Eckersley trade sets stage for historic 1978 season
On March 30, 1978, Boston acquired young Indians ace Dennis Eckersley and catcher Fred Kendall in exchange for prospects Ted Cox, Bo Díaz and Mike Paxton and veteran pitcher Rick Wise.
Only 23 years of age, Eckersley had already spent three seasons in the big leagues and had won 40 games for Cleveland.
Eckersley would pitch five more full seasons with the Red Sox before being traded to the Cubs midway through the 1984 campaign. By 1987, he had re-invented himself as a reliever with the Athletics – helping Oakland win three AL pennants from 1988-90 and the 1989 World Series championship.
In 1992, Eckersley won both the AL Cy Young and AL Most Valuable Player Award. He finished his career with a record of 197-171 and 390 saves, returning to Boston in his final season in 1998 and helping the Red Sox advance to the postseason.
Eckersley was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2004.
Craig Muder is the director of communications for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum