The New York Mets made a mid-season trade acquiring four Cincinnati Reds players in exchange for future Hall of Fame pitcher, Tom Seaver.
On 6.15.1977 the New York Mets traded mound standout Tom Seaver to the Cincinnati Reds for young second baseman Doug Flynn, pitcher Pat Zachry, outfielder Steve Henderson and minor league outfielder Dan Norman
Here's the skinny of the trade:
In June of 1977 the New York Mets were mired in last place in the then 6 teams in 2 divisions National League, and the Cincinnati Reds were battling the LA Dodgers guided by manager Tommy Lasorda for the NL West flag. Columnist Red Smith echoed the feelings of most New Yorkers when he wrote: “Tom Seaver has been one of the finest pitchers in the game. . . . He is his own man, thoughtful, perceptive, and unafraid to speak his mind. Because of this, (club President) M. Donald Grant and his sycophants put Seaver away as a troublemaker. They mistake dignity for arrogance.”
After manager Sparky Anderson led Cincinnati's Big Red Machine and won the World Series two straight years, 1975 and 1976, the Dodgers started the 1977 season with a 22-4 record and Cincinnati was desperate for starting pitching - so the trade of four highly regarded young players was made. However, even with Tom Seaver going 14-3 for Cincinnati in '77, the Reds finished the 1977 season in second place a full 10 games behing the Dodgers.
Tom Seaver was called “The Franchise” because of his value to the Mets in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He captured three Cy Young Awards, led the league in wins and ERA three times each, and struck out 3,640 batters en route to compiling a 311-205 record, .603 pct, during 20 major league seasons. Tom Seaver allowed just 3941 hits in 4782.7 innings, 656 G, 647 GS, 231 GC with 61 shutouts.
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Doug Flynn was an agressive all-around second baseman. The 5-ft 11-inch 160-pound er was a contact hitter and a great bunter and struckout just 320 times in 3853 at bats. Prior to the trade to the Mets, Doug Flynn hit .268 as a Reds' rookie in 1975 and .283 the next year. IN 1979 he led the NL in putouts, in chances and in doubles. In 1979 he won a Glove Glove. On august 5 1980 the fast running Doug Flynn hit three triples in one game, the first NL player to ever do so. Doug Flynn played in the majors until the end of the 1985 season.
Steve Henderson joined the Mets for his major league debut right after the trade, and hit a robust .297 in 350 at bats, including 16 doubles, 6 Ts, 12 Hrs, scored 67 runs with 65 RBIs, and was runner-up to Andre Dawson in the NL Rookie of the Year Award. He played with the NY Mets until after the 1980 season and was then traded to the Cubs. Steve Henderson compiled a solid career batting mark of .280 in 1,085 games.
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Pat Zachry had a resounding rookie season for the Reds in 1976, compiling a sterling 14-7 record, a .274 ERA, including 6 complete games in 24 starts, with one shutout. He was voted co-winner of the 1976 Rookie of the Year tied with rookie pitcher Butch Metzger of San Diego. Pat Zachry was one of the Mets leading starters until hec was traded to the LA Dodgers in December of 1982.
Dan Norman was a high minor league outfield prospect at the time of this trade in 1977. He bounced back-and-forth with the Mets and the minors until he took over the role of an ulitity outfielder and the team's leading right-handed pinch-hitter. Reading some blogs posted of Dan Norman after he retired from playing we see he cherishes his memories playing major league baseball and now he teaches baseball to kids in little league. Also, to this day he still signs baseball cards and other stuff to the fans of baseball.