4 best trades in NY Giants history
By Toby Grundy
3. Y.A. Tittle in 1961
In August of 1961, the New York Giants traded guard Lou Cordileone to the San Francisco 49ers for future Hall of Fame and Giants Ring of Honor quarterback Y.A. Tittle. This is a move that will never be forgotten.
At the time of the trade, Tittle was already a 13-year veteran and was 34 years of age. To make the decision even more peculiar for the Giants, Tittle had been on the record as saying he did not want to play in New York, or on the east coast in general. Nevertheless, the 49ers thought Tittle was past his prime and no longer a fit for their offensive system, so the veteran was traded to New York.
Both Cordileone and Tittle took offense to the price which was paid for them in the trade. Cordileone was quoted as saying “Me, even up for Y.A. Tittle? You’re kidding” and would later joke that the Giants had traded him for a “42-year-old quarterback”. Tittle displayed a similar sentiment towards the trade, suggesting the 49ers did not get a “name player” in return for him.
Impact on the New York Giants
While the Manning trade is not clear cut on a winner, this trade certainly is. Tittle played four years with the Giants after the trade. During this time he won the 1963 league MVP, the 1961 and 1963 Jim Thorpe Trophy (league MVP as voted by the players) as well as the 1962 UPI Most Valuable Player. He was selected to three Pro Bowls and led the Giants to three NFL Championship Games in a row.
In 1962, Tittle set the NFL record for passing touchdowns in a season, at 33, before breaking his own record the following year by throwing 36 touchdown passes. Tittle’s NFL record stood for another 20 seasons – a testament to just how dominant he was as a Giant.
The 36 touchdowns in 1963 is still a New York Giants franchise record. He also holds the Giants record for most touchdowns in a game (seven against Washington in 1962) and is still one of only two Giants ever to win the league MVP.
In Tittle’s four years with the Giants, he threw for over 10,000 yards and 96 touchdowns and will forever be known as one of the greatest New York Giants to play the game. All made possible for the small price of Lou Cordileone.