Your Turn (Beckett Baseball No. 79): Which trades do you remember most?


By Chris Olds | Beckett Baseball Editor

Did you see the Ichiro Suzuki trade coming? If so, you might need to go to Vegas or buy a lottery ticket, but the big news got us thinking and we want to know what you’re thinking, too.

In short, we want to know … Which baseball trades do you remember most?

Maybe it was the time when your favorite player was dumped and your dreams of success were shattered. (Jose Canseco to the Rangers? Devastated me.)

Maybe it was the time you traded all nine your 1983 Topps Nolan Ryan cards for a red-hot Kevin Maas Rookie Card or two. (I did it.)

To borrow a line from Annie Savoy, “bad trades are part of baseball — now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake?”

Tell us which trades shocked you — MLB or cards — in the comments below. Please include your name and location with your comment. We’ll run a selection of the best answers in the October issue of Beckett Baseball.

Chris Olds is the editor of Beckett Baseball magazine. Have a comment, question or idea? Send an email to him at Follow him on Twitter by clicking here.


Tens of millions of cards available for sale in the
Beckett Marketplace!

Get up-to-date pricing for your favorite sports cards with a
Beckett OPG Subscription


  1. Joe Pasipanki 24 July, 2012 at 11:22

    Remember Now, but not at the time: Tek and Lowe for Slocumb. Remember every detail Nomar Trade in 2004

  2. Matt D. 24 July, 2012 at 11:23

    I was a heartbroken 10 year old when the Orioles gave away Eddie Murray to the Dodgers and I was an estatic 18 year old when the Orioles brought him back. Hearing the Eddie chants at Camden Yards in 1996 helped drown out the silence of the previous 8 years.

  3. Ron Atkinson 24 July, 2012 at 11:28

    cards—Frank Thomas Leaf Rookie for Todd Van Poppel!

    MLB–Orlando Cepeda from the Giants to the Cardinals for Ray Sadecki!

  4. Lewis Silver 24 July, 2012 at 11:34

    Mark McGwire for T.J. Matthews, Blake Stein, and Eric Ludwick. The A’s made one of the worst trades and most regrettable trades.

  5. AJ 24 July, 2012 at 11:35

    Well, Canseco going to Texas was horrible! I remember my mom breaking the news to me when I got home from school (12 years old) She had to show me the newspaper because I was in disbelief, lol

    Best trade was in 98 when Ed Sprague went away and Jose reclaimed #33!

  6. gary hurd 24 July, 2012 at 11:50

    Got two, one for players and one for cards… the real one that I remember most was the spring of 1988 The Twins trade RF Tom Brunansky to the Cardinals for Tommy Herr. Now granted Herr was an upgrade from Steve Lombardozzi, HOWEVER…

    The Card trade that kicked my butt was a 1986 Topps Andre Robertson, which I needed to complete my 86 Topps set (thinking that It would be as good as the 85 set with Dykstra, Coleman, Fielder, Ozzie Guillen Rookies) for a 1982 Fleer Rookie Card of some guy named Ripken or something like that…

  7. Joe C 24 July, 2012 at 11:54


    Larry Bowa for Ivan DeJesus. Huge Larry Bowa fan. Oh yea…..the Phiilies thru in some guy by the name of Sandberg.

  8. Glenn 24 July, 2012 at 12:00

    Some nut in cincinnati traded Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas. Broke my heart as a child – Frank was and still is the man I have admired most in baseball over the years. A close second was Roberto Clemente, what a player and person. He left us why to soon!!

  9. Clint Spencer 24 July, 2012 at 12:18

    1983 Cardinals traded Keith Hernandez for Neal Allen and another player I don/t remember. I was in my car and almost ran off the road.

    Clint Spencer
    Imperial, Mo

  10. JonathanI 24 July, 2012 at 12:21

    I overheard the “Nomar to the Cubs” trade finalized at a cookout at my Brother’s house, right at the deadline, on TV, while in the bathroom across the hall from the set. I ran outside and told my Brother and anyone else who would listen, and neither of us Cubbies fans could believe it–let alone the rest of the crowd. Cool stuff! Almost as cool as when his Wife, Mia Hamm, wore a “Garciaparra” jersey for the second half of her final soccer match. I tried to order one, but they said they could hot fit “Garciaparra” on the back of a jersey for me. Too bad. That would have a been a great conversation piece!

  11. Mickey Seward 24 July, 2012 at 12:27

    As a 14-year-old Detroit Tigers fan in 1987, I was happy when the Tigers picked up veteran starter Doyle Alexander from Atlanta for a prospect who hadn’t done much in the minor leagues. Alexander went on to help the Tigers come from behind and win the American League East title, going 9-0 down the stretch for Detroit after the trade. The change of scenery did wonders for the minor leaguer who went to the Braves, too. John Smoltz is probably going to the Hall of Fame. For me as a Tigers fan, I’m still fine with the deal. It provided an unbelievable finish to the season during my younger years that I still remember today.

