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15 Most Lopsided Trades In Sports History

Kobe Bryant
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Trades are supposed to be fair, even, and mutually beneficial for all parties involved. As we all know, that is not always the case. Some franchises have begun incredibly successful dynasties as the result of trades, while others have suffered season after season of misery. Here are the 15 most lopsided trades in sports history.

15. Orioles Trade Curt Schilling to Astros

Curt Schilling
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15. Orioles Trade Curt Schilling to Astros

Curt Schilling
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In the winter of 1991, the Baltimore Orioles traded Curt Schilling, Pete Harnisch, and Steve Finley to the Houston Astros for Glenn Davis. Davis was a big power-hitting first baseman and at the time of the deal, Orioles fans were rejoicing. Schilling went on to lead three teams to World Series titles and accumulated 216 wins and over 3,000 strikeouts.

14. Colts Trade Marshall Faulk to Rams

Marshall Faulk
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14. Colts Trade Marshall Faulk to Rams

Marshall Faulk
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Oh, what could’ve been in Indianapolis! Can you imagine Marshall Faulk alongside Peyton Manning in the backfield? Instead, the Colts traded their young tailback to St. Louis in exchange for a second and fifth-round draft pick - which resulted in the selections of LB Mike Peterson and DE Brad Scioli. Faulk went on to become the catalyst for “The Greatest Show on Turf” in St. Louis.

13. Nordiques Trade Eric Lindros to Flyers

Eric Lindros
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13. Nordiques Trade Eric Lindros to Flyers

Eric Lindros
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The Quebec Nordiques shipped the seemingly permanently-concussed Eric Lindros to the Philadelphia Flyers and received Peter Forsberg, Chris Simon, Steve Duchesne, Kerry Huffman, Mike Ricci, and Jocelyn Thibault. The Nordiques shortly thereafter moved to Colorado, changed their name to the Avalanche, and won two Stanley Cups as a result of the trade.

12. Oilers Trade Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles

Wayne Gretzky
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12. Oilers Trade Wayne Gretzky to Los Angeles

Wayne Gretzky
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In August of 1988, the Edmonton Oilers traded 26-year-old Wayne Gretzky to the Los Angeles Kings as part of an eight-player trade. It barely matters who the Oilers received in return, since “The Great One” went on to dominate his sport like few other athletes ever have. The Oilers received two players and three first-round picks, none of which experienced any sustained success in Edmonton.

11. Dodgers trade Pedro Martinez to Montreal

Pedro Martinez Expos
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11. Dodgers trade Pedro Martinez to Montreal

Pedro Martinez Expos
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In exchange for young fire-baller Pedro Martinez, the Los Angeles Dodgers received second baseman Delino DeShields from the Montreal Expos. DeShields played three mediocre seasons in Los Angeles before eventually being traded to the St. Louis Cardinals. Martinez would win three Cy Young Awards and became one of the greatest pitchers of his generation.

10. Colts Trade John Elway to Broncos

John Elway Broncos
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10. Colts Trade John Elway to Broncos

John Elway Broncos
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After selecting John Elway first overall in the 1983 draft, the Baltimore Colts traded the Stanford quarterback to the Denver Broncos for Mark Herrmann, Chris Hinton, and a first-round pick. Elway refused to play for the Colts and threatened to play professional baseball instead. Baltimore was essentially forced to trade the future Hall of Famer, but what they received in return was pitiful.

9. Warriors Trade Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia

Wilt Chamberlain
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9. Warriors Trade Wilt Chamberlain to Philadelphia

Wilt Chamberlain
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Despite averaging around 50 points and 25 rebounds-per-game at times, Wilt Chamberlain never won a championship in his five-plus years with the Philadelphia/San Francisco Warriors. Dealing with financial problems, the Warriors dealt Wilt to the Philadelphia 76ers for Connie Dierking, Paul Neumann, Lee Shaffer, and cash. Wilt won two titles and four MVP awards following the trade.

