An anniversary came and went a few weeks ago and no one seemed to notice â€“ March 26, 1992. It was the day the Milwaukee Brewers shipped a 23-year-old Gary Sheffield to the San Diego Padres for a bag of Bones.
Twenty years ago.
I was 11 when that trade went down, an avid baseball fan. Since the Brewers played in the same division as the Chicago White Sox, I knew a lot about The Crew. As baseball card collector, I knew a lot about the great prospects of that time, of which Sheffield was clearly one.
From afar, I remember being shocked by the deal. Gary Sheffield? For who?
As I got older and read stories as to why he was dealt, I was naturally less surprised. But this recent revitalization of Brewers baseball got me thinking â€“ did that trade set the franchise back during the '90s?
Superficially, it's easy to say yes.
The Brewers went 92-70 in 1992 while Sheffield nearly won the National League Triple Crown, but after that the Brewers went 12 years before finally reaching the .500 mark in 2005. Sheffield went on to have (arguably) a Hall of Fame career.
While its clear by looking at Sheffield's career â€“ and at former Brewers ownership â€“ that he probably wouldn't have signed a long-term deal in Milwaukee even if he liked it here, it is fun to play the "what if" game.
What if a nine-time All-Star, five-time Silver Slugger with a career .292 average and 509 home runs had stayed?
It would've been a sight to see, all those baseballs flying out of County Stadium.
Maybe then the commissioner would've sunk some money into the pitching staff to compliment this ferocious lineup?
In the pre-wildcard era, it's impossible to predict if Sheffield's presence would've resulted in a bunch of winning seasons, but it definitely didn't help that one of that of the best right-handed hitters of the last 20 years was traded away for Ricky Bones, Jose Valentin, Matt Mieske and a killer mustache.
Jim...you should have done more research...Gary Sheffield was a cancer...as a rookie, he criticized the pitching staff for not protecting him...he ripped management for not respecting him...he was upset tht the club moved him from shortstop to third base...the year before he was traded, he accused Harry Dalton for ruining the team,he criticized manager Tom Trebelhorn and owner Bud Selig for forcing him to play hurt. The last straw was when he came to camp in 1992 demanding to be traded. Manager Phil Garner did not want him on the team. That's why he was traded. Many teams did not want him. Sal Bando got what he could get from the Padres. As good as Sheffield was when he wanted to play (yes many called him a selfish player), he caused similar problems with the Padres, Marlins, Yankees and Tigers. Is he Hall of Fame material? Perhaps. But it'll take him a long time to get in...if he ever does get in.
Nah, I'd say it's Sal Bando referring to Paul Molior as "just a DH" and letting him walk after the 92 season as the main culprit.
4 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Jim Owczarski
Published Jan. 26, 2015
Coming out of high school Keifer Sykes would look at the recruiting rankings -- and have to scroll down a ways before seeing his name. While he was buried in what turned out to be one of the greatest classes to ever come out of the state of Illinois, Sykes used it as motivation at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Now, four years later, he's one of the state's best college players.
Published Jan. 23, 2015
In just his second full season as a major league starter, Wily Peralta turned in one of the best seasons by a young starter in Milwaukee Brewers history in 2014. Now, the 25-year-old is looking to take another step in becoming the franchise's ace of the future.
Published Jan. 22, 2015
There are fewer busier people in the local sports scene than Mike Zimmerman, the owner of MKE Sports & Entertainment, which operates not only the Milwaukee Wave, but three baseball teams and The Rock Sports Complex in Franklin. OnMilwaukee.com managed to pin him down for a Q&A about what he's involved with (and what he's not), from baseball to soccer and how he tries to balance it all (or, how he doesn't).
Published Jan. 21, 2015
Milwaukee Bucks second-year forward Giannis Antetokounmpo likes to throw down, and the fans love it -- so the "Greek Freak" will participate in the NBA Dunk Contest during the All-Star break on Feb. 14.
Published Jan. 21, 2015
OnMilwaukee.com takes a first look at Downtown Milwaukee's newest nightlife addition -- The Pub Club, located at 1103 N. Old World 3rd St.
Published Jan. 20, 2015
The Green Bay Packers had a 12-point lead with four minutes left on Sunday against a Seattle offense that, to that point, had not scored a touchdown and turned the ball over four times. After the punt, Russell Wilson and his minuscule quarterback rating had 3:52 to work try and score twice. So what happened?
Published Jan. 18, 2015
The Green Bay Packers looked like they were headed to Super Bowl XLIX by dominating the Seattle Seahawks for nearly all of the NFC Championship game Sunday in Seattle. Then, it all unraveled in just 44 seconds.
Published Jan. 16, 2015
We've seen this act before. Twice before, actually. And both times the Green Bay Packers returned from a trip to Seattle as losers. This time, much more is at stake with a a berth in Super Bowl XLIX on the line and the Packers believe they're ready to author a different conclusion.
Published Jan. 15, 2015
The chorus in the Green Bay Packers locker room after a divisional playoff victory over Dallas last week was that they are a better team than the one the Seattle Seahawks trounced in week one. That is true. But the Seahawks are different, too, and still better.
Published Jan. 14, 2015
The Milwaukee Bucks have been in London, England since the start of the week representing the NBA, along with the New York Knicks. The Bucks are the "home" team and are in the middle of the Eastern Conference playoff mix, but they wanted to make sure to take advantage of the experience of being overseas.