On July 29, 1988, the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox made a trade as the Red Sox were on their way to winning the AL East division. Veteran RHP MIke Boddicker, a one time 20 game winner and dominant rookie on the 1983 World Series Champion Orioles, was dealt to the Red Sox in exchange for OF Brady Anderson and RHP Curt Schilling. While Anderson would embark on a successful 14 year career as an Orioles OF, it was Schilling who would prosper into a Hall of Fame type career with his success with the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. The irony is the fact that the team that Schilling finished his career with by winning his final two World Series Championships was the same Boston franchise that traded him away in 1988.
Schilling was sent from the Orioles to the Astros with Pete Harnisch and Steve Finley for 1B Glenn Davis prior to the 1991 season. A year later, he was dealt from the Astros to the Phillies for RHP Jason Grimsley. The start of Schilling's run was his conversion into a starting pitcher in 1992, which led to him being the 1993 NLCS MVP. The 216 game winner is a three time World Series Champion with a career 11-2, 2.23 with 4 complete games in his postseason career.
A year later, on July 29, 1989, the Chicago White Sox and Texas Rangers, division rivals, agreed to a deal which sent power hitting DH Harold Baines to the Rangers. Baines had himself a very good career but is a little short of being HOF worthy. The Rangers sent OF Sammy Sosa, infielder Scott Fletcher and LHP Wilson Alvarez to the White Sox. Infielder Fred Manrique joined Baines by going from Chicago to Texas. The White Sox were playing out the string and the Rangers, managed by Bobby Valentine, were making a push for the AL West division. The Rangers would fall short, with a record of 83-79, a tough 16 games out of first place.
Sosa would have a couple of underwhelming seasons with the White Sox before he was dealt across town to the Chicago Cubs just prior to the start of the 1992 season. George Bell went from the Cubs to the White Sox while LHP Ken Patterson joined Sosa by going to the White Sox. Sosa's career would consist of 609 career HRs, of course amid accusations of performance enhancing drug use. Based on the numbers, Sosa is Hall of Fame worthy.
On July 29, 1996, the Cleveland Indians and New York Mets made a deal that was intended to help both teams. The Mets were looking to turn the corner after a couple of horrific seasons and acquired 2B Carlos Baerga from the Indians. The hope was that with Baerga's leadership, the Mets can start to build a winning team and have some better fortune. The Mets dealt 2B Jeff Kent, whom they had previously acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1992 David Cone trade, as well as infielder Jose Vizcaino to the Indians. SS Alvaro Espinosa also went to the Mets in this deal.
After the 1996 seasons, the Indians ended up acquiring All Star 3B Matt Williams from the Giants. This trade resulted in both Kent and Vizcaino going to the Giants along with RHP Joe Roa. OF Trent Hubbard joined Williams in Cleveland. It was after this trade that Kent became the top power hitting 2B in all of MLB, winning the NL MVP in 2000 and driving in over 100 runs in 6 straight seasons. Kent played in the height of the steroid era and though there was no proof he used, the Baseball Writers seem to be making an example of everybody they can. If not, Kent's 377 HRs, 1518 RBI and 2461 hits are all amazing career totals for a 2B. Certainly worthy of the Hall of Fame.
Coincidentally, Baines was moved on July 29th three different times. In addition to the trade in 1989, Baines was also purchased by the Orioles on 7/29/1997 from the White Sox and was involved in a trade on 7/29/2000 where he was sent from the Orioles back to the White Sox. This time, he went with C Charles Johnson for three minor leaguers and C Brook Fordyce. All three moves involved the Chicago White Sox, the team he played for on three different occasions.
We spend many of time talking about how players that are traded for can immediately help the acquiring franchise. The rest of the time is spent talking about how the younger players obtained in such deal help the other acquiring team in the future. However, we have failed to value such players that are traded multiple times to different teams for the simple reason that teams are impatient and want immediate results. Curt Schilling, Sammy Sosa and Jeff Kent are all examples of how patience can pay off.