Fritz Peterson, Yankee pitcher in unusual “trade,” dies at 81

But none of Peterson’s on-field successes or off-field eccentricities proved as memorable as the discovery, in March 1973, that he and another Yankee pitcher, Mike Kekich, were living in each other’s homes with his wife and children. ‘other. As a Daily News headline declared, “2 Yank Pitchers Trade Wives: Peterson, Kekich Hurl Change-Ups.”

The two men, who each had two young children, had known each other since 1969, after Kekich was traded to the Yankees from the Los Angeles Dodgers. They had become close friends, met each other’s wives, and by the summer of 1972 were discussing the obvious fact that Peterson and Susanne Kekich had fallen in love, as had Kekich and Marilyn Peterson.

Their solution was for the men to change not just wives but families, with the Kekichs’ daughters, Kristen, 5, and Reagan, 2, joining their mother at the Petersons’ home, and the Petersons’ sons, Gregg, 5, and Eric , 2, moving in with Kekich. In interviews at the time, both couples said the so-called scandal wasn’t scandalous at all. “It wasn’t a wife swap,” Kekich said. “It was a life exchange. We’re not saying we’re right and everyone else who thinks we’re wrong is wrong. That’s just how we felt.”