The Cubs, the Indians, and their worst. trades. ever.

Rocky Colavito Lou Brock Colavito for Kuenn. Brock for Broglio. Decades to recover. Of all the actual or alleged curses inflicted upon the Indians and the Cubs, maybe none of them impacted each franchise the way those two deals did.

One involved a slugging, run-productive outfielder who seemed Hall of Fame bound until injuries finally took their toll. The other became a Hall of Fame outfielder whose particular stock in trade was leading off magnificently, with a little power and a lot of contact ability, then turning games into track meets and crime scenes with his stolen base virtuosity.

Here, the stories behind each staggering deal.

Brandon McCarthy, Scored By a Liner

Especially for a pitcher, keeping your head in the game is not supposed to mean to the point where your head nearly gets taken off.

Oakland Athletics righthander Brandon McCarthy throws Los Angeles Angels hitter Erick Aybar a 91 mph cutter practically down the chute in the top of the fourth Wednesday night. Aybar hits it on the proverbial screws. The ball slams into the right side of McCarthy’s head like a bullet, knocking the righthander down on the mound.

Herb Score and Gil McDougald, call your offices?

Endangered Species: The Arms That Lost the Races

While we’re on the subject of the Strasburg Plan, it might be wise to hark back to past young guns whose careers—or, more accurately, the lack thereof, for most—may or may not have factored into the Washington Nationals’ thinking. (Manager Davey Johnson, who’s absolutely on board with the Strasburg Plan, happens to know about at least one of those guns directly.) They didn’t all have fractured comebacks from Tommy John surgery (though a few of them could have used it, if the procedure had been around), but they did have work use or other physical ┬áissues in one or another way that turned them from brilliant or burgeoning youth to gone, or at least nothing near what they first seemed they’d be, before they should have been in prime.

Somehow, Some Way, Super Joe Endures

The sweet swing of Super Joe . . .

The fellow Cleveland still calls Super Joe, a slightly larger than life and almost terminally flaky Rookie of the Year with the 1980 Indians, cut slightly across the grain two years ago, when it looked like he’d be facing charges stemming from a bar fight. His job as the head of baseball for North Ridgeville, Ohio’s parks and recreation department seemed in jeopardy. Then, the charges were dropped, when a woman Charboneau was accused of striking admitted she’d given him a push and he’d struck her entirely by accident.