Sports fans always talk about the trade that should be made, or the trade that was made. It’s just part of being a sports fan. So today I thought I would give you what I felt to be the five best trades in Houston sports history.
5. On April 6, 1975, the Houston Astros sent $35,000 to the Atlanta Braves for mediocre pitcher by the name of Joe Niekro. By the time 1980 rolled around, Niekro was the ace of an Astro pitching staff that also featured a guy named Nolan Ryan.
4. On Valentine’s Day 1995, the Houston Rockets gave their fans the ultimate gift, trading power forward Otis Thorpe to the Portland Trailblazers for Tracy Murray and a shooting guard who went by the name of Clyde Drexler. The Rockets, who were the defending NBA champs, would make the playoffs in the number six spot, then would upset the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns and San Antonio Spurs before destroying the Orlando Magic in four games to repeat as the NBA Champs.
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3. On January 11, 1991, the Houston Astros traded first baseman Glenn Davis – their one true power bat for most of the 1980s – to the Baltimore Orioles for Pete Harnisch, Steve Finley and Curt Schilling. Harnisch, Finley and Schilling would all go on to become All Stars, though Schilling would be dealt a few more times before that happened.
2. Right before the 1978 NFL Draft, the Houston Oilers traded tight end Jimmy Giles along with several draft picks, including their number one, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the rights to the Bucs' number one, which happened to be that season's number one overall. The Oilers selected Earl Campbell, and thus was born Luv Ya Blue.
1. August 30, 1990 found the Boston Red Sox desperate for relief pitching as they battled for a spot in the playoffs. They traded the Astros a minor league third baseman for Larry Andersen. Andersen helped the Red Sox get to the playoffs, but kind of bounced around the majors after that. The minor leaguer was some guy named Jeff Bagwell, who was moved to first base, became the Rookie of the Year in 1991, the NL MVP in 1994, and settled into a career as the greatest player in Astros history. – John Royal