    Mickey Seward,
    Rome, GA

  12. Mike 24 July, 2012 at 12:28

    I can’t believe I’m the first to mention The Padres sending Ozzie over for Gary Templeton! Templeton was a great ballplayer – but ouch!

    As a 1970s/80s Cards fan…..not sure if there is a bigger trade than that!

  13. Jason 24 July, 2012 at 12:29

    The Astros trading Larry Andersen to the Red Sox for Jeff Bagwell. It’s still remembered as the best trade in Astros history and one of the worst in Red Sox history, sending a future Hall of Famer to the Astros to be one of the cornerstones of the franchise (with Craig Biggio) for the better part of the next fifteen years.

    Thank you, Boston!

  14. David Johnson 24 July, 2012 at 13:34

    Worst card trade I ever made was trading a 2001 Bowman Heritage Albert Pujols for a game used card of Gary Carter. What made it even worse was that I never received the card from the other trader.

  15. Gregory Zakwin 24 July, 2012 at 13:52

    Mike Piazza to the Marlins, because the Dodgers didn’t want to pay him. Then they go out and sign Kevin Brown for over $100 million soon there after.

    And more recently, Carlos Santana for Casey Blake. Because seriously. Ned Colletti is a terrible G.M., that deal was atrocious, and it represented a clear lack of understanding of value.

    Gregory Zakwin

  16. chris houser 24 July, 2012 at 14:11

    I remeber back in the 70s Riggie Jackson got traded to the Yanks. I was a die hard A’s fan and I was upset I have most of Jacksons A’s cards except for one. But later in the mid-80s came my new favortie A’s (Mark McGwire) He was one top PCs back then and he still is now. But when I Heared he got traded to the cards I all most went on a rampage. But he is still ma all time favorite player to this day. When ever I can I try to get a autograph for a good bargan.

    From mod: He was traded to the Orioles … then signed with the Yankees.

  17. Deezy 24 July, 2012 at 15:00

    Being from Atlanta, it was so exciting when the Braves got Fred McGriff from the Padres for several minor league prospects. The Braves needed a power hitter to drive in runs with some pop. The Crime Dog I enjoyed going to the games when they played the McGruff videos on the big screen. The Crime Dog had a sweet swing.

  18. Richard 24 July, 2012 at 15:58

    Mike Piazza traded to the Marlins because they would not sign him for $100 million.

    But then, they signed KEVIN BROWN for that. who precedes to get himself on the DL while
    Piazza goes on to continue his HOF career.

    Some times the Dodgers are just too stupid.
    Worst trade since giving up Pedro Martinez for Delino Deshields.
    Thanks Tommy.

  19. Frank 24 July, 2012 at 18:13

    1989 Dykstra AND McDowell to Rival Phillies for Juan Samuel

    1971 Nolan Ryan for Jim Fregosi.

    As a Mets fan, I am used to the disappointment the trade market and free agency brings our team. But these two trades make me cringe whenever they are brought up.

    Oh and lets not forget about Tom Terrific …

  20. Phil Regetta 24 July, 2012 at 19:08

    The savior of the Phillies – Von Hayes! (for Manny Trillo, George Vukovich, Jay Baller, Jerry Willard, and Julio Franco)

    Phil Regetta
    Newville, PA

  21. Nick 24 July, 2012 at 20:23

    I had a bad habit of trading cards for packs… Worst trade I ever made was a 92′ Classic Four Sport LP Shaquille O’neil for 2 boxes of 92/93 Upper Deck Basketball. Of course I didn’t get anything even close to the Shaq LP in my boxes. Doesn’t look so bad today though lol

    Let this be a lesson to all the young collectors out there, don’t trade good cards for packs!!!!


  22. Adam Shoemaker 24 July, 2012 at 22:27

    As far as player trades, I don’t know what to go with. As a Cardinals fan, it would have to be one of these:
    Lou Brock to the Cards from Cubs 1964
    ‘Wizard of Oz’ to Cards from Padres 1982
    Jim Edmonds to the Cards from Angels 2000
    Scott Rolen to Cards from Philly 2002
    Adam Wainwright to Cards from Braves 2003

    My favorite card trade still has to be trading a 2009 Pablo Sandoval AU (RC) card for an Ozzie Smith Topps RC in NM-MT condition, plus 3 Carolina Panthers cards (2 GU’s/ 1 RC).

    Adam S.
    Browns Summit, NC

  23. Pete Irwin 24 July, 2012 at 22:34

    When the Braves traded away Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus for Mark Teixeira. I would say the Braves lost on that deal!

