That Time a Professional Baseball Player Was Traded for a Turkey


Professional sports teams have always tried
to find unique ways to get fans into the seats. Whether it was the legendary Bill Veeck batting
the shortest player in baseball history (Eddie Gaedel at 3 foot 7 inches) or Disco Demolition
Night at Comiskey Park in Chicago, sometimes the game plays second fiddle to the crazy
promotions. Hardly anyone was better at this than Joe
Engel, known as the “Barnum of Baseball”. Engel began his career in baseball as a mediocre
pitcher for the Washington Senators, but his skills as a scout began his ascent into upper
management. Engel is credited for discovering such Hall
of Fame talent as Joe Cronin, Goose Goslin, and Bucky Harris. His scouting expertise caught the eye of Washington
Senators owner Clark Griffith, who had recently acquired the Chattanooga Lookouts as a farm
team for the Senators. In 1929, Griffith decided to promote Engel
to director of baseball operations for his new minor league team. Engel, delighted, immediately seized the opportunity. Joe Engel would be in charge of the Chattanooga
Lookouts for 34 years, bringing not just baseball to the citizens of Chattanooga, but wackiness
as well. He would do just about anything to get people
into the ballpark. He built a state-of-the-art stadium (for the
time) with his own money (at the cost of $150,000, about $2 million today) and named it Engel
Stadium, after himself. He had all his players ride to the game on
elephants; he had a duck lay an egg on second base; and he even wept in a “crying cage”
after his team lost out on a bid to host the All-Star game. In 1931, he signed a female pitcher named
Virne “Jackie” Mitchell and had her pitch against the New York Yankees in a exhibition
game. She promptly struck out Babe Ruth and Lou
Gehrig back to back, two of the greatest hitters ever. In 1937, Engel’s boss, Clark Griffith, wanted
to sell the team. Engel, seeing this as an opportunity, persuaded
1,700 Lookout fans to buy shares of the club at five bucks a pop. Engel wanted to make the Lookouts a team with
“local ownership” (otherwise known as a publicly-owned team, something the NFL’s
Green Bay Packers currently have). Unfortunately, within a year, there still
wasn’t enough cash, and Griffith bought back the team. One of the most well-known Joe Engel stories,
though, was the day in 1931 he decided to trade his shortstop for a turkey. Johnny Jones was a Chattanooga Lookouts player
that, frankly, wasn’t any good. He was such a weak-hitting shortstop that
even the press complained about him. So, in January 1931, Engel decided to trade
him to the Charlotte Hornets of the Piedmont League (they were not affiliated with any
major league team at the time, but in 1937, the Hornets would be bought by the Washington
Senators). In return, Engel and the Lookouts received
a 25 pound turkey. Said Engel, “The turkey was having a better
year.” In addition, he wanted the turkey to arrive
at team headquarters by February 22nd, in time for the Southern Writers’ Association
Dinner. At the dinner, Engel served the turkey to
the writers, reportedly declaring “You’ve been giving me the bird, so now have one on
me.” Everyone enjoyed the meal, though Engel commented
that he thought Charlotte won the trade because the turkey was a little tough. As for Johnny Jones, no one is quite sure
what happened to him. Since records are spotty for minor league
teams in the early 20th century, it’s hard to know for sure, but most think he retired
without ever playing for the Charlotte Hornets.

79 thoughts on “That Time a Professional Baseball Player Was Traded for a Turkey

  • April 4, 2019 at 5:50 pm
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    Eeks dee I'm first?

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  • April 4, 2019 at 5:51 pm
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    Next…. the time a professional N.H.L.er.… was traded for a single goal net.
    True story.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 5:51 pm
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    Great video, love how you juggle all your channels at once while having both quality and quantity!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 5:51 pm
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    Lol I thought there was a bug on the screen, had to rewind it.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 5:54 pm
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    Número uno

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  • April 4, 2019 at 5:54 pm
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    Imagine if your dad is a baseball player, and when thanksgiving come your mom traded him for a turkey

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  • April 4, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    That turkey have to be one jive mother shut your mouth lol

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  • April 4, 2019 at 5:55 pm
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    I've heard everyone uses www.teespring.com to get their merch going.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    To be totally honest I would rather have the country of turkey than a basketball player

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    👍 Another great video. I wish more of the others who make these style videos had your gift of video production and narrative skills

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:00 pm
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    One of those wtf moments in history

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:06 pm
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    So Ruth was a sore looser

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:09 pm
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    Didn't George Costanza get traded for some fried chicken in the 90s?

