Today Is The 126th Anniversary Of The First Ever Baseball Trade

  • Dylan Murphy

November 15th, 1886 was an eventful and historic day, one most Miami Marlins fans probably wished never happened: the first ever trade in the history of baseball.

On that day (which might have been November 12th, but whatever), the clearly 19th-century-named Cincinnati Red Stockings of the American Association traded Jack Boyle, a rookie catcher and $400 in cash (Cash considerations! And we thought that was a modern thing.), to the St. Louis Browns for outfielder Hugh Nicol. Rick Reilly was the first to report the deal, via messenger boy.

Kevin Kaduk at Big League Stew, skilled researcher that he is, traced the careers of these two players and determined a trade winner:

It would appear, however, that the Red Stockings won the trade as Nicol would steal 321 bases over the next three seasons — including 138 in 1887! — while Boyle wouldn’t really get his career going until a five-homer, 79-RBI season in 1891 that earned him a $5,500 contract with the New York Giants the following year. It was reported to be the highest salary in baseball history at the time…”

Buster Olney and Ken Rosenthal should light a candle today, because they wouldn’t be employed otherwise.

[Baseball-Reference, via Big League Stew]