Bad Trade Part II: Harvey Kueen for Rocky Colavito

I was crushed. (Seriously, I remember this.)
The Tigers traded the AL batting champ Harvey Kueen in 1959 for some strikeout artist name Rocky Colavito. Frank "Trader" Lane Cleveland GM said something like "All I did was trade hamburger for steak."
Kueen was one of the finest true hitters of the 50's and 60's, gracing the AL as Rookie of the Year, eight time All Star, compiling a .303 lifetime average, with a league leading .353 the year before the Tigers dealt him.
I call the Rock a strikeout artist; I thought I heard he led the league in 1959, but can't confirm that. Let's just say that in 1958 and '59 he struck out 175 times, compared with Kueen's 62.
But alas, the Tigers seemed to have had the wisdom to sell high and buy low. Kueen was an All Star only once again after leaving Motown. Although he played until 1966, his best years were probably behind him. Lane seems to have gotten bored with singles and doubles, and traded him a year later.
The Rock was a serious contributor for the Tigers and the other teams he played for, and although our guys didn't win a flag with him, they gave the Yanks a run for their money in 1961.
In Detroit or Cleveland, he was always a fan favorite; the girls loved him for his Italian good looks, and everybody appreciated the fact that he signed every autograph with a smile.
Today he's 66 on the all-time home run list.

I don't know if it was the Tigers' "worst" trade.
Does anybody remember "Harvey's Wallbangers?


  1. BTW, Tom posted the answer to "Harvey's Wallbangers" a reference to the old Milwaukee Brew crew. Who were they again, Tom?

  2. Today (8/10) is Rocky Colavito's birthday. Happy birthday, Rocco!

    Harvey's Wallbangers included Stormin' Gorman Thomas, former Tiger Ben Oglivie, Sixto Lezcano, Robin Yount, CHarlie Moore, Pete Vukovich, etc.