Weird | Retro | Family | Vintage

Real Life Wife Swap: The Baseball Players Who Traded Families And Stunned America

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New York Daily News

If you've watched the hit reality show Wife Swap, you know that most families don't react well when two parents from different households switch places.

After a week without their mother, the husbands and kids on the show are usually begging for her to switch back.

But in the swinging '70s, a pair of New York baseball players swapped their entire families lock, stock, and barrel.

In what the players now call "the husband trade," New York Yankees pitchers Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich exchanged their wives, children, and even their family dogs.

And the most incredible detail about the entire situation is that, after more than 45 years, one family has no regrets about the swap.

The trade started in the summer of 1972, when teammates Kekich and Peterson, former roommates and close friends, took each other's wives to dinner after a party.

The idea was such a hit with both couples that it became a regular habit.

From left to right: Susanne Kekich, Mike Kekich, Marilyn Peterson, Fritz Peterson.Palm Beach Post

"We went on from there and eventually he fell in love with my wife and I fell in love with his," Peterson explained.

By 1973, Peterson had moved in with Kekich's wife Susanne and her two daughters.

Meanwhile, Kekich had settled with Marilyn Peterson and her two sons.

Incredibly, when the players finally revealed the swap in a pair of press conferences, Peterson asked newspapers not to make anything "sordid" out of the arrangement.

"Unless people know the full details," Kekich told the press, "it could turn out to be a nasty type thing. Don't say this was wife-swapping, because it wasn't. We didn't swap wives, we swapped lives."

But sadly, this unbelievable, true love story only had half a happy ending.

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