Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Play Mandy Brooks for Me, Then Trade Him

We are going to go back a bit further than normal for this post's subject.

Mandy Brooks was a half-season wonder for the Cubs in 1925. In 90 games, the outfielder had 46 XBH, 72 RBI and a .281 average as a rookie centerfielder. The Cubs acquired Hack Wilson for 1926 and Brooks was an afterthought. Aftger 57 PA and a sub-.200 BA he was gone from the majors, never to return.

Brooks' Baseball-Reference page lists NO transactions for Brooks, which is not surprising. Baseball worked in a different way back then, as teams frequently bought and sold and traded players from and to independent minor league teams. We were able to find a few for Brooks, though, including his entry and exit from the Cubs!

Brooks had joined the Cubs mid-season from the Columbus AA team, an independent squad. This deal was covered by the Courier-Journal from Louisville Kentucky of May 27, 1925:

 "John ("Mandy") Brooks, an outfielder with the Columbus American Association Club, has been sold to the Chicago Nationals for $33,009, an outfielder and a pitcher, it was announced here today. Brooks, who has been batting better than (??), will report to the Chicago team Friday. He came to Columbus from Peoria in the Three Eye League. Outfielder (??) will be one of the Chicago nlers who will come to Columbus."

The (??) mark indicates garbled text. We can certainly pull out from this that the Cubs sent cash and two players to Columbus for Brooks.

Brooks' Baseball-Reference page is not complete when it comes to his minor-league career. In 1926 the Cubs optioned him to Minneapolis, but that record is not represented. From Minneapolis, the Cubs sold him to Louisville for 1927. From the Courier-Journal from Louisville Nov. 18, 1926:

"Mandy Brooks will wear the uniform of a Louisville Colonel next season. He comes to the Louisville club from the Chicago Cubs in part payment for Earl Webb. Brooks finished the 1926 season with Minneapolis after starting the year with Joe McCarthy's team."

This transaction is not listed on Earl Webb's page, either.  

Brooks' Louisville career isn't covered on his page either, just a stop at Waterbury (perhaps on option from Louisville). He goes to Nashville early in 1927: from the July 12, 1927 Tennessean from Nashville:

"Mandy Brooks, who was bought a week ago today from Louisville, joined the club yesterday down in Memphis and It filled the Vol roster."

So that was a cash deal. We found one more Brooks transaction that involved a (then) future major league player. In 1928 Brooks goes to the PCL in a deal outlined in the San Bernardino Sun of June 13,1928:

"A mild housecleaning in the Oakland baseball club today swept one regular out, while a veteran and three youngsters swirled in on the back stroke of the broom. Al Bool, one of the catching mainstays of last year's pennant winning team, was the victim. , He and a chunk of cash (amount unknown) went to the Nashville club of the Southern association in a trade for John "Mandy" Brooks, husky outfielder. Brooks, a right-hander all around, was with the Chicago Nationals in 1925 and 1926. To date this season, he has hit nine home runs and batted .534 for Nashville. He will report at once."

So we were able to not only add some transactions to the Mandy Brooks file, but fill in a couple stops on his baseball resume!

Brooks from pinterest, Webb from and Bool from the great Trading Card Database site.

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