But when baseball and American culture began to change in the 1960s and 1970s, Cubs management was far behind the times.
Callison had been a pretty good power hitter from 1962-65, but five years later he was in serious decline.
Gamble went on to hit 200 major-league homers, while Callison had a mediocre 1970, a worse 1971, and then was shipped to the Yankees for reliever Jack Aker.
It's not a stretch to say that if they'd had Jones in 1959, a year when Ernie Banks won his second MVP, replacing others who pitched poorly or were injured, they might have had a contending team. They also got an older player who never really wanted to be a Cub, never seemed comfortable in Chicago and whose power nearly completely vanished after he'd started off the 1977 season pretty well.
Madlock's .336 average in 1,481 at-bats as a Cub is the highest in the history of the franchise for anyone who had that many at-bats with the team.
Jones posted 5.7 b WAR in 1959, fourth-best among pitchers. batting title in 19, Madlock had made contract demands that mangement didn't like.
The Cubs had the league's worst pitching by b WAR, -5.9. That's fine on the surface, but the Cubs wound up giving Murcer more money than Madlock had asked for, raising the question of whether money or something else prompted this deal.
There's absolutely no suspense involved here, as everyone knows what swap will occupy the No. Others you might have (rightfully) forgotten about.
One note before we begin: You'll notice that all of these trades were made after World War II, following the Cubs' last pennant.
There was talk that Gamble was dating a white woman, something backwards Cubs management wouldn't abide.
Gamble, just 19, had played well enough in Double-A to get a promotion to the big-league club in September 1969, when they were desperate for anything to jumpstart a moribund offense.
Jim Frey, who was out of his league as newly-named general manager, caved to fan pressure (something that would never happen today) and swapped Smith. Supposedly, the Dodgers had offered Bob Welch straight-up for Smith; that would have been a far better trade than was made. They could have traded either one, but chose Palmeiro. Palmeiro, who never showed power in the Cubs system nor in his two-plus years on the big-league squad, went on to hit over 500 home runs (with a PED asterisk) and Moyer pitched for more than 20 more seasons.