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:09 pm
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    neckties

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:10 pm
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    Lol babe Ruth was just salty because he lost the game so he covered it up with sexist idealism.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm
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    Weird transfer fees still happen now. Collins John was transferred from DES Nijverdal, to FC Twente, for a few encloypedias. Franco Di Santo was traded for some nets and paint and Crystal Palace bought Ian Wright for some gym weights.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 6:11 pm
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    Thanks for featuring the home team! The Lookouts open their season tonight!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 6:16 pm
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    How about a t-shirt with your head on it? Smiling or laughing, your choice!

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:18 pm
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    damn I wanted the turkey to play baseball. That'd be totally sick.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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    So Babe Ruth was nothing but a pussy snowflake. smh.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:27 pm
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    Apparently there were a lot of baseball players who were also good at trolling people. 😛

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:36 pm
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    Are you pussies gonna rip off that festering Band-Aid known as the EU yet? C'mon Britain.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    At first I thought the full title was gonna be "That time a baseball player dropped acid and pitched a no-hitter". Maybe next time?

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:45 pm
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    Joe Engel disliked this video xD everyone else liked it

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:48 pm
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    I’d rather know more about the woman who struck out the Babe and Gehrig.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm
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    Do THAT , i command you!

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  • April 4, 2019 at 6:59 pm
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    Honestly, that was a follow up to the other recent video about that crazy Baseball player- what was his name Schmitzer oder Schleifer or something like that!
    I saw the video about the creation process, now THAT was some cross-research right?

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 7:06 pm
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    Topic idea
    Why are pants called a "pair of pants" when it is one item? And how did we end up with modern jeans and what came before them?

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 7:14 pm
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    Make shot glasses for your different channels.🥛🥂🍺🍻🍶

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 7:27 pm
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    The time that Kyle Korver was traded for a copying machine.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 7:42 pm
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    It's Comiskey Park, not ComiNsky Park.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 7:56 pm
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    Lol traded for a turkey 🦃

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  • April 4, 2019 at 8:09 pm
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    How to shame a child, son I’m trading you for a turkey, he’s had a more productive year. Enjoy foster care.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 8:18 pm
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    Barter system is everywhere

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  • April 4, 2019 at 8:35 pm
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    Are we sure it was a turkey? It may have actually been a chicken, who was named Nugget and put in charge of some real estate business.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 9:32 pm
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    11: "Zee".

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  • April 4, 2019 at 9:33 pm
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    Can you do a video on the oranges of hamberders? Thanks Mr. YouTube!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 9:44 pm
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    *blue haired lesbians (feminists) have entered chat*

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 9:50 pm
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    Is there a full-time baseball league for women with the same number of games as the MLB per team? Yeah, thought so. If there actually is, who would watch? Maybe 3 more viewers than the WBNA which would make that like 5 people? Maybe Babe is right. F*ck PC culture.

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 9:51 pm
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    Not T shirts I have too many of them to buy another

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  • April 4, 2019 at 10:04 pm
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    Even at twice the speed this video is excruciatingly boring 😞💩🤢

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  • April 4, 2019 at 10:24 pm
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    Skip until 3:26…you're welcome.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 10:27 pm
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    Should do a Simon silhouette logo like the Heisenberg one from Breaking Bad.. I'd buy that on a hoodie!!

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 10:38 pm
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    Lol that's what you all think. He was served up for a similar get together only 8 weeks later.

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  • April 4, 2019 at 11:16 pm
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    virnie jackie mitchell deserves a video all to herself, that's an amazing story

    Reply
  • April 4, 2019 at 11:33 pm
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    Have a today I found out shirt logo as you do but a factoid on the back…or front…

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  • April 4, 2019 at 11:39 pm
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    Dude Kyle Korver got traded for a copy machine tho

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  • April 4, 2019 at 11:52 pm
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    Where did the term "making ends meet" come from?

