For November 29th, three brief notes of historical significance….
November 29, 1966: According to baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section, on this date a Chicago circuit court jury awarded pitcher Jim Brewer $100,000 in damages as a result of an on field fight with former Reds second baseman Billy Martin back in 1960.
I have seen various reports of the damage award, even from the same website. Another section of baseball-reference.com’s bullpen section says that Brewer was awarded $10,000 in damages sometime in 1969. Another report I’ve read says that Billy Martin paid between $10,000 and $25,000 around 1966. Martin has a couple of infamous quotes attached to the situation: “How do they want it? Cash or check?” and Ã¢â‚¬Å“How can they ever collect it? I havenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t got that kind of money.Ã¢â‚¬Â
The National League did fine him $500 and suspended him for five days over the incident. Brewer was a 20-year-old rookie, Martin was near the end of his playing career. Brewer brushed him back with a pitch and Martin swung at the next pitch with the bat flying from his hands toward Brewer. They met near the bat and the brawl was on. Martin threw a punch that fractured the orbit bone around Brewer’s eye.
November 29, 1971: The best and most important positive trade in Reds history is made when the Reds trade 1b Lee May, 2b Tommy Helms, and utility player Jimmy Stewart to the Houston Astros for 2b Joe Morgan, P Jack Billingham, CF Cesar Geronimo, 3b-SS Denis Menke, and OF-PH Ed Armbrister.
The trade started off essentially being May for Morgan. May had been the Reds’ best performer in 1971 with a WAR rating of 5.2. and Morgan had been the Astros’ best position player in 1971, also with a WAR rating of 5.2. The other players were added as needs were discussed and Reds General Manager Bob Howsam was said to have told an associate that the Reds had just given the 1972 National League West pennant to the Astros, Howsam having felt it would take a couple of years for his trade to provide benefit. At the end of May, Howsam seemed to be prophetic as the Astros were in first place up until the end of May and the Red falling to as low as 8-13 on May 10th. However, a Reds four-game sweep of the Astros helped spark the Reds into moving into first place on June 9th.
You can read a lot more about this trade at this link and you can read about the weekend the Reds “won the trade” at this link. The key component to this deal was that Morgan may have become the best player in baseball over the next five seasons (1972-76).
November 29, 2002: This next entry is also from the baseball-reference.com bullpen site. I’m not certain of their sources, but these deal possibilities were tossed around the Internet during this time:
The Reds and Padres reach an agreement to trade Ken Griffey, Jr. for Phil Nevin, but Nevin, with a no-trade clause in his contract, nixes the deal. He says he would only agree to a trade to a West Coast team that trains in Arizona. Griffey tore a tendon in his knee during the first week, setting up another season limited by leg injuries. He also pulled a hamstring and strained hip muscles, limiting him to 70 games, a .264 average, eight homers and 23 RBIs. In a week, the White Sox will turn down an offer of Griffey for Magglio Ordonez.