A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Former Friars

Over the weekend, I was watching episodes of MLB Network Countdown.  The Padres are usually pretty poorly represented in the show, as their history has been pretty unremarkable so far (with a few exceptions).

However, this episode showcased the Padres not once, but twice!  The topic: Baseball's Most Memorable Trades.

I was wondering if any of the early 90s fire-sale trades would make it on the list (Sheffield to the Marlins, McGriff to the Braves) or if the blockbuster trade that brought Caminiti and Finley to America's Finest City might be included.  They weren't, which makes sense.

However, they did include the trade that brought McGriff & Tony Fernandez to the Padres in the first place.

This McGriff card will probably always be my favorite of his.  I pulled it from a pack when I was a kid (back when getting an insert was a big deal).  The only cooler cards that I've seen Topps make have been last year's Diamond parallels.  I don't have any cool Fernandez cards, but I liked the gold parallels from the '92 set.

They were brought to San Diego in exchange for these two fine fellows.  This is my favorite Alomar card, and all of the "Dream Team" cards from '91 Score are pretty cool.  This is my favorite Carter card, because '93 was the year that he hit the most memorable in World Series history (during my life time, at least).  I remember watching him dance around the bases, that was awesome.

Kind of a bummer to see how well the Blue Jays did with their pieces of the trade (World Series win three years later) compared to the Padres.  However, Alomar is kind of a head case, and McGriff is one of my all time favorites, so I don't mind the deal, even if the Pads may have gotten the shorter end of the stick.

Next on the list was the trade that sent Ozzie Smith to the Cardinals for Garry Templeton.  There were a few other players thrown in as well ( Sixto Lezcano, Steve Mura, Al Omsted, and Luis DeLeon).

Truth be told, Tempy was a big reason that the Padres won the pennant three years later, so short term, I think the Padres got the better end of the deal.  Long term, however, it's hard to say that you made it out ahead when you send a first ballot Hall of Famer out of town.

Looking deeper at the trade, both players had kind of fallen out of grace with ownership.  Late in the 1981 season, Templeton made "obscene gestures" at fans before being taken out of a game.  In San Diego, Smith was having contract issues with the Padres, prompting his agent to place an ad in the San Diego Union that read "Padre baseball player wants part-time employment to supplement income."  It probably wasn't the most tactful move when Joan Kroc (wife of Padres owner Ray Kroc, who made his fortune by buying a fledgling burger chain called "McDonald's") publicly offered him a job as a gardener at her estate.

Real classy, San Diego.

Anyways, I'd say that both Ozzie and Garry benefitted from the change of scenery.  Sometimes, a fresh start is all it takes to turn things around.  

Good timing for this post as well, since I pulled that Allen & Ginter sketch card over the weekend and wanted to have a reason to post it.  Anyways, even though both of those trades seemed to favor the teams the Padres dealt with, I'd say that I'm okay with them, for the most part.

Still wish that we'd been able to hold on to McGriff, though.

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