HomeSportsYankees pitcher Fritz Peterson, infamous for trading wives with teammate, dies at...

Yankees pitcher Fritz Peterson, infamous for trading wives with teammate, dies at 82

Former New York Yankees left-hander Fritz Peterson has died, the team announced on Friday. He was 82 years old.

Peterson pitched nine seasons for the Yankees from 1966 through 1974, including a 20-win season in 1970, when he was also named to the American League All-Star team. He also pitched for Cleveland and the Texas Rangers during his career. Overall, Peterson compiled a 3.30 ERA and 133-131 record with over 2,200 innings pitched.

Control was Peterson’s best quality as a pitcher. He had a career walk rate of 1.7 per nine innings and averaged the lowest walks per nine in the AL over a five-season span from 1968 to 1972.

However, Peterson is perhaps best known for more infamous reasons. During spring training of 1973, he and teammate Mike Kekich revealed that they had swapped families and homes. Kekich’s wife and two daughters moved in with Peterson, while Peterson’s wife and two sons lived with Kekich.

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“It wasn’t a wife swap. It was a life swap,” Kekich said in an interview via The New York Times. “We’re not saying we’re right and everyone else who thinks we’re wrong is wrong. It’s just how we felt.”

Peterson and Susanne Kekich married in 1974 and remained together until his death. However, Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson ended their relationship shortly after the transaction became public. Kekich was traded to Cleveland later that season.

In 2010, actors Ben Affleck and Matt Damon planned to develop the story of the wife swap into a feature film. Director Jay Roach (Meet the parents) was hired for the project. As of 2015, the film was still in the works, although Kekich threatened to sue if the film went ahead. But when schedules prevented Affleck and Damon from starring in the film, it looks like that didn’t work out.

“The Yankees are deeply saddened by the passing of Fritz Peterson, who was a formidable pitcher and affable presence during his nine years in the pinstripes,” the team said in a statement.

“A noted prankster and beloved among his teammates and coaches, Peterson had an outgoing personality and an inquisitive nature that frequently brought levity to the clubhouse and belied his prowess on the mound – particularly his impeccable control, which was among the best.” best in the Majors.”

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