Wife swap: two MLB pitchers traded families in the 1970s

Imagine sitting down with your morning cup of coffee on Tuesday, March 6, 1973, opening up your New York Daily News to read…

“Fort Lauderdale, Fla., March 5 – Yankee pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich disclosed today that they had exchanged families several months ago, Peterson moving in with Susanne Kekich and her two daughters, Kekich moving in with Marilyn Peterson and her two sons.”

What in the actual…?

(Source/Daily News).
(Source/Daily News).

The Kekich and Peterson families were close…and then they got closer. Good friends since 1969, the pulled the switcheroo in the summer of 1972. Kekich and Peterson held separate news conferences to talk about the swap:

“Mike started to campaign for my wife about in August

“He talked to me seriously about it. He told his own wife, Susan, that he loved Marilyn more.”

Fritz Peterson

Kekich got the raw end of the deal, as he and Marilyn Peterson had already split by the time of the news conference.

Peterson was also the better pitcher; he won 20 games in 1970. Kekich was a middling pitcher at best, going 10-13 in his best season (1972). Kekich was traded by the Yankees in 1974, breaking up the duo of swappers.

Fritz Peterson (front) next to new wife (formerly Susanne Kekich). In the background, the unsuccessful pairing of Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson.
Fritz Peterson (front) next to new wife (formerly Susanne Kekich). In the background, the unsuccessful pairing of Mike Kekich and Marilyn Peterson.

Peterson is still married to Kekick’s former Misses. He penned a reflection on his time in the majors, including the wifeswap, in 2009. Although Susan didn’t let him use her name in the text. Burn.

“I saw my picture on TV when I woke up. And I said, ‘Uh-oh, it’s a big one.'” Peterson told the Palm Beach Post 40 years later

Reportedly, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon are producing a moving based on the incident, so it’s still a point of intrigue. Peterson is set to serve as a consultant on the project. Kekich, for his part, wants nothing to do with the damn thing.