We just got word that the Dodgers have once again avoided all arbitration cases with their players and signed James Loney, the final case remaining, to a one-year contract.
As you probably know, we always try to avoid going to trial with our own guys because the process is never enjoyable for anyone, so kudos to everyone in baseball operations on getting this done.
On a sadder note, we also got word this morning that former Brooklyn Dodger Cliff Dapper passed away this past week.
Dapper was a Los Angeles native who appeared in 18 games with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1942. He was best known for being the only ballplayer in history to be traded for a broadcaster. When Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Red Barber went on a medical leave during the 1948 season, team president Branch Rickey called Earl Mann, the owner of the minor league Atlanta Crackers, and asked for permission to sign Harwell. Mann wanted compensation for his popular broadcaster and said his team needed a catcher.
Rickey sent Dapper from the Dodgers’ Triple-A Montreal affiliate to the Crackers to complete the deal. Dapper continued his minor league career as a player and manager through 1957. Harwell left the Dodgers after the 1949 season, he was replaced by Fordham University graduate Vin Scully. Harwell became a Hall of Fame broadcaster, primarily with the Detroit Tigers. Despite the famous trade, Harwell and Dapper did not meet for more than a half a century until the dedication ceremonies for Harwell’s statue at Detroit’s Comerica Park in 2002.
Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this tough time.