Tuesday, July 14, 2015

John Werhas: Traded Halfway Across the World

John Werhas is an interesting fellow. A major athlete at USC, he didn't quite break into major league stardom, though he did have time with the Dodgers and Angels. His major league Baseball Reference page has just his first signing as a free agent with the Dodgers, and his subsequent trade to the Angels as transactions. He had a few more stops to go.

Somehow, he goes from the Angels in 1967, to the Phillies' San Diego AAA club in 1968. This article from the Buffalo Courier Express of March 15, 1968 does NOT help straighten things out:

In an article previewing the 1968 Buffalo AAA season: "Heading the list of candidates for the third base job is John Werhas.....Werhas, a third baseman most of his career, was purchased by the parent Washington Senators form the California Angels during the winter."


He went to San Diego, and then Hawaii in 1969. I haven't been able to find anything on those deals yet.

Then comes this for 1971 in the Times record of Troy, New York of Nov. 19, 1970..

"John Werhas, 32, an American Third baseman formerly with Los Angeles, California and the Pacific Coast league's Hawaii Islanders will play for the Central League's Taiyo Whales in 1911, Hie Japanese professional baseball club announced today."

This scanned article  from, I believe, a Honolulu newspaper, mentions Werhas was sold by Hawaii to Taiyo.

Werhas returned to the Hawaii club in a historical trade. From this SABR Asian Baseball Committee timeline entry:

'Former New York Yankee third-baseman Clete Boyer, now with the Pacific Coast Hawaii Islanders, is traded to the Taiyo Whales of Japan for John Werhas in what is billed as a “history-making deal … the first time that players were exchanged by American and Japanese teams.”

Werhas stayed with Hawaii until he was dealt to Eugene in a deal covered in the Joe Moeller blog entry last time.

Werhas is now a Senior Pastor at The Rock Community Church in Anaheim Hills, CA!

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