Johnny Jones Was Traded To Another Team For a Turkey

Published on February 2nd, 2024 5:35 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

A story about a baseball player who was traded for turkey. As a professional athlete, getting traded can be an embarrassing moment.

The embarrassment gets even worse, however, if you aren't traded for much.

In the case of Johnny "Binky" Jones, the embarrasment of being traded was compounded by the fact that he was traded for an actual turkey.

A 25-pound turkey.


In 1929, Joe Engel bought the Chattanooga Lookouts.

One of Engel's first moves was to build a new ballpark. After that, he became consumed with the idea of filling up the ballpark.

The problem? The Lookouts weren't very good, so Engel had to get creative.

In addition to running a number of unusual promotions at his ballpark, Engel wasn't shy about calling out members of his team.

That included Johnny Jones, the shortstop for the team who wasn't playing very well.

Jones had experience in the big leagues, as he had played 10 games with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1924.

Perhaps this is why the media was so harsh towards Jones, as they lambasted him for his poor play.

Engel sensed an opportunity, and ended up trading Jones to the Charlotte Hornets of the Class C Piedmont League for a 25-pound turkey.


Jones was not pleased with the trade, and threatened not to report to the Hornets.

If that happened, the Hornets said, the deal would be off. No turkey.

Jones eventually decided to report, though refused to have his picture taken with the turkey.


Engel would serve up the turkey to members of the media, who he had a tumultuous relationship with.

Johnny Jones, on the other hand, never played another minor league baseball game again - I guess he'd gotten the hint and went on to do something else.

Related Articles