After capturing the World Series title six times in eight season from 1936-1943, the New York Yankees fell on relatively hard times. By the end of the ’46 season, the championship drought reached three seasons, an unacceptable run by Yankee standards or the era. The roster needed a change.
General Manager Larry MacPhail knew a front line starting pitcher was the most glaring need. Meanwhile, the pitching-rich Indians were in search of offense. New Cleveland owner Bill Veeck offered to trade Allie Reynolds straight up for Yankee second sacker Joe Gordon.
MacPhail bit and the deal was consummated during the ’46 World Series. The exchange improved the fortunes of both clubs.
The addition of Reynolds immediately helped. The Yankees won the Fall Classic in his first season, a 19-win campaign for the right-hander. The following season in ’48 it was Cleveland’s turn. Gordon helped push the team over the top, finishing 6th in MVP voting as the Indians won the second title in franchise history.
Reynolds and the Yankees then reeled off five consecutive World Series wins. It remains the longest championship run in the history of baseball.
It’s a rare baseball trade that brings a World Series title to both teams. The Reynolds-for-Gordon deal did just that.
Shown here is a World’s Fair Laurel Card signed by Gordon in 1939.