|Biggest trades of all time|
By David Schoenfield
Page 2 staff
The rumored three-team deal involving Alex Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez and Nomar Garciaparra would probably go down as the biggest trade of all time. You have arguably the best player in the game at the peak of his abilities and two other MVP-caliber players who are potential Hall of Famers. Not to mention total contract values that could purchase a nice block of rowhouses on Beacon Hill.
Until -- if -- it happens, here are the 10 biggest trades of all time -- those shockers which drew the biggest headlines. We considered the star status of the players involved at the time of the deal and their likelihood for quick production, but not their future impact (like the White Sox trading a young, unproven Sammy Sosa to the Cubs).
1. Wayne Gretzky: Oilers to Kings
The other end of the trade was a little light, but no deal was more shocking than this one. The "Great One" was just 27 and in his prime as the most dominant hockey player of all time when Edmonton, which was short on cash, traded him after winning its fourth Stanley Cup of the 1980s.
2. Eric Dickerson: Rams to Colts
Dickerson had led the NFL in rushing in three of his four seasons, but the Rams traded the disgruntled star during the 1987 strike year. Trades in the NFL are much rarer than in other sports, and this one involved the game's biggest star at the time. Dickerson had two 1,000-yard seasons for the Colts before injuries slowed him down.
3. Mike Piazza: Dodgers to Marlins
This midnight deal came out of nowhere after Piazza had reportedly turned down a long-term deal from the Dodgers. The trade involved four All-Stars (Piazza, Sheffield, Bonilla and Johnson), and at the time Piazza was one of the three or four most valuable players in the game. Piazza spent just a week in Florida before he was traded to the Mets for three minor leaguers.
4. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar: Bucks to Lakers
Kareem had been a three-time MVP and scored 30.0 points per game in '75, but the Bucks finished below .500 and made the deal for some promising young players -- Meyers (2nd overall) and Bridgeman (8th overall) had just been drafted and Winters was coming off an all-rookie team season. They became solid players, but not stars -- while Kareem won three more MVP trophies
5. Herschel Walker: Cowboys to Vikings
The trade was complicated and ended up being known more for how it built the Cowboys' dynasty of the '90s, but it was huge at the time. Walker was 27 and supposed to lead the Vikings to the Super Bowl. While he never matched his 1988 season, when he was second in the league in rushing, the Cowboys' final bundle from the deal (via various other trades) included Emmitt Smith, Russell Maryland, Kevin Smith and Darren Woodson.
6. Wilt Chamberlain: Warriors to 76ers
Chamberlain, 28, had led the NBA in scoring in each of his five seasons when this stunner was completed, as the Warriors -- in need of cash -- sent "The Stilt" back to Philly. That season, Chamberlain topped the league in scoring again and led the Sixers to the title in 1967 -- versus the Warriors.
7. Babe Ruth: Red Sox to Yankees
Only one player involved -- but what a player. And don't underestimate how big Ruth's name was in the sport when the sale was made. Ruth had been a World Series star with the Red Sox and set the single-season home-run record in 1919. With the possible exception of Ty Cobb, he was easily the biggest figure in baseball.
8. Fred McGriff and Tony Fernandez for Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter
A challenge trade involving four All-Stars and two likely Hall of Famers (McGriff and Alomar). All were stars at the time. This winter meetings blockbuster was different from what we see today, when most deals are about dumping contracts and acquiring prospects.
9. Eric Lindros: Nordiques to Flyers
OK, Lindros wasn't an established superstar, but everyone knew the holdout would be a future star. He refused to sign with Quebec after being drafted in 1991, which proved the best thing for this moribund franchise (the team later moved to Colorado). Most importantly, the trade brought in Forsberg, who became one of the NHL's best all-around players.
10. Reggie Jackson: A's to Orioles
A shocker right before the start of the season moved Reggie (36 HRs in '75) and Holtzman (18 wins) for Baylor (25 HRs) and Torrez (20 wins). In their careers, the two hitters combined for over 900 home runs and the pitchers for 359 wins.
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