30 Day Baseball Card Challenge

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Saturday Night Five: Hard to Say Goodbye

Getting kicked in the family jewels.  Getting dumped by the love of your life.  Getting informed your favorite player has been traded.  There's one word that sums up these three events for me:  PAINFUL.

2010 Topps Chrome #191

And last night... right before I hit the sack... I discovered that Josh Donaldson had been shipped off to Toronto. as part of the Oakland Athletics rebuilding plan.

Thankfully... Mr. Donaldson isn't my favorite player.  Actually... I'm not even sure I have a favorite Athletic at the moment.  But the news definitely made me think about heart wrenching trades that actually impacted me on a personal level.

After rereading that last sentence, I realize how weird that sounds.

Be that as it may... it's sad but true.  Each of the following trades I'm about to list actually generated an emotional response... some stronger than others.

Honorable Mention #1:  Eddie Jones traded to the Charlotte Hornets

1998-99 Topps Autographs #AG6

Once upon a time... I loved basketball.  And in between Byron and Kobe... there was Eddie.

Honorable Mention #2:  Brett Favre traded to the New York Jets

The only reason this one isn't ranked higher on the list is because I had mixed emotions about this trade.  Half of me was frustrated with the trade... while the other half was frustrated with Favre's wishy-washiness.

#5:  Ichiro Suzuki traded to the New York Yankees

2012 Archives Relics #I

Anytime my favorite non-Athletic/non-Padre gets traded to the New York Yankees... there's going to be an emotional response.

#4:  Eric Dickerson traded to the Indianapolis Colts

2013 Five Star Signatures #FSSED

Believe it or not, I actually liked the Los Angeles Rams for a few years.  My cousin Keith was a huge Rams and Seahawks fan and I looked up to him, so it seemed like a logical choice.  However when they traded away Dickerson, I was devastated and never looked back.

#3:  Kurt Suzuki traded to the Washington Nationals

2007 SP Authentic #125

Okay... here's where the real pain begins to set in.  Up until Kurt... all of my favorite baseball players were HOF bound.  But I liked him because he was from Hawaii, is Japanese American, and because he played for my favorite team.

Why isn't he higher on the list?  Well... it's pretty simple.  He played for the A's... and they aren't known for holding onto their players for too long.  At the time of the trade Kurt had already been there for five and a half seasons, so it wasn't too surprising.

#2:  Devin Setoguchi traded to the Minnesota Wild

2007-08 The Cup #138

There aren't a lot of Japanese NHL players... so you can imagine how excited I was to hear the Sharks drafted Seto back in 2005.  And when he finally made it to the NHL, he scored two goals in his first regular season game.  It didn't take long for him to become my favorite Shark.  He had four solid seasons in San Jose, but his numbers have slowly dropped off since he was traded.  I still cheer for him whenever he's not facing off against his former teammates.

#1:  Rickey Henderson traded to the New York Yankees

1980 Topps #482

This trade is far and away the most painful.  At the time of the trade, Rickey was my clear cut favorite player.  I'm pretty sure that part of my dislike for the New York Yankees stems from this trade.  Anyways... the good news is I quickly found a new favorite player: Tony Gwynn.  And since then he's never left the #1 spot.

Thankfully, Rickey made his way back to Oakland three more times and when he was inducted into Cooperstown, he chose to wear an A's hat on his plaque.

Well there's my Top 5 Most Painful Trades.  What about you?

Have you ever been devastated by the news of a trade?  If so, which one?

I look forward to reading your responses.  Happy Saturday and sayonara!


  1. There were a couple for me. I was actually relieved with the Favre trade because of his Hamlet routine each year. I had at least mixed emotions when James Lofton was traded, and I was truly upset both with Gorman Thomas was traded in 1983 and when Paul Molitor left as a free agent in 1993.

    Obviously I was more upset with Thomas because I was younger and more easily emotional about trades. But losing Molitor was definitely the sign to me that the Brewers had given up.

  2. Bill Guerin for Jason Arnott. Guerin was my favourite player by far at the time. He would go on to have a couple 40 goal seasons which was good for him and I still cheered him on. Just wish they were done with the Devils.

    I love the Henderson rookie, so iconic.

  3. Wait, doesn't the same "A's don't hold onto their players logic" apply to Rickey, or was he a special exception? Very cool list, although I thought the Ichiro trade was rather great ;).

    The Francisco Cervelli trade is probably at the top of my devastating trades list but it's damage on my emotionally was rather small. Now if Luis Torrens ever gets moved, that will be when I need to go on suicide watch.

  4. Sometimes it's time for certain players to move on, so I could understand when Atlanta traded Dale Murphy to Philadelphia in August of 1990. He was past his prime, had fought injuries, etc. but it was still painful to see my favorite player since childhood traded.

  5. Three jump immediately to mind. Nomar to the Cubs. Gonzalez/Crawford/Beckett to the Dodgers. Manny to the Dodgers. They all hit me like a ton of bricks, and still hate them all to this day.

  6. I have five that I remember well
    1) Sox trade Reggie Smith to Cardinals
    2) two separate trades to the Angels one with Fred Lynn the other with Rick Burleson.
    3) Bill Lee to the Expos for Stan Papi

  7. Baltimore Colts traded to Indianapolis for..... nothing.

  8. The Rickey trade was really tough on me as well. I wasn't a huge A's fan but living in Nor Cal meant I would have fewer opportunities to see him play live.

    From a Giants perspective trading Matt Williams was tough at the time but the pain numbed when Jeff Kent started to produce. One that got worse as time progressed was trading Franciso Liriano and Joe Nathan for AJ Pierzynski. Ouch.

  9. Mine was when my Yankees got A-Rod. I wasn't a fan of his to begin with and seeing Soriano go who I did like was a big blow.

  10. Perhaps it's because I'm a Mets fan, most of the transactions that had an impact on me can be better described as "left me bitter" than "devastated"... In fact, I will touch upon one of those transactions in a post this week (ooh, coming attractions!).

    ....But I will speak on behalf of Mrs. Shlabotnik. She's been an Orioles fan for over 30 years, and has had two favorite players: Cal Ripken and Brian Roberts. Cal obviously didn't go anywhere, but Brian and the Orioles parted ways after the 2013 season, and while Mrs. S only claimed to be disappointed, I could tell that without Brian there she didn't enjoy the 2014 season anywhere near as much as she normally would have.

  11. Piazza and Carlos Santana leaving LA

  12. Reggie Jackson traded to the Orioles.