My column last week about the Frank Robinson/Milt Pappas trade led some readers to ask about the Reds’ best and worst trades in franchise history.
Perhaps the best trade in Reds’ history occurred in late 1971 when Cincy dealt Lee May, Tommy Helms and Jimmy Stewart to the Astros for future Hall of Famer Joe Morgan, Ed Armbrister, Jack Billingham, Cesar Geronimo and Dennis Menke.
Another key trade in 1971 was when the Reds acquired slugger George Foster from the Giants for Frank Duffy and Vern Geishert.
Without those trades, the Big Red Machine probably wouldn’t have happened.
Other good trades for the Reds included acquiring future Hall of Famer Ernie Lombardi and Babe Herman from the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1932 for three journeyman players; pitcher Joey Jay coming to the Reds from the Braves for aging shortstop Roy McMillan in 1960 and pitcher Bob Purkey coming to the Reds from the Pirates for Don Gross in 1957.
Jay won 21 games for Cincinnati in both 1961 and 1962, and Purkey won 114 games for the Reds from 1958-64.
The Robinson/Pappas trade in 1965 was probably the worst in franchise history, but another bad one occurred after the 1958 season when the Reds traded Champaign County native Harvey Haddix, Don Hoak and Smoky Burgess to the Pirates for Frank Thomas, Whammy Douglas, Jim Pendleton and Johnny Powers.
Haddix, Hoak and Burgess were later key members of the 1960 Pirates’ world championship team.
Other big mistakes the Reds made included sending future Hall of Famer Johnny Mize back to the Cardinals in 1935 after a four-month tryout and dispatching slugger Joe Adcock to the Milwaukee Braves for cash in 1953.
There were a lot more good and bad trades, but the ones listed above stand out to me.
Trivia Time – Milt Pappas’ birth name was Miltiades Stergios Papastergios.
This week’s question – Which slugger did the Cincinnati Reds trade to the Phillies to acquire Harvey Haddix in December of 1957?