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There are some trades that leave you scratching your head. Some trades give your team hope and then there are the trades you wish your team had never made.The Calgary Vipers of the independent Golden Baseball League went one step further. The team made news last Friday when they had made a trade for a pitcher. In return, the team sealing the deal got 10 of their custom maple bats.
Weird, eh? It gets better. The reason for the trade was because pitcher John Odom, who wound up going to the Laredo Broncos of the independent United Baseball League, had trouble crossing the border into Canada. This news spread like a prairie wildfire, moving to television, then even deeper into cyberspace once video became available. And at every turn, the name Prairie Sticks, the bat makers popped up.
Peter Young, Vipers president and chief operating officer, took possession of the bats Tuesday during a news conference in Calgary. At that news conference, he said the bats, which retail at $69 each or $66.50 for six to 11, have been inscribed with the words "John Odom Trade Bat" and numbered. They'll be auctioned off on eBay with the proceeds going to charity.
"It's stupid. We didn't mean it to do this," Young said. "It wasn't like a publicity stunt. It was just supposed to be funny, you know. We put it up on the Golden League Web site exactly the way the trade was listed in the document — 'John Odom for 10 Prairie Sticks double-dipped maple bats, black.' Somebody saw it, then somebody else saw it and the next thing you know ESPN and CNN are calling."
First Easu selling his birthright for a bowl of lentils, then the Phillies trading Ryne Sandburg to the Cubs for Larry Bowa. Now a pitcher for ten bats. As Joe Garagiola once said, "Baseball is a funny game."