This is the time of year when baseball
trade talk is all the rage. Where will Matt Garza go? Is Jake Peavy staying
or will he be traded?
Most trades wind up uneventful or as
someone said, "It all comes out when you wash the uniforms." But there have
been a couple of deals through the years that were steals for some teams
and big-time blunders for the
two such deals that stand out above all
15, 1964, the St. Louis Cardinals sent Ernie Broglio, Bobby Shantz and Doug
Clemens to the Chicago Cubs. In return, the Redbirds received Jack Spring,
Paul Toth and a speedy runner named Lou Brock, who went on to become their
franchise player. It was a steal for the Cardinals and a big-time blunder
On December 10, 1971, the New York Mets acquired third baseman Jim
Fregosi from the California Angels for a young, hard-throwing pitcher. It
was a steal for the Angels and a big-time blunder for the Mets. The pitcher
they shipped away was Nolan
American League and the California Angels seemed like a million miles away,"
Ryan told me when I was writing "Throwing Heat," Ryan's autobiography. "I
read that Gil Hodges (the manager then) approved the deal, that he wanted
Jim Fregosi, and that he thought I was the starting pitcher he would miss
And then there
was November 18, 1954. The New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles began
a trading binge that ended 15 days later. In all, seventeen players were
involved, in one of the most massive trades in baseball
received pitchers Don Larsen, Bob Turley, and Mike Blyzka. They also obtained
catcher Darrell Johnson, first baseman Dick Kryhoski, shortstop Billy Hunter
and outfielders Tim Fridley and Ted del Guercio. Baltimore obtained pitchers
Harry Byrd, Jim McDonald, Bill Miller, catchers Gus Triandos and Hal Smith,
second baseman Don Leppert, third baseman Kal Segrist, shortstop Willy Miranda
and outfielder Gene
went on to be an asset for the Yankees and pitched the only perfect game
in World Series history. Turley was a sturdy starter for years. The rest
just blended away underscoring baseball immortal Branch Rickey's slogan:
"Trade a player a year too early rather than a year too
keep your eyes and ears open as we approach the July 31 trading deadline.
There are buyers. There are sellers. And there are teams who dont know
what they are. The whole deal is a crapshoot, or more of a game of blackjack.
To stay, to get a hit or not to play. Those are the questions and time will
tell the tale.