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Andy McGaffigan Nearly Traded Into A Palindrome

August 20, 2015
Andy McGaffigan 1985 Fleer with the Cincinnati Reds.

Andy McGaffigan 1985 Fleer with the Cincinnati Reds.

One of Topps’ infamous airbrush cards. Andy McGaffigan with a moustache and in a Reds jersey. Cincinnati banned facial hair until 1999. Photo courtesy of the Trading Card Database.

Trades are a part of professional sports. Former Cincinnati Reds pitcher Andy McGaffigan was no stranger to being moved from team-to-team, except when he was dealt it occurred in a unique order with some familiar stops along the way.

McGaffigan was traded five times between just four teams. The right hander spent 11 seasons in the majors, although from 1982 to 1990 he might felt he was on some weird marry-go-round.

He broke into the big leagues in 1981 with the New York Yankees, however he didn’t stay with the Bronx Bombers for long. The following March, he was dealt to the San Francisco Giants along with outfielder Ted Wilborn for pitcher Doyle Alexander.

After two seasons in San Fran, the last as a part-time starter, he was dealt to Montreal in March 1984 to complete the trade that sent Al Oliver to the Giants. He didn’t stay in Montreal very long either, on July 26, 1984 he was traded to Cincinnati along with a minor league pitcher for first baseman Dan Driessen.

McGaffigan’s arrival in Cincinnati was delayed because his wife was two weeks overdue with the couple’s first child, according to an interview with the Royal Curve blog. Then-Cincinnati general manager Woody Woodward told his new pitcher to join the team after the birth. The pitcher made it to Cincinnati five days after the trade.

The fourth stop in the big leagues brought McGaffigan to the team that first drafted him in the 36th round of the 1974 amateur draft.

The deal also occurred 20 days before another deal between the Expos and Reds that marked the return of Pete Rose to the Queen City in a new role of player.

During his second season with the Reds organization he played with the AAA Denver Zephyers for more that half the season. He was called up in late July and started 15 games the rest of the season as the Reds went 82-79 and finished in second place in the National League West division.

Despite the late season performance, McGaffigan was not in Cincinnati’s long-term plans and was shipped him back to Montreal along with Dann Bilardello, John Stuper and Jay Tibbs in exchange for starting pitcher Bill Guillickson and catcher Sal Butera.

McGaffigan was finally able to get comfortable in his second stint with Montreal. He spent four seasons with the Expos. That is until they traded him back to San Francisco just three days before the start of the 1990 season for a player to be named later.

The Florida native retired in 1991 after bouncing between the Kansas City Royals and Milwaukee Brewers.

Today McGaffigan is a financial planner in Lakeland, Florida.

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