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The List: Readers Pick
Most Lopsided Trades

From the Page2 mailbag

Poll Results

Here's how the Page 2 staff ranked the most lopsided trades in sports history:

1. Red Sox sell Babe Ruth

2. Colts deal John Elway to Broncos

3. Nets sell Dr. J to 76ers

4. Golden State furnishes Celtics with Robert Parish and No. 3 pick (Kevin McHale)

5. Pedro Martinez goes from L.A. to Montreal

6. Mets ship Nolan Ryan to California

7. Reds deal away an "aging" Frank Robinson to the O's

8. Cowboys build title team netting 6 players and 12 draft picks (including Emmitt Smith and Darren Woodson) from Minnesota in exchange for Herschel Walker

9. Bulls get Scottie Pippen from Sonics for Olden Polynice

10. Blazers deal Moses Malone for draft pick

Also receiving votes: Canucks trade Cam Neely to Bruins, Mets trade Tom Seaver to Reds, St. Louis Hawks trade Bill Russell to Boston, Cubs trade Lou Brock, Jack Spring, Paul toth to Cardinals, Orioles trade Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch to Astros for Glenn Davis, White Sox trade Sammy Sosa to Cubs, Colts trade Marshall Faulk to Rams, Phillies trade Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to Cubs for Ivan DeJesus, Warriors trade Wilt Chamberlain to 76ers, Bucks trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Lakers.

On Monday, Page 2 ran its list of the most lopsided trades in sports history. We asked for your take, and you filled our mailbag with plenty of inequities.

After going through close to 2,000 letters, we've listed a complete rundown of the Top 10 vote-getters, along with some of the best letters about each deal. Be sure to cast your vote in the poll at left to choose the most one-sided trade in history.

1. Red Sox sell the Babe (292 letters)
The reason the Red Sox won't win a World Series is that big prominent "B" on their hats. They carry the curse with them to every game. Consider some of the "B's" that have cursed them in the past: Bucky, Bill Buckner, Bagwell, BABE ... there's just no doubt that the worst/most lopsided trade EVER has truly cursed Beantown baseball & resulted in "The Curse of the Bambino" and Boston's inability to win a Series.
Omaha, Neb.

Ruth built a house for the Yankees. Frazee dug a grave for the Red Sox!
Michael J. Richard
Holyoke, Mass.

The debate here should be for No. 2.

No. 1: Babe Ruth. 1918. 'Nuff said.
Justus Sackett
Rensselaer, N.Y.

The BoSox and the Babe Ruth firesale. Not many baseball swaps become folklore for an entire century weaving together two great cities. ... And to think a Broadway play caused this level of suffering for five generations now. As someone who remains skeptical about supernatural forces, I need no convincing about this one. That's why this trade gets my vote.
Rob Nerenberg

2. Boston ships Jeff Bagwell to Astros for Larry Anderson (267 letters)
The Deal: August 1990, the Red Sox deal hometown third-base prospect Jeff Bagwell to Houston in exchange for Larry Andersen, a veteran reliever who they felt would shore up a sagging bullpen as they stretched for the playoffs.

 Jeff Bagwell
Boston fans still rue the day the Red Sox traded away Jeff Bagwell.
Result: The Sox do indeed make the playoffs, with Andersen pitching well in September, but they are swept out of the ALCS by Oakland. Andersen swiftly moves on to San Diego in the offseason as a free agent, having pitched a total of 15 games and 22 innings for the Sox. Bagwell wins the NL Rookie of the Year in '91, and goes on the become one of the finest all-around players of his generation. After a switch to first base, Bagwell wins an MVP in '94.

A career .305 hitter, he has driven in 100 or more runs six times, won two Gold Gloves, played four different seasons without missing a game and been a 30 homer-30 steal man twice. Meanwhile, the Sox have instituted revolving doors at both first base and third base.
Paul White
Shawnee, Kan.

The Red Sox dealing Jeff Bagwell to the Astros for Larry Andersen belongs somewhere on the list. Granted, the Sox were no doubt helped to their division title that year by the 1.23 ERA Andersen posted in those innings, but they gave up Bagwell and were swept in the ALCS.

Andersen left Boston for San Diego in the offseason. And Bagwell? He's worked out all right for the Astros.
Tom Vetterling

3. The Eric Lindros deal (88 letters)
Just too funny to pass up. The now imfamous deal which sent "Eric the Concussed" to the Flyers and sent two Stanley Cups to the Nordiques (doesn't it almost make you feel bad for Quebec that the team left the year before they won the first Cup? I mean, do you remember just how bad they were at the time? There was a reason Lindros didn't want to play for them, however immature it might have been).