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  • April 5, 2019 at 12:05 am
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    Related suggestion: that time a professional baseball player was traded for… himself. #harrychiti

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  • April 5, 2019 at 12:18 am
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    I want a simon whistler bobble head

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  • April 5, 2019 at 1:37 am
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    Cool gag at the end! 3:58

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  • April 5, 2019 at 1:43 am
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    You definitely need to make shirts with your face on them

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  • April 5, 2019 at 3:07 am
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    No matter how bad things in life get you can at least say that you haven't been traded for a turkey. If you have been traded for a turkey, [email protected]

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  • April 5, 2019 at 3:54 am
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    So when are you coming to Chattanooga since you’ve done several videos to feature our city. I’ve got a studio you can use for vid while here and we would cover your hotel.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 4:01 am
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    Simon. HI. Big fan. Can you tell us about "Jack the space chimp"?

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  • April 5, 2019 at 4:33 am
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    That moment when a turkey is more successful than you.

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  • April 5, 2019 at 4:40 am
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    "…Because they are too delicate…" to which every woman who carried a baby to term in the summer '31 w/o the benefit of air conditioning replied, "Do tell…"

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  • April 5, 2019 at 6:44 am
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    How about today "I found out there is real Brain Food."?

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  • April 5, 2019 at 7:59 am
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    Guess he flipped him the bird…

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  • April 5, 2019 at 8:28 am
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    High class and classic trolling. Beautiful

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  • April 5, 2019 at 11:26 am
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    Good video. Watching on my shitty iPhone speaker though, the high frequencies really hit on the audio. A de-esser of sorts could smooth that out in the future.

    Keep up the good work

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 12:08 pm
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    I’m with Judd T-shirt.

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  • April 5, 2019 at 12:23 pm
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    Jeeze men have no idea what women go through. If they did they would never think we were delicate.

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  • April 5, 2019 at 1:35 pm
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    Kyle Korver (NBA) was once traded fir cash considerations and a copy machine.

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  • April 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    Isn’t that the object of every sports trade by somebody? 😂

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  • April 5, 2019 at 2:31 pm
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    Hmm LeBron for a cow? Not bad deal LA, you can sell milk to fans in the arena for a good cash.

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 3:55 pm
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    KEYCHAINS!!!!!! PLEASE! everyone has things like shirts, sweaters, mugs, and things but no one makes keychains. I collect keychains and would be more likely to buy those than anything else….

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 4:42 pm
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    A quick little question here;

    What exactly is paprika , and how come it doesn’t really have any taste??;

    What’s it’s purpose??;

    Inquiring minds want to know??🤔

    Reply
  • April 5, 2019 at 5:34 pm
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    Didn't the Cubs do that EXACT SAME THING when they turned down Jake Arrieta for Yu Darvish? 🤔

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  • April 6, 2019 at 1:29 am
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    0:15 Jersey number 1/8 😂

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  • April 6, 2019 at 11:49 am
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    You should do the slide over face masks, they are in the shape of a tube you slip over your head and cover your face head and neck , you can print a logo around the whole thing

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  • April 6, 2019 at 1:55 pm
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    Me in competitive matches

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  • April 8, 2019 at 3:36 pm
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    How about the four players traded for themselves?

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  • April 8, 2019 at 4:38 pm
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    Not really that great wasn't babe ruth known for striking out.

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  • April 13, 2019 at 1:38 am
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    Practically everything before 3:05 has nothing to do with the turkey trade.

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  • April 14, 2019 at 12:41 pm
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    Insecure wussies

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  • June 26, 2019 at 11:17 am
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    Lol. Reminds me of the story of "suitcase sisler" who still holds the record as most traded player….who tried to fool managers by his ladt name…i believe the famous one held his.record till the 1990s.

    Reply
  • August 18, 2019 at 6:38 pm
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    Why’d the other team have a live turkey?

    Reply

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