  24. lecreccio 24 July, 2012 at 22:41

    i actually cried a little when the mets traded seaver!! i’m still upset about it!!

  25. Scott 25 July, 2012 at 00:38

    Randy Johnson to my Stros..I can recall the manager tapping him on the back, telling him the news and Randy heading down the tunnel. Not that I thought he’d stay, but was still disappointed he took Free Agency and moved on

    Scott Bennett
    Upstate New York

  26. jeremias z. prenatt 25 July, 2012 at 06:34

    real life trade: Not necessarily awful, but a paradigm changer for sure…early in 1987 the Pittsburgh Pirates (who were miserable since the ’79 series) traded their most beloved and best player Tony Pena to the recent National League Champion St. Louis Cardinals for P Mike Dunne, C Mike LaValliere, and OF Andy Van Slyke…Pena was solid for a while longer, but Dunne became an All-Star Rookie (then fizzled), LaValliere provided solid production and leadership, and Van Slyke went on to become one of the most popular Pirate’s players of all-time, helping to lead us to 3 consecutive National League Championship Series

    card trade: in 1985 as an 8 yr-old, i traded a Rickey Henderson rookie and a Don Mattingly rookie (both Topps) to an older neighbor kid for some cheap fireworks!

  27. coffeyfan 25 July, 2012 at 13:47

    The trade that shocked me the most was when my dad told me that he traded a 1976 Hank Aaron for a 1965 Willie Mays, he still has that Willie Mays today where it sits on a shelf next to a 1909 Walter “Big Train” Johnston tabacco card.

  28. Jeff B 25 July, 2012 at 14:04

    Mine was the Canseco trade as well…might not have been traded if the Giants weren’t moving to Florida, but the A’s were already planning on being the only MLB team in the Bay Area.

    Had Peter McGowan & Co purchased the Giants a few months earlier, this trade may never have happened.

  29. Phil 25 July, 2012 at 17:27

    I remember the Reds picking up Tom Seaver back in 1977. Thought for sure he would win 30 games in a season…never won 20 (technically, he won 21 in ’77, but 7 were with the Mets, 14 with the Reds) in a single season with them.

  30. Tom B 25 July, 2012 at 22:10

    I really only remember the trade that never happened, that changed baseball in 1997.

    The Cleveland Indians decided that they would keep Jaret Wright and pass on acquiring Pedro Martinez from the Expos. Pedro goes to Boston, and the rest is history. Who’s your daddy?

  31. Merovius 25 July, 2012 at 22:48

    Mets trading their first ever batting champ last year didnt sit well initially but they really didnt have a choice.

    As a kid I traded a Wade Boggs, Yaz, Evans and some other Sox noteables for a ’55 Bowman Willie Mays EX-MT.

    And yes, I had lots of Kevin Maas lol…

  32. bill johnson 26 July, 2012 at 10:16

    being a mets fan there were a lot of trades that disappointed me. kevin mitchell to the giants. betran to the cards. but to me as a baseball fan. the biggest disappointment had to come just days ago when the yanks acquired ichiro, for nothing. not a top prospects. not even a second tier prospect. 2 pitchers who are in their 20s. thats what seatle got in exchange for the 10 all star. plus seattle gave the yankees CASH to take the future hall of famer. this was by far, the worst trade ive ever seen in recent history. seattle shouldve just placed him on waivers and got some draft picks out of the deal.

  33. Zeprock 26 July, 2012 at 12:32

    For me it was the Nomar Garciaparra deal in 2004. As a Red Sox fan he was the cornerstone of my collection and was my favorite player to collect. When I heard he’d been traded to Chicago, I was devastated and couldn’t believe it. He was the franchise player for the Sox holding his own with fellow shortstop stars, Jeter and ARod. I put my Nomar collection aside and although I still collect his cards, he no longer became the priority of my collecting. That torch has been passed on to Pujols.

  34. Dano 26 July, 2012 at 19:25

    The trade that Ive been most affected by is one that has happened most recently. It was little over a year ago an I was obsessing about weather or not my favorite Astros player, Hunter Pence, was going to be traded. There was lots of speculation in the week leading up to trade deadline and I felt for sure the Astros organization would trade a keystone player away. Then, as I was stressing over my phone at work, I saw the reports that Pence was pulled out of the game and was traded to the Phillies. Turns out we got a pretty, pretty good prospect named Jonathan Singleton, so there’s that.

  35. Mitchell 26 July, 2012 at 21:54

    The one I will always remember, although its rather new, is Kevin Youkillis. The Fenway faithful Yoouuked and cheered for seven and a half year, and just like that he’s gone.

Leave a reply

We use cookies to help personalize content, tailor and measure ads, and provide a safer experience. By navigating the site, you agree to the use of cookies to collect information. Read our Cookie Policy.
Accept & Close