Eric Lindros
The Eric Lindros trade helped build a two-time Stanley Cup winner in Colorado.
The Specifics: The Nordiques/Avalanche got Peter Forsberg, Chris Simon, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, and Jocelyn Thibault (draft pick), and don't forget the cash and future considerations, too. They also gave up Ron Hextall in the deal, but that's a good thing.

The traded draft picks could have resulted in any of the following players in '93: Kenny Jonsson, Adam Deadmarsh, Jason Allison, Saku Koivu and Jamie Langenbrunner and in '94: Jeff Friesen, Mattias Ohlund, Wayne Primeau, Rhett Warrener or Patrik Elias. In short, the reason the Avalanche are as good today as they are? Philly bet the farm on a young stud named Lindros and lost ... big-time. It's staggering, really.
Darren Graham
Fairlawn, N.J.

Be careful what you wish for...

I will openly admit I was one of the Philadelphia Flyer fans jumping for joy when arbitrator Larry Bertuzzi awarded Eric Lindros to the Flyers, which seemed like a tremendous acquisition at the time. The Flyers needed a marquee player to rebuild around, and there were none better than him. If only we knew then what we know now.

Not only have I had to endure seeing the Quebec ftanchise in the form of the Colorado Avalanche win the Stanley Cup twice because of this trade, I've had to watch the stinkin' Rangers win it once because they didn't get Lindros (just think of the irony if Glen Sather trades for him now). This trade cost the Flyers six players, draft picks, and a boatload of cash for a guy who's playing that "I-don't-want-to-play-here-and-only-want-to-play-there" game he played in Quebec and Sault Ste. Marie in the past.

Don't get me wrong, Lindros has great skills, he's a dominant player when he is at the top of his game, and has had several serious, legit injuries. However, I have also seen the phantom injuries and there was really only one season where he dominated well into the playoffs -- '97 but then disappeared in the finals. As for the six players, just ask the Avs if they'd even take Lindros straight up for Forsberg.
Roy De Kler
Wilmington, Del.

4. Hornets give up rights to Kobe Bryant for Lakers' Vlade Divac (70 letters)
How about L.A. acquiring the draft rights to Kobe Bryant from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac in 1996? That trade became a building block, creating what is now known as the "Bling Bling Dynasty."

Kobe Bryant
It's early, but not too early to determine that the Lakers stole Kobe Bryant.
In due time, Kobe will get No. 8 retired with the Lakers after legitimizing his place in the NBA as one of its best perimeter players ever. ... Vlade on the other hand, was at best mediocre for the Charlotte Hornets.
Francis Orejudos
Los Angeles

Kobe's 22 years old, owns two NBA titles and three All-Star appearences so far. ... He's the youngest player ever to appear in an NBA All-Star Game. ... Phil Jackson and Horace Grant compare him to MJ. ... Archive this message. Wait 10 years. Then ask yourself how you could have left this deal out of the top three.
Lise Broer
Pasadena, Calif.

5. Cowboys build dynasty around Herschel Walker deal (66 letters)
The Herschel Walker trade stands apart as the worst trade in the history of sports. The Dallas Cowboys' success in the 1990s can be traced directly to this transaction as it gave Jimmy Johnson the "raw material" he needed to build his juggernaut.

Emmitt Smith
With one of the draft picks netted in the Herschel Walker deal, the Cowboys landed Emmitt Smith.
Then, to add insult to injury, when the Vikings got rid of Herschel, where did he end up? Back in Dallas! Talk about getting something for nothing.
Grant Ruple
Arlington, Texas

A lifelong Eagles fan, I didn't know who to hate more in the 90s: The Cowboys and their domination, or the Vikings and their stupidity.
Greg Kane
Sacramento, Calif.

The Herschel Walker trade was the most lopsided trade ever. Dallas used the players recieved in the deal to win three Super Bowls. The only memorable thing Herschel Walker ever did for the Vikings was lose his shoe.
Sam Bauman

6. Red Sox send Heathcliff Slocumb to Seattle for Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe, (59 letters)
The Sox would have made themselves better by simply releasing Slocumb, but to get Varitek (one of the best catchers in the AL before his injury) and Lowe (one of the best closers in the game), well that was just a bonus. Thanks Mariners, Red Sox fans are still thanking you for that one!
Ken Johnson
South Dennis, Mass.

