Babe Ruth for mortgage on Fenway and $125,000 cash
Jan. 3, 1920
Baseball lore is filled with stories of spectacularly nearsighted trades. Babe Ruth had led the Boston Red Sox to three world championships in five-plus years when Sox owner Harry Frazee sold him to the New York Yankees in 1919 for $125,000 and a $300,000 loan to produce a Broadway show. The next year, 1920, the Babe hit 54 home runs; the Sox as a team hit 22. Ruth would lead the Yankees to four championships and seven pennants. Boston would not win another World Series until 2004.
Credit: AP Photo/Library of Congress
Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi
Dec. 10, 1971
Former All-Star shortstop Fregosi was the newest hope at the hot corner for New York Mets. Fregosi lasted less than two seasons, batting a measly .232, before being shipped off to Texas. Ryan (pictured at left with the Mets) played 27 seasons, winning 324 games, striking out 5714 batters, and pitched seven no-hitters. In 1999, Ryan was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Credit: AP Photo/File
Steve Carlton for Rick Wise
Feb. 25, 1972
Lefty Steve Carlton won 27 games for the last-place Phillies, notching an all-time record 45 percent of the team's wins. A Triple Crown pitcher, he also led in ERA (1.97) and strikeouts (310), won his first of four Cy Young Awards, en route to 329 wins and the Hall of Fame in 1994. Rick Wise played two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and played another 11 seasons in the big leagues, but was never the caliber of Carlton.
Credit: AP Photo
Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas
Dec. 9, 1965
The Cincinnati Reds shipped Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles before the 1966 season, writing him off as "an old 30." In his first year with the Orioles, Robinson won the American League Triple Crown, led his team to a World Series championship and was named MVP. Robinson was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982. As for Pappas, he went 30-29 over next two plus seasons, before being shipped off again by the Reds to Atlanta.
Dennis Eckersley for three minor-leaguers
April 3, 1987
Considered washed up, this former starter was converted to a closer by the A's and became possibly the greatest reliever in baseball history. Eckersley saved 387 games over the next 12 seasons, winning the Cy Young Award and MVP in 1992. In 2004, Eckersley was inducted to the Hall of Fame. The three prospects obtained by the Chicago Cubs, outfielder David Wilder, infielder Brian Guinn, and pitcher Mark Leonette never reached the majors.
Credit: Getty Images/Otto Greule Jr.
Christy Mathewson for Amos Rusie
Dec. 15, 1900
Mathewson won 30 or more games four times, winning 373 games over his career, in addition to posting an impressive 1.15 earned run average over 11 World Series games with the New York Giants. He became one of the first five players to be inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1936. Rusie pitched in only three games after the trade, retiring because continuing arm and martial problems. He joined Mathewson in the Hall of Fame in 1977, based on his pitching before the trade.
Credit: Library of Congress
Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio
June 15, 1964
After 2 1/2 years, the Chicago Cubs had seen enough of outfielder Lou Brock. They traded him to the St. Louis Cardinals in 1964. Brock batted .348 the rest of the year, and helped the Cardinals win three pennants and two World Series over the next 15 years, stealing 938 bases. He entered the Hall of Fame in 1985. Broglio played 2 + seasons with the Cubs, compiling a 7-19 record, before retiring.
Credit: AP Photo
Sparky Lyle for Danny Cater
March 22, 1972
After the Red Sox traded Sparky Lyle, he became the model for modern day relief pitchers, saving 141 games and winning the Cy Young Award in 1977. Danny Cater played for Boston for three seasons as a reserve player and was out of baseball by 1976.
Credit: AP Photo/Ray Stubblebine
Rocky Colavito for Harvey Kuenn
April 17, 1960
Rocky Colavito, the 1959 AL home run co-champion, was traded for the Detroit Tigers for Harvey Kuenn, the league batting champion, before the 1960 season. So began what some Cleveland Indian fans call "The Colavito Curse." The slugger blasted 159 homers for the Tigers in four seasons, while Kuenn played one season with the Tribe. Over the next 30 seasons, the Tribe completed every season in the bottom half of the A.L. East, while finishing seven years in the division cellar.
Credit: AP Photo
George Foster for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert:
May 29, 1971
Foster became one of the stars of the
Credit: Getty Images/Sports Illustrated/Walter Iooss Jr.
Tom Seaver for four players
Gaylord Perry and Frank Duffy for Sam McDowell
Orlando Cepeda for Ray Sadecki
Sammy Sosa for George Bell
Jay Buhner for Ken Phelps
Mark McGwire for 3 minor league pitchers
Joe Morgan for Lee May
Amos Otis for Joe Foy
Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch for Glenn Davis
Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to Cubs for Ivan DeJesus
Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields
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