June 13, 1930
By the 1930 season, Goose Goslin already had a World Series ring and was well on his way to the Hall of Fame (though such a thing didn’t exist at the time). Though his relationship with Clark Griffith was often described as close as a son is to his father; things had started to become strained between the two. Ever the shrewd businessman, Griffith offered Goslin a contract that included a $7,000 pay cut after the 1929 season. Goslin was still nursing an arm injury, and his production had tailed off in 1929, so he reluctantly signed the contract despite feeling that it was an insult.
Goslin’s displeasure with his compensation combined with a dislike for manager and former star pitcher Walter Johnson made him a great candidate for a trade, and that is just what happened on June 13, 1930.
St. Louis Browns owner Phil Ball had some problems of his own with a couple of players on his team: namely Alvin “General” Crowder and Heinie Manush. Both had found themselves in Ball’s doghouse for different reasons, so much so that Ball reportedly phoned Griffith and asked what he could get for the two players. Griffith immediately offered Goslin, and Ball agreed before Griffith could think of a player to add to make it an even trade.
Goslin exploded in St. Louis, hitting 30 home runs with the Browns to run his 1930 total to a career-high 37. He hit .326/.400/.652 for St. Louis in 1930, and continued to put up big numbers for a team that never finished in the first division of the American League.
Crowder and Manush each made an impact in Washington as well. Heinie Manush took over in left field for the Nats. While he didn’t match the numbers that Goslin was putting up in St. Louis, he wasn’t that far off.
WARP3 Goslin, Manush
1930: 6.9, 5.1
1931: 7.0, 2.3
1932: 5.6, 6.4
General Crowder, a very good pitcher who had started his career in Washington in 1926, had his best seasons after the trade. He was 26 games in 1932 and finished fourth in AL ERA that season. His other seasons immediately following the trade were also very good.
Even without any more information, it appears that this was a one-sided trade in favor of Washington.
On December 14, 1932 St. Louis sent Goslin, Fred Schulte, and Lefty Stewart to Washington in exchange for Sam West, Carl Reynolds, Lloyd Brown, and cash. Goslin was now happy to be a part of Griffith’s team. Walter Johnson was no longer the manager and Goslin, by all accounts, had matured during his time in St. Louis.
All five players that Washington acquired from St. Louis in the two trades over three years were key parts of the team’s greatest season in 1933.