I'm a die-hard Red Sox fan, through and through. I have watched them get raped and pillaged time and time again. However, the one trade that did work out for them, has to go down as one of the most lopsided in quite some time -- Heathcliff Slocum for two prospects. I think their names were Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. After ridding themselves of garbage players like Paul Quantrill, Jeff Bagwell, Aaron Sele and Jose Canseco for such studs as Larry Anderson, Jim Leyritz and John "Way Back" Wasdin, they were bound to lose out on one of their trades.
Gavin McDonough
Lexington, Mass.

7. Orioles send Pete Harnisch, Curt Schilling and Steve Finley to the Astros for Glenn Davis (47 letters)
Curt Schilling
The Orioles gave up on Curt Schilling, right, way too early.
How could the Orioles' trade for Glenn Davis not be excluded from your top 10 -- let alone the No. 1 most lopsided trade? While Curt Schilling has become one of the most dominating pitchers in the game and Steve Finley at one time possessed a great combination of hitting, power, and speed, "Gentle Glenn" was injured for most of his three years with the Orioles and never came close to matching his HR totals that he had with the Astros in the mid to late '80s.

Davis was so bad at one point that the O's demoted him to Rochester in 1993. ... And I forgot to mention the third player that the O's gave up for "Gentle Glenn" -- Pete Harnisch. Who knows how great Harnisch might have been had injuries and depression hadn't sidelined him.
Matt Gonter
Odenton, Md.

The O's send 3 players who were productive throughout the '90s for the always injured Davis. While Harnisch and Schilling were racking up 15-win seasons and Finley was playing solid both offensively and defensivly. Davis had one 20-HR season for the O's, batting less than .280. The rest of his time in Baltimore he spent on the DL. Just think, if Peter Angelos had been there during this trade he probably would have shipped over Cal Ripken as well.
Chris Chase
Potomac, Md.

8. L.A. sends Pedro Martinez to Montreal for Delino DeShields (44 letters)
Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martinez could have been a lifelong Dodger.
By far the worst in modern time is Pedro for Deshields. At the time, DeShields wasn't even a top second baseman, and Pedro was already on the winning track after his rookie year. Any ballclub would take a rookie starter who wins 10 games.

Besides have the Dodgers ever made a trade that really ever benifited them. ... I can't think of one either.
Ryan Clabo
Victorville, Calif.

Delino is the Jim Fregosi of his time, a nonimprovement of the player they replaced in the middle infield, and acquired for a budding ace. Only in this case, the Dodgers did not make a World Series two years later, and they still haven't truly recovered.
James Reisdorf
Tacoma, Wash.

9. Blackhawks send Dominik Hasek to the Sabres for backup goalie Stéphane Beauregard and a fourth-round draft pick (42 letters)
I can't believe this trade wasn't mentioned. The Sabres acquired a two-time MVP and six-time Vezina winner for a terrible goalie whose name I don't even think I spelled correctly. Wait a second, the Blackhawks did draft Eric Daze with that fourth-round selection of the Sabres. That's why you must have left this trade off of your list.

Dominik Hasek
The Blackhawks dealt away six-time Vezina Trophy winner Dominik Hasek.
The Blackhawks did get the "great" Eric Daze from this deal, a solid third line player at best in exchange for one of the greatest NHL goalies of all time. I'm still shaking my head in utter disbelief that you left this trade off of your list.
Rodney Giove
Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Dominik has won countless Vezinas and two MVP awards. I think Beauregard is packing groceries somewhere in Saskatoon.
Tim Kasprzak
Cheektowaga, N.Y.

10. Celtics get Robert Parish and the No. 3 pick (Kevin McHale) (38 letters)
The most lopsided trade has to be when the Boston Celtics got Robert Parish and Kevin McHale. That was the best trade of all time because it gave them two-third of the Big Three. Boston won three championships with these players, and they will always be thought of when you think of the Big Three. This is just one of the reasons why people think that Red Auerbach is the best coach/general manager in history.
Marc Rodliff
Brookline, Mass.

Definitely the Parish/McHale deal. ... It isn't just that Red got Parish and the No. 3 pick (McHale) for the No. 1 pick; but don't forget the reason the Celts had the No. 1 pick in the first place is that Red convinced Detroit to throw in their first-round pick (which turned out to be No. 1 overal) in the deal for Bob McAdoo, whom Red would have paid to get rid of.
Mike Phipps

Also receiving your votes: Atlanta Falcons send Bret Favre to Green Bay; Yankees trade Jay Buhner to the Mariners for Ken Phelps; White Sox trade Sammy Sosa to the Cubs for George Bell; A's trade Mark McGwire to the Cardinals for T.J. Matthews, Blake Stein, and Eric Ludwick.

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