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Pitcher's ego takes hit: He's traded for bats

May 24, 2008|From the Associated Press

MCALLEN, TEXAS — During three years in the low minors, John Odom never really made a name for himself -- until he got traded for a bunch of bats.

"I don't really care," he said Friday. "It'll make a better story if I make it to the big leagues."

For now, Odom is headed to the Laredo Broncos of the United League. They got him Tuesday from the Calgary Vipers of the Golden Baseball League for a most unlikely price: 10 Prairie Sticks Maple Bats, double-dipped black, 34-inch, C243 style.

"They just wanted some bats, good bats -- maple bats," Broncos general manager Jose Melendez said.

According to the Prairie Sticks website, their maple bats retail for $69 each.

The Canadian team signed Odom, 26, about a month ago, but couldn't get him into the country. Odom had a "minor" but unspecified criminal record that wasn't revealed to immigration officials before they scanned his passport, Vipers President Peter Young said. Odom said the charge stemmed from a fight when he was 17.

The bat trade wasn't Calgary's first try at creative deal-making. The Vipers once tried to acquire a pitcher for 1,500 blue seats during a stadium renovation, Young said.

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