This is the seventh in a series of examinations of baseball-related legends and whether they are true or false. Click here to view an archive of all the previous baseball legends.
This installment is a re-format edition, so these legends have already been posted on this site, just not in this format.
BASEBALL LEGEND: Rob Ducey was traded for himself.
Baseball transactions can be awfully confusing sometimes, and perhaps never was it more confusing that the case of Rob Ducey’s journey from the Philadelphia Phillies to the Toronto Blue Jays and back to the Phillies in 2000.
Ducey was drafted by the Toronto Blue Jays in 1984. He played for the Blue Jays from 1987-1992.
Here’s his 1988 Topps baseball card…
Ducey played for a few different teams before signing with the Philadelphia Phillies in December 1998.
After a season and a half with the Phillies, on July 26, 2000, Ducey was not hitting very well and was traded to the Blue Jays for a Player to be Named Later, a practice baseball has where the player in the trade is, well, named later (this is usually done when the deal is for minor league players who cannot be traded before a certain amount of time has passed in their service time – so they are “traded” in July but not officially traded until September).
On August 5, 2000, the Blue Jays traded a Player to Be Named Later to the Phillies for second baseman Micky Morandini.
Well, on August 7, it was revealed that Ducey was the Player to Be Named Later.
So seemingly, Ducey was the Player to Be Named Later that went from the Blue Jays to the Phillies for Ducey. So he was traded for himself!!
In reality, though, there were two separate deals. The Player to Be Named Later in the first Ducey deal was minor-leaguer John Sneed.
Then Ducey was traded back for Morandini.
So, yes, if you use mathematical logic, then you could possibly say that Sneed was traded for Morandini and Ducey was traded for himself, but the actual deals were two separate deals. Ducey to the Blue Jays for Sneed and then Morandini to the Blue Jays for Ducey.
Either way, it was an odd situation all around.
Ducey was cut by the Phillies in 2001, and after a stint with the Expos that year, ended his career.
Ducey is currently a scout for the Blue Jays. He’s one of the few Canadian-born players to play for both the Blue Jays AND Expos, and the ONLY Canadian-born player to play for both teams AND the Canadian Olympic team.
BASEBALL LEGEND: The baseball that Barry Bonds hit to pass Babe Ruth’s career home run total ended up in the hands of a fan who was at the concession stand at the time!
Andrew Morbitzer was at the concession stand on May 28, 2006 getting his wife some pretzels as well as a couple more beers. He did not buy any Crackerjacks, but if he had, it would have been fitting, as he was about to be rewarded with perhaps the best prize you could ever get when going to the concession stand – he got the baseball that Barry Bonds hit for his 715th home run!
Barry Bonds had tied Babe Ruth’s mark a few days earlier in Oakland, disappointing Giants fans who wanted him to do it at home, but Bonds passed Ruth and took sole possession of second place on the all-time home runs list (Bonds would eventually pass #1 on the list, Hank Aaron, the next season) at home where the Giants were playing the Colorado Rockies.
Morbitzer was actually a transplanted Colorado resident. He was wearing a Bonds #715 T-Shirt when, according to him, he lost track of who was due up in the next inning and figured it would be a good time to get beer refills for himself and his wife (as well as pretzels for his wife).
What happened next is practically unbelievable – the ball (a 2-run shot off of Colorado pitcher Byung-Hyun Kim, who is probably tired of famous home runs being hit off of him) was hit to centerfield, butl glanced off a fan’s hands about 15 rows up and then dropped onto an elevated platform beyond the fence.
It then rolled down the roof of a concession stand and fell directly into Morbitzer’s hand!
He was quickly mobbed and taken away by security.
Morbitzer made the rounds with the media over the next few days…
The ball was auctioned off later that year on eBay and netted $220,000!
That’s some prize right there.
Okay, that’s it for this week!
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