Friday, January 27, 2012

30 Years Ago Today, the Cubs Pulled Off A Good One

Flick Friday will not be seen today so that we can bring you this special 30th anniversary presentation.

Whenever really bad trades are listed, the Cubs trade of Lou Brock to the Cardinals for sore-armed pitcher Ernie Broglio is usually near the top of the list. The Cubs catch a lot of flack for the deal, deservedly so.

But 30 years ago today, the Cubs made a trade that like the Brock trade, involved a future Hall of Famer. But this time the Cubs were on the up side of the deal. The trade was basically a swap of shortstops. The Cubs got an aging Larry Bowa and the Phillies got Ivan DeJesus (and his 1981 batting average of .194). But Cubs GM Dallas Green insisted the Phillies throw in a prospect, and the Cubs got a kid named Ryne Sandberg.

click on the picture to get a better look

Here is the AP article on the trade from the Pittsburgh Gazette. Sandberg is called a utility infielder and he gets one whole line in the article. The rest focuses on Bowa and DeJesus.

Sandberg spent his rookie season at third base, moving to second for the last month of the year. The only card of him from that year is this one...

....put out by the Cubs. It's also the only card that shows him as a third baseman.

In addition to this one, I've got 445 other Ryne Sandberg cards in my collection. That's more than any other player. Not bad for a throw-in.

While digging around for the newspaper article on the trade, I found another one that was very interesting. It was from the Milwaukee Sentinel on December 13, 1981. The Brewers were looking to make a deal or two at the winter meetings and guess who they were interested in?

It looks like Dallas Green wasn't the only GM who thought Sandberg had potential. Luckily, the Brewers weren't able to make a deal, and a month later the Cubs did. Otherwise, instead of this...

we may have had...

....this. Yuk!


  1. I hated giving up DeJesus and his .194 average. I really thought he would bounce back to at least .220!

  2. Love the 'shopped Brewers card, but glad he went to the Cubbies instead. I enjoyed watching him play on WGN growing up.

    This would make a good entry for my "Photoshop challenge" on my blog.

    JT (The Writer's Journey)

  3. I can't help but wonder if the Brewers might've won the '82 Series if they'd gotten Sandberg. I'm glad he went to the northside!

  4. Man, that Brewers card is nasty (the card itself, not the shop work)! Let's not show that one again.

  5. I interviewed Bing Devine a few years back and he told of a deal that was agreed to one day, then pulled off the table the next morning. It would have sent Ivan DeJesus to the Cardinals straight up for Garry Templeton. They had the handshake agreement and everything. Imagine how history would have been different for both teams!

  6. Imagine the Brewers infield in the mid-80s if that happened...1B Cecil Cooper, 2b Sandberg, SS Yount, 3B Molitor...3 hall of famers

  7. Besides the 1982 Red Lobster Sandberg card he's also on the team card that is in that Red Lobster set.