8. Red Sox Trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston

Jeff Bagwell
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8. Red Sox Trade Jeff Bagwell to Houston

Jeff Bagwell
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The Boston Red Sox traded local product and prospect Jeff Bagwell to the Houston Astros. Boston received relief pitcher Larry Andersen who helped the team make the playoffs before Oakland swept the Sox in the ALCS. Andersen signed with San Diego in the offseason, while the Red Sox watched Bagwell produce a career worthy of the Hall of Fame.

7. Sonics Trade Scottie Pippen to Bulls

1996 Chicago Bulls
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7. Sonics Trade Scottie Pippen to Bulls

1996 Chicago Bulls
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In 1987, the Seattle Supersonics traded the fifth-pick in the draft, Scottie Pippen, to the Chicago Bulls in exchange for the eighth-pick, Olden Polynice, a second-round pick, and the option to switch first-round picks in 1989. Polynice was a major bust and Pippen went on to win six titles in Chicago alongside Michael Jordan.

6. Vikings Trade Draft Picks for Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker
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6. Vikings Trade Draft Picks for Herschel Walker

Herschel Walker
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The Dallas Cowboys traded the aging Herschel Walker to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for five players and seven draft choices - one a first-round pick. In Minnesota, Walker never had a 1,000 yard-season and two of the players the Cowboys selected with all those draft picks were Hall of Famers Emmitt Smith and Rod Woodson.

5. Reds Trade Frank Robinson to Orioles

Frank Robinson
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5. Reds Trade Frank Robinson to Orioles

Frank Robinson
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In exchange for starting pitcher Milt Pappas, relief pitcher Jack Baldschun, and outfielder Dick Simpson, the Cincinnati Reds sent future Hall of Famer Frank Robinson to the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson won the Triple Crown title in his first season in Baltimore with a .316 batting average, 49 home runs, and 122 RBI.

4. Warriors Trade Parish and McHale to Celtics

1992 Boston Celtics
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4. Warriors Trade Parish and McHale to Celtics

1992 Celtics
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After winning the NBA title in 1975, the Golden State Warriors hit a rut and missed the playoffs completely from 1978 to 1980. In the 1980 draft, the Warriors traded Robert Parish and the third-overall draft pick to the Celtics for the No. 1 and 13 picks. Boston selected Kevin McHale with that third selection, who along with Parish and Larry Bird, went on to create the NBA’s first “big three” in Boston.

3. Mets Trade Nolan Ryan to Angels

Nolan Ryan
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3. Mets Trade Nolan Ryan to Angels

Nolan Ryan
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Along with pitcher Don Rose, outfielder Leroy Stanton, and catcher Francisco Estrada, the New York Mets traded Nolan Ryan to the California Angels for shortstop Jim Fregosi. Fregosi played not even one full season in New York and was simply terrible, while Nolan Ryan dominated hitters for another 20-plus years.

2. Hornets Trade Kobe for Vlade Divac

Kobe Bryant
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2. Hornets Trade Kobe for Vlade Divac

Kobe Bryant
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In 1996, the Lakers acquired the draft rights to high-schooler Kobe Bryant from the Charlotte Hornets in exchange for Vlade Divac. As you know, Bryant has become one of the greatest players in league history with five championship rings to his name in Los Angeles.

1. Red Sox Sell Babe Ruth to Yankees

Babe Ruth Full Swing
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1. Red Sox Sell Babe Ruth to Yankees

Babe Ruth Full Swing
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I welcome anyone to try and disprove that Boston’s selling of Babe Ruth to the Yankees is the most lopsided trade in sports history. The reason for the Babe’s departure is debatable, but it’s clear the deal sent the two franchises in opposite directions for decades. Boston received $100,000 for Ruth and went on an 86-year World Series draught while the Yankees dominated baseball to the tune of 27 World Championships.