Cleveland Guardians
Yankees History: Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson Trade Families
Cleveland Guardians

Yankees History: Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson Trade Families

Updated Mar. 4, 2020 8:16 p.m. ET

Every so often, friends realize that maybe, just maybe, they should be with the other person's significant other. On this day in 1973, Yankees pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson went beyond that point, trading their families.

Fritz Peterson made his mark upon the Yankees history books. He actually owns the best ERA of any pitcher in historic Yankee Stadium, and his 1.146 WHiP was the best of any pitcher for the team following World War Two until Mariano Rivera came along. Peterson led the league in WHiP twice, and made the 1970 All Star Game. Known for his command, he had the fewest walks per nine innings for five consecutive years.

However, Peterson is best remembered for a unique situation between he and his teammate Mike Kekich. The two teammates had been friends since 1969, and their families had grown extremely close. They spent a great deal of time together, and over time, the two families became thoroughly intertwined.

Over time, the two different families realized that they had feelings for the other side. And so, on this day in 1973, in one of the stranger press conferences in baseball history, the Yankees pitchers announced that they were switching families. Essentially, Peterson and Kekich traded wives, children, and even the family dogs to one another.


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    This arrangement shocked the baseball world, and the public. The designated hitter had come to the league, and George Steinbrenner had purchased the Yankees, but this trade was a far bigger story. It also damaged the reputation of both players, leading to Kekich being traded to the Indians during the season, and Peterson also being sent to Cleveland in 1974.

    As is the case for most trades, the agreement did not work out for both sides. Kekich and the former Mrs. Peterson lasted only a few years before parting ways. Sometimes, relationships do not last, and that proved to be the case with theirs.

    For Peterson, however, the agreement worked out well. He and the former Mrs. Kekich got married, and are still together to this day. They had four children of their own, and Peterson calls their tale a "love story." As the pair have been together for over 40 years, one can understand that assessment.

    On this day in 1973, the most shocking trade in baseball history went down. Instead of involving players on the field, Yankees pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson traded families.


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