was in Spring Training with the Angels before he was sent down. Nothing, though on any deal, until the always-reliable Toledo Blade came through. From the Oct. 17, 1966 paper:

"The Cleveland Indians traded infielder George Banks to the California Angels for outfielder Willie Smith yesterday."

Willie Smith! One of the all-time favorites from the 1969 Cubs, and a successful pitcher early in his career that switched to an outfielder/pinch-hitting specialist. Checking his Baseball Reference major league page, we find the following transaction listed:

"October 13, 1966: Purchased by the Cleveland Indians from the California Angels."

Well, now we know better!

George Banks from the Trading Card Database, Willie Smith from!

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