NEW YORK – In the biggest deal of modern baseball history, Rogers Hornsby, greatest batsman of the game, and manager of the world’s champion St. Louis Cardinals, was traded to the Giants tonight for Frank Frisch and Pitcher Jimmy Ring. The transaction, completed over the long-distance telephone between St. Louis and New York, involves players valued at more than half a million dollars and brings to this city the second of the two outstanding figures of the sport – Babe Ruth, king of the long distance hitters, and Hornsby, six-time batting champion of the National League.
Although President Charles A. Stoneham of the Giants declared that no money was paid to the Cardinals, baseball men were unanimous in insisting that the New York club must have handed over at least $100,000, in addition to its star second baseman and a veteran pitcher who is almost at the end of his career. Hornsby, it was pointed out, is worth much more than $300,000 at present baseball prices. Several years ago John McGraw, manager of the Giants, offered $250,000 and five players for him. Not long afterward the Brooklyn club raised this figure to a straight $275,000.
Since that time Hornsby’s value has increased greatly. He went on to win his sixth successive hitting championship of the league, was universally recognized as the finest right-handed batter of them all and climaxed his career last season by leading the Cardinals to the first pennant ever won by a modern St. Louis team and later to the world’s championship. The rival second baseman greeted the news with a marked lack of enthusiasm. Hornsby was quoted in St. Louis as saying that “it doesn’t look right that I should be traded from a club that I just managed to a world’s championship.”
At his home in this city Frisch, born and brought up in New York, seemed stunned by the tidings. “It’s pretty hot out there, but I suppose I’ll play,” he said in a listless tone.
Among other things, this is the first time in baseball history that a manager has been traded within a year of his having won the world’s championship. From that angle alone the trade was enough to set the baseball tongues wagging. Not since the sale of Ruth to the Yankees in 1920 has there been a baseball trade which might be compared with the trading of a world’s championship manager and possibly the flashiest second baseman of any day. Last year was Hornsby’s eleventh full season with the Cardinals. His first big year was 1920, when he batted .370. After reaching .397 the next year, he went over the .400 mark in 1922, 1924 and 1925. His .424 in 1924 established a new modern major league batting mark. In 1922 he hit forty-two homers, the National League record. His batting feats eclipsed even those of Delahanty and Honus Wagner. Last year he was voted the most valuable player in his league.
With Frank Frisch at second base, the Cardinals won pennants in 1928 and 1931, when he was the National League’s most valuable player. In 1933 he became player-manager, and his 1934 “Gas House Gang” won the World Series. Rogers Hornsby managed the Giants for part of 1927 but was traded to the Boston Braves after one season.