Trade to Reds launched Lombardi’s Hall of Fame career
But in retrospect, it was anything but. After all, only one team picked up a future Hall of Famer in the deal.
On March 14, 1932, the Brooklyn Dodgers traded Ernie Lombardi to the Reds along with Wally Gilbert and Babe Herman, in exchange for Tony Cuccinello, Joe Stripp and Clyde Sukeforth.
Lombardi’s tenure with Brooklyn was brief. The club acquired him from the Oakland Oaks of the Pacific Coast League in January 1931. He made his big league debut and appeared in 73 games that season, batting .297 with four home runs and 23 RBI. But the future Hall of Fame catcher’s playing time behind the plate was limited, as Al López served as the team’s primary backstop.
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After 10 years with the Reds, he spent one year with the Braves before playing for five years with the Giants to close out his career.
Over his 17 big league seasons, Lombardi batted .306 with 190 homers and an .818 OPS and captured eight All-Star selections and two NL batting titles. He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 1986.
Janey Murray is the digital content specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum