THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TRADES IN B’MORE SPORTS HISTORY

Street Talk THE MOST SIGNIFICANT TRADES IN B’MORE SPORTS HISTORY

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The deception with tact,
Just what are you trying to say?
You’ve got a blank face,
Which irritates
Communicate, pull out your party piece
You see dimensions in two
State your case with black or white
But when one little cross leads to shots,
grit your teeth
You run for cover so discreet

Why don’t they
Do what you say, say what you mean
oh, baby
One trade leads to another
You told me something wrong,
I know I listen too long but then
One trade leads to another

Ok, so I changed the lyrics to this 80’s hit by The Fixx just slightly yet for some reason, this song just popped into my mind when thinking through today’s Top Guns.

A little over a year ago, a trade that was front and center here in The Land of Pleasant Living was one involving Terrell Owens.  First he was a Raven then he wasn’t.  Today, we collectively breathe a sigh of relief knowing that he’ll never wear a Ravens uniform. 

 

Today, the topic of trades is kick around often when discussing the other birds in town, The Orioles.  The O’s are seemingly headed in the right direction yet their depth is questionable in the outfield.  As a result, names like Mike Cameron have been bantered about as potential trading prospects.  Today in Top Guns, we look back at The Most Significant Trades in Baltimore Sports History

10. Bubba Smith for Raymond Chester ~ In 1973, Chester was traded to Baltimore for Bubba Smith after being named to the Pro Bowl in each of his first 3 seasons. Smith had suffered a knee injury in 1972 when he became entangled with a first down marker after making a play near the sidelines. After the season ending injury, Smith was never quite the menacing force that he had been during his all-star years of ‘70 – ‘72. Chester was a four time Pro Bowler, but unfortunately for Baltimore, each time as a member of the Oakland Raiders. He later returned to the Raiders and finished his career there in 1981. In his 11 seasons, Chester had 364 receptions for 5,013 yards, a 13.8 yards per catch average and 48 TD’s.

 

9. Floyd Rayford for Tito Landrum ~ On June 14, 1983 the Orioles sent a portly third baseman named Floyd Rayford to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for that infamous “player to be named later.” On August 31, 1983 that player became Tito Landrum. In the deciding game 4 of the 1983 ALCS at Comiskey Park, Landrum broke a scoreless tie in the top of the 10th inning with a solo home run off resourceful White Sox southpaw, Britt Burns. That home run helped carry the Orioles to the World Series and the eventual World Championship. While neither of these players ever did much in the big leagues, Landrum’s home run is memorable for its importance in Orioles’ history. The trade certainly affected the landscape of sports history in Baltimore.
 
8. Doug DeCinces for Dan Ford ~ The Orioles traded third baseman Doug DeCinces for outfielder Dan Ford on January 26, 1982. Ford’s claim to fame is that he hit the first home run in the "new" Yankee Stadium, reopened in 1976 after two years of repairs. Slow afoot, DeCinces gained a reputation for good hands and as a clutch hitter. Battling back problems throughout his career, he became expendable with the arrival of Cal Ripken, Jr., who started his career at third base. Dealt to the Angels for 1982, DeCinces responded with his best season, reaching career highs with 30 HR, 97 RBI, and a .301 average. Ford was a semi-regular and a poor defensive player for the O’s in 1982 and 1983 and suffered through declining productivity. He came up lame after Game One of the 1983 ALCS and had only one pinch-hit at-bat for the rest of the series. Ford’s best season with the Orioles was in ‘83 when he batted .280 with 9 homers and 55 RBI’s. If only Earl had shifted Cal to short prior to this trade…………

7. Jack Marin for Elvin Hayes ~ Prior to the 1971-72 season, the San Diego Rockets franchise moved to Houston, where adoring fans still remembered Elvin Hayes from his college days. The Rockets also brought in a new coach, Tex Winter — a coach that Hayes often clashed with. A disgruntled Hayes averaged 25.2 ppg, 10th in the NBA, and the Rockets missed the playoffs for the third straight year. Shortly after the season ended, Houston traded Hayes to Baltimore for Jack Marin and future considerations. Bullets Coach Gene Shue already had Wes Unseld playing center, and he realized that Hayes was at his best in the power forward position, where he could capitalize most on his scoring and rebounding skills. Hayes welcomed the move, and he responded by averaging 21.2 ppg in 1972-73, helping Baltimore to the Central Division title. The following season the Bullets moved to Landover and played as the Capital Bullets. Later on during the 1977-78 season after posting a modest 44-38 record, the Bullets caught fire in the playoffs eliminating the Atlanta Hawks, the San Antonio Spurs, and the Philadelphia 76ers en route to the NBA Finals against the Seattle SuperSonics. The Bullets were World Champions that season and chants of EEEEEEEEEEEEEE filled the air. Jack Marin lasted only one season in Houston.

6. Jamal Lewis For The Ravens’ 1999 2nd Round Pick ~ No Jamal was never actually involved directly in a trade but you may recall a trade the Ravens made in 1999 that actually produced Jamal. On the heels of their successful 1998-99 season that culminated in a Super Bowl XXXIII appearance, the Atlanta Falcons coveted the Ravens second round pick in the 1999 draft so much, that they offered their first pick in the draft the following year. Confident that they would continue their recent success, the Falcons didn’t think that the anticipated late first round pick in 2000 would be as valuable as the Ravens second round pick in 1999. Unfortunately for the Falcons and fortunately for the Ravens, Atlanta had a wretched 1999 season and the pick the Ravens acquired ended up being the 5th pick in the 2000 draft. “With the 5th pick of the 2000 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select running back Jamal Lewis from the University of Tennessee.”
 
5. 10 Player Blockbuster ~ On June 15, 1976 the Orioles traded Ken Holtzman, Elrod Hendricks, Jimmy Freeman, Doyle Alexander and Grant Jackson to the Yankees for Scott McGregor, Rick Dempsey, Rudy May, Tippy Martinez and Dave Pagan. The Orioles clearly emerged the victor in this trade as McGregor, Dempsey and Martinez all enjoyed productive and lengthy careers with the Orioles, culminating in a World Series berth in 1979 and a World Series Championship in 1983. Take that George Steinbrenner!

4. Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch & Steve Finley for Glenn Davis ~ In arguably the worst trade in Baltimore sports history, in 1991 the Orioles traded a pitcher that would prove to be serviceable for several years (Harnisch 95-72 3.89 ERA since leaving), a productive outfielder would become an all star outfielder and still produces at the major league level (Steve Finley .280 average, 244 home runs and 915 RBI’s since leaving) and a pitcher that has been one of the game’s most dominant over the past 8 years (Schilling 162-111 3.30 ERA and a Cy Young since leaving). All of this for a player that cost the Orioles over $10 Million in salary who produced only a .227 average, 24 home runs and 85 RBI’s in his 3 season as an Oriole. Things could have been so different in the 90’s for the O’s had they not traded for this injury prone and heartless player on the field.

3. John Elway for Chris Hinton and Mark Hermann ~ When No. 1 draft pick John Elway refused to play in Baltimore for then head coach Frank Kush, a reportedly looped Bob Irsay playing the role of high roller in Las Vegas, traded the draft rights to the Stanford quarterback to Denver in exchange for quarterback Mark Hermann, the rights to offensive tackle Chris Hinton and a first-round pick in the 1984 draft, which ended up being guard Ron Solt. The trade was done unbeknownst to then GM Ernie Accorsi who to this very day swears that Elway was not going to go through with his threat to pursue a baseball career. Accorsi maintains that Elway would have become a Colt possibly saving the franchise in Baltimore. Elway as we all know became a legend in Denver, where he won more games (148) than any quarterback in NFL history and led the Broncos to five Super Bowl appearances, winning two. He finished his 16-year career ranked second in passing yardage (51,475), third in TD passes (300) and first in fourth-quarter comebacks (47). Hinton played the first seven of his 13 NFL seasons with the Colts. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and chosen All-Pro five times. Hermann, a journeyman quarterback who threw 36 interceptions and just 16 TD passes in his 11-year career, played just five games for the Colts in the first of his two stints with the team. Solt played in the NFL for nine seasons, including the first five with the Colts.

2. Milt Pappas for Frank Robinson ~ In nine seasons with the Orioles, Milt Pappas never had a losing record, winning between 13 and 16 games each year from 1959-1965. In December of 1965, at the age of 26, Pappas was traded to the Cincinnati Reds in a blockbuster deal that brought Frank Robinson to Baltimore. The Reds had written off Robinson as “an old thirty” yet fans in Cincinnati cried outrage at the deal, which made it difficult for Pappas to ever adjust in the Queen City. He struggled in his first season in the National League, posting a 4.29 ERA, the worst of his career, but managed a winning record at 12-11. Frank of course had a tremendous career with the Orioles winning the Triple Crown and MVP in 1966, leading the Orioles to World Championships in ‘66 & ‘70 and World Series appearances in ‘66, ‘69-’71. Slight advantage to the Orioles, don’t you think? For the record, the Reds also received prospects Jack Baldschun and Dick Simpson in addition to Pappas.

1. The Los Angeles Rams for The Baltimore Colts ~ The St. Louis Rams franchise in its entire history dating back to Cleveland has had only six owners. One of the most famous owners Daniel F. Reeves was responsible for the teams move to Los Angeles in 1946. Reeves would later on (1971) pass away from cancer and the franchise would go to his lifelong friend William A. Barnes, who only holds the team for a year and then Robert Irsay claims the teams rights from the Reeves estate. In 1972, a history-making move took place when Baltimore Colts owner Carroll Rosenbloom trades the Baltimore franchise to Robert Irsay in exchange for the Rams. The transaction was completed and announced on July 14th. This move undoubtedly started a sequence of events over an 11 year period that would ultimately change sports in Baltimore forever.

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Tony Lombardi

About Tony Lombardi

Tony is 24×7 Networks, LLC’s founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan and he hosts “The Fanimal” also heard on 105.7 The Fan, Saturdays from 8-9AM. Among his favorite things in life are his wife, kids, family, friends, The Beatles, Breaking Bad, Gladiator, The Godfather, Guinness, orange crushes, meatballs and Key West, not necessarily in that order. Follow Tony on Twitter @RSRLombardi.

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