On December 30, 1943 — Happy New Year to a couple of Babes that swap places. The Philadelphia Blue Jays (Phillies) send much-traveled first baseman Babe Dahlgren to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for catcher Babe Phelps and cash considerations. A former Yankees first baseman, Dahlgren will drive in a career-high 101 runs for the Pirates in 1944. A former New York Yankee first baseman, Dahlgren had gained most of his notoriety after replacing Lou Gehrig when the “Iron Horse’s” playing streak ended in 1939…


Phelps hit .284 in 95 games for the Pirates in 1942, but he did not play during the 1943 season. The Pirates also included cash in the deal. Dahlgren played for six different teams from 1940-43, hitting .287 with 50 walks and 56 RBIs in 136 games in 1943. Phelps never did play a game for the Phillies so all they got out of the deal was the cash. Dahlgren played 158 games for the Pirates in 1944, the highest game total in a single season since 1915. He hit .289 that year with 101 RBIs and a team leading 12 home runs, earning himself MVP support, finishing 12th in the voting. The following year he hit .250 with 75 RBIs in 144 games. The Pirates sold him to the Browns in the off-season and he hit just .175 in 28 games before being released, which ended his 12-year career.

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