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The List: Most lopsided trades in sport history
Page 2 staff

Jaromir Jagr was dealt last week, and the baseball trading deadline is less than two weeks away.So, Page 2 figured the time is right to explore the most lopsided trades in sports history.
Babe Ruth
Red Sox fans still haven't recovered from the Babe Ruth deal.

Check out our list of the 10 most one-sided deals, then take a look at how Page2 readers ranked the biggest rip-offs

Here are Page 2's choices:

1. Red Sox sell the Babe
The Deal: Looking for cash to finance the musical "No, No, Nanette," Red Sox owner Harry Frazee sold baseball's greatest player to the Yankees for $100,000, plus a $300,000 loan, in 1920.

The Impact: Well ... ever heard of the "Curse of the Bambino"? Babe Ruth hit 665 of his 714 career homers for the Yankees, including 54 in his first season in the Bronx. He led the Yankees to seven World Series appearances and four titles, and the greatest dynasty in the history of professional sports was born.

The Red Sox, who won their fifth World Series behind Ruth in 1918, haven't won another crown since the deal. "No, No, Nanette" ended up being a hit, but the good folks of Boston are still paying for it.

2. Colts trade Elway to Broncos
John Elway
John Elway wrote his legend in Denver, not Baltimore.
The Deal: When No. 1 pick John Elway refused to play in Baltimore, the Colts traded the draft rights to the Stanford quarterback to Denver in exchange for quarterback Mark Hermann, the rights to offensive tackle Chris Hinton and a first-round pick in the 1984 draft, which ended up being guard Ron Solt.

The Impact: Elway became a legend in Denver, where he won more games (148) than any quarterback in NFL history and led the Broncos to five Super Bowl appearances, winning two. He finished his 16-year career ranked second in passing yardage (51,475), third in TD passes (300) and first in fourth-quarter comebacks (47).

Hinton played the first seven of his 13 NFL seasons with the Colts. He was selected to seven Pro Bowls and chosen All-Pro five times. Hermann, a journeyman quarterback who threw 36 interceptions and just 16 TD passes in his 11-year career, played just five games for the Colts in the first of his two stints with the team. Solt played in the NFL for nine seasons, including the first five with the Colts.

3. Nets send Doc to 76ers
The Deal: Embattled Nets owner Roy Boe sold Dr. J to Philadelphia for $3 million on Oct. 20, 1976. After completing the deal, Sixers owner F. Eugene Dixon, who also gave Erving a $3 million raise, called Doc "the Babe Ruth of basketball."

The Impact: Erving took the Sixers to the NBA Finals four times and won a championship in 1983. An 11-time NBA All-Star, Erving was the NBA's MVP in 1981 and one of the most exciting players the game has ever seen.

Nets season-ticket holders sued the team for a refund and ended up getting their money back. Still struggling financially, the Nets were forced to move from Long Island to New Jersey after the 1976-77 season.

4. Celtics get the Chief and first-round pick (McHale)
Robert Parish
Robert Parish came to the Celtics in a 1980 trade, and Boston's "Big Three" was born.
The Deal: On June 9, 1980, the Celtics acquired two-thirds of their Big Three in one deal. In a blockbuster trade with Golden State, Boston received center Robert Parish and the No. 3 pick in the 1980 draft, which they used to select forward Kevin McHale. In return, the Warriors received the No. 1 pick in the draft, which they used to take center Joe Barry Carroll, and the No. 13 choice, which they used on guard Rickey Brown.

The impact: Parish and McHale teamed with Larry Bird to form one of the best frontlines in NBA history. Both were named to the list of the NBA's 50 Greatest Players, and Boston won three championships and reached five NBA Finals during their careers in Beantown.

Carroll played 6½ seasons with the Warriors and averaged more than 20 points in four of those seasons, including a career-high 24.1 in 1982-83. However, Golden State reached the playoffs only once with Carroll in the middle. Brown played just five NBA seasons and never averaged more than six points per game.

5. Pedro goes from L.A. to Montreal
The Deal: After going 10-5 as a Dodgers rookie in 1993, Pedro Martinez was traded to Montreal in a straight-up deal for second baseman Delino DeShields.

Pedro Martinez
Pedro Martinez could have been a lifelong Dodger.
The Impact: Martinez went 55-33 in four seasons in Montreal and won his first Cy Young Award in 1997, when he went 17-8 with a microscopic ERA of 1.90. After that season, Montreal dealt Pedro to Boston in exchange for minor-league pitchers Carl Pavano and Tony Armas Jr. (In case, you're wondering why that deal isn't on our list, it's because the cash-strapped Expos would have lost Martinez to free agency. The Dodgers certainly could have afforded to keep him). Since then, Pedro has won two more Cy Youngs and made his case to be included on the list of the best pitchers of all-time.

As for Deshields, he played just three seasons in L.A. and never hit better than .256.

