Sports Outside the Beltway

A batty trade

Minor league pitcher, John Odom, was traded for 10 bats.

During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself.

That sure changed this week—he’s the guy who was traded for a bunch of bats.

“I don’t really care,” he said Friday. “It’ll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues.”

For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.

That actually was good news for the small company, Prarie Sticks.

News of pitcher John Odom’s trade to the Laredo Broncos of the independent United Baseball League, which became necessary when Odom had trouble crossing the border into Canada, was just a few hours old when it began to spread like a virus across the Internet. It moved to television, then even deeper into cyberspace once video became available. And at every turn, the name Prairie Sticks popped up.

The proof was in the PDA when Greenberg and Zinger woke up to resume their trip home.

“All these orders came in between midnight and 5 or 6 a.m. while we were sleeping,” Greenberg said.

People from California to Connecticut wanted Prairie Sticks bats.

Odom shouldn’t be too insulted, future Hall of Famer Rickey Henderson was once traded for baseballs!

Baseball men often will say of a washed-up player, “You couldn’t trade him for a bag of balls.” Technically, the Dodgers didn’t trade for Rickey Henderson. But they did give up a bag of balls. The Newark Bears, an independent minor league team, were contractually obligated to release Henderson, 44, if a major league club wanted him. But when Henderson departed, the Bears made a special request of the Dodgers, asking for a shipment of balls. The Dodgers happily obliged with six dozen, establishing a new going rate for a future Hall of Famer: approximately $130,000–the prorated portion of the minimum salary the Dodgers will pay Henderson–plus 72 balls.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad.

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