Joe Gordon was Traded For Jimmy Dykes Mid-Season

Published on February 8th, 2024 1:05 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

An unusual mid-season manager swap took place in the 1960s between two Major League Baseball teams. During the 1960 Major League Baseball season, the Cleveland Indians and Detroit Tigers were both feeling the pressure from their fan bases.

Both teams were trailing far behind the likes of the New York Yankees, Baltimore Orioles and Chicago White Sox.

With both of their seasons slipping away, the Tigers and Indians agreed to a rarity - the mid-season swap of managers, as Joe Gordon was sent to the Tigers, while Jimmy Dykes was sent to the Indians.

The move didn't work, as both teams would finish the season below .500.


Heading into the 1960 season, Cleveland Indians manager Joe Gordon was seemingly living on borrowed time.

At the end of the 1959 season, with the Indians playing well, Joe Gordon announced that he would be leaving the time at the end of the year.

Indians management was not happy, and fired Gordon less than a week later.

Gordon was rehired, though the damage was done, as both sides now had disdain for each other.

Jimmy Dykes, who had a storied career as a manager, saw his team slip in 1960 after they had done well in 1959.

Up to the point that Dykes was traded, the Tigers had posted a record of 44-52 in 1960, dramatically underperforming expectations.


The general manager of the Indians, Frank Lane, was known for his wheeling and dealing, and called the Tigers with a question:

Would you be up for switching managers?

The deal was pitched as a novel idea to spark both of the teams, which were both in danger of missing the playoffs.

Neither team was too attached to their current manager, so the two teams agreed to the unusual transaction.


Joe Gordon would leave in 1961 for a new team, while Dykes would start for one more season in Detroit before retiring a few years later.

Related Articles