In the early stages of this season, Walter Alston answered the question as to what he needed most with just three words: “A relief pitcher.” Up until this spring, his answer had been, “a righthanded hitter.” Apparently satisfied that rookies Ted Sizemore, Bill Sudakis, and “veteran rookie” Andy Kosco, the emergence of WIllie Crawford and the resurgence of several others filled the long-standing need for a righty batter, the club went out and got the relief pitcher.
The Dodgers traded shortstop Tommy Dean and pitcher Leon Everitt, both of whom spent 1968 at Spokane (Pacific Coast), to the newborn Padres for Al McBean, the well-known Pittsburgh fireman. The veteran righthander, approaching his 30th birthday, will team with southpaw Jim Brewer, who has developed into one of the very best in the business since he added a screwball to his repertoire three seasons ago.
The night he joined the Dodgers, McBean pitched the last two innings and picked up the victory in an extra innings 4-3 over Houston. “McBean serves a double purpose,” said Alston. “He’ll not only be a reliever, but a fifth starter.” Dean is a skillful glove man while Everitt, who had a 17-10 record with a 2.93 ERA last season at Spokane, has fine major league potential, which he might display for the Padres this season.