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On This Date in Cardinals History: Dec. 17, 1932

On this date 81 years ago the St. Louis Cardinals traded on of the team's most productive and most popular players to the Cincinnati Reds.

"Sunny" Jim Bottomley was a .325 career in 11 seasons with the Cardinals. During that span he led Major League Baseball in runs batted in and doubles twice and in the categories of hits, triples and homers once each.

But it was a case of excellent timing to let the 32-year-old slugger go.

After the swap, which netted Ownie Carroll and Estel Crabtree, Bottomley was a .272 hitter. He hit better than .300 nine times with the Redbirds but never reached that mark again after the trade.

While the return wasn't great, the Cardinals accomplished their goal of creating room in the line-up for Ripper Collins who made his debut in 1931 and split time with Bottomley in 1932.

Bottomley was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1974, 15 years after he died at the age of 59.