Friday, June 15, 2007

30 Years Later...Looking Back at the Worst Trade Ever [J. Mark English]

In 1977 the New York Mets were four years removed from their last World Series appearance. They had meandered along in the mid 70's, but were not a terrible team. The team still had one of the best pitchers in baseball, Tom Seaver. The Mets also had the most prominent slugger of the decade in Dave Kingman.

The Mets management must have been smoking pot or something because on June 15, 1977, the organization made a fatal decision that set the club back for at least six years. Thirty years ago to the day, the Mets traded the greatest pitcher the team has ever had, Tom Seaver, to the Cincinnati Reds. In return the Mets acquired a list of no names in Pat Zachry, Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, and Dan Norman. Tom Seaver would go on and haunt the Mets by pitching a no hitter for the Reds. He would return eventually to give guidance to the new members of their staff in the early 80's such as pitchers Ron Darling, and Doc Gooden.

The Mets also had the stupidity to trade away Dave Kingman on the same day. They traded him for future Met manager Bobby Valentine, and a minor leaguer. (Joe Torre was actually the manager of the Mets that year...he was no where near the caliber of a manager that he is now.)

The organization went into a massive decline following these trades. They would not have a winning record again until 1984.

It could be argued that these two trades may have been the worst ever for a franchise.

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