There's an old saying that goes, "If you watch a baseball game you will inevitably see (or hear) something you've never seen before." That happened to me on Saturday night while watching the Mets beat the Miami Marlins.
The announcers were discussing players who'd been members of the Mets, but who never got into a game. One of them was a catcher named Harry Chiti. Harry was with the Mets in 1962, their inaugural year, but never actually got on the field. That in itself wasn't unusual.
What was odd about Harry's time with the Mets, as I learned from Gary Cohen of the broadcast team, is that he was once traded for himself!
"How can that be?", you may ask.
Well, here's the story.
There's a common transaction in baseball in which teams make a trade for a player, but they can't agree on which player will go back to the other team to complete the trade. They agree to think it over for a while, but not wanting to hold things up, they go ahead with half of the trade. The expression is, "…so & so was traded for a player to be named later."
In April, 1962, the Cleveland Indians traded Harry to the New York Mets for (you guessed it) a player to be named later.
Two months later, the Mets and Indians finally sat down and agreed on who the "player to be named later" would be. If you guessed "Harry Chiti", you would be right again.
Hence, Harry became the only player in the history of the game who was literally TRADED FOR HIMSELF!
You can't make this stuff up…