6. Ryan Express steams into California
The Deal: Dec. 10, 1971, ranks as a day that will live in infamy for Mets fans. That's the day the Amazins dealt Nolan Ryan, along with pitcher Don Rose, outfielder Leroy Stanton and catcher Francisco Estrada to California in exchange for shortstop Jim Fregosi.

The Impact: Ryan, who was just 24 at the time of the trade, went on to pitch 22 more seasons and post 296 of his 324 career wins after the deal. He struck out more batters than any pitcher in major-league history (5,714) and threw a record seven no-hitters.

Fregosi, whom the Mets had hoped would solve their third-base problems, was hampered by injuries and batted just .233 in 146 games for New York. He was sold to Texas midway through the '73 season.

7. Reds deal away "aging" Frank Robinson
The Deal: Saying that Frank Robinson was "an old 30," Reds GM Bill DeWitt traded the Hall of Fame outfielder to Baltimore in exchange for pitchers Milt Pappas and Jack Baldschun and outfielder Dick Simpson on Dec. 9, 1965.

The Impact: In his first season with the O's, Robinson won the Triple Crown and was named MVP of the ALCS and World Series as Baltimore claimed its first championship. In his six seasons with the Orioles, Robinson led the team to four World Series.

Julius Erving
The Doctor started operating in Philadelphia after the Nets sold him away in 1976.
Pappas pitched for the Reds for just 2½ seasons, going 30-29. Baldschun had a 1-5 record in his two seasons in Cincinnati. Simpson also played just two seasons with the Reds, hitting .238 in '66 and .259 in '67.

8. Herschel deal builds Dallas dynasty
The Deal: In a deal that involved a whopping six players and 12 draft picks, the Cowboys laid the groundwork for their Super Bowl teams of the 1990s by trading running back Herschel Walker to Minnesota on Oct. 12, 1989. In exchange for Walker, Dallas received five players, six conditional draft choices and a 1992 first-round pick

The Impact: Two of those draft choices turned out to be running back Emmitt Smith and safety Darren Woodson, key players who helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in four seasons.

Jimmy Johnson used all those extra draft choices to wheel and deal through the 1990s -- the picks eventually involved 15 teams and 55 players as they were combined with other choices and traded around the NFL. One such deal helped the 'Boys land the No. 1 pick in the 1991 draft, which they used on defensive tackle Russell Maryland.

Walker played just 2½ years in Minnesota and never had a 1,000-yard season for the Vikes. Minnesota felt the running back was the missing piece to its Super Bowl puzzle, but the team never won a playoff game with Walker, and the loss of the draft picks seriously hurt a team that consistently contended.

9. Bulls beam up Scottie
The Deal: On draft night 1987, the Chicago Bulls found a second banana for Michael Jordan when they acquired Scottie Pippen in a deal with Seattle. The Sonics traded Pippen, the fifth pick in the draft, to Chicago in exchange for the eighth pick, center Olden Polynice, a second-round pick and the option to switch first-round picks in 1989.

The Impact: Playing alongside Jordan, Pippen helped the Bulls to six championships and was named one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA history.

Polynice has played for five teams in his 13-season NBA career, including two stints with Seattle.

10. Portland no Promised Land for Moses
The Deal: After taking Moses Malone in the ABA dispersal draft, the Blazers traded his rights to the Buffalo Braves in exchange for a 1978 first-round draft pick on Oct. 18, 1976.

The Impact: How bad was this deal? Well, consider that just six days after the trade, the Braves dealt Malone to Houston and received two first-round picks in return -- double what Portland had netted.

But both teams were stupid to give up on big Mo. In his Hall of Fame career, Malone averaged 20.6 points and 12.2 rebounds per game. He played six seasons in Houston, where he won two MVP awards and carried the Rockets to the 1981 Finals. He won another MVP in Philadelphia, where he won his only title in 1983.

Honorable mentions
  • Canucks trade Cam Neely to Bruins with a No. 1 pick (Glen Wesley) for center Barry Pederson in 1986.

  • Cubs trade Lou Brock, Jack Spring and Paul Toth to Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, Bobby Shantz and Doug Clemens in 1964.

  • Mets trade Tom Seaver to Reds for Doug Flynn, Steve Henderson, Dan Norman, and Pat Zachry.

  • St. Louis Hawks trade Bill Russell to Boston for Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan in 1956.

  • Orioles trade Curt Schilling, Steve Finley and Pete Harnisch to Astros for Glenn Davis in 1991.

  • White Sox trade Sammy Sosa to Cubs for George Bell in 1992.

  • Colts trade Marshall Faulk to Rams for second- and fifth-round picks in 1999 draft.

  • Phillies trade Ryne Sandberg and Larry Bowa to Cubs for Ivan DeJesus in 1982.

  • Warriors trade Wilt Chamberlain to 76ers for Paul Neumann, Connie Dierking, Lee Shaffer and cash in 1965.

  • Bucks trade Kareem Abdul-Jabbar to Lakers for Elmore Smith, Junior Bridgeman, Brian Winters and Dave Meyers.

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