The most underrated trade in New York Mets history helped land them in the 1973 World Series.
What is the most underrated trade in New York Mets history? We know the highly rated ones. Several made the team a dominant force in 1986 and others did the same in the following decades.
There’s plenty to argue about when it comes to baseball trades. One of the most underrated trades in franchise history happened years before the deals for Gary Carter, Keith Hernandez, and Ray Knight. Decades before Mike Piazza and Yoenis Cespedes helped turn the franchise, another deal took place. It happened in November of 1972 and there’s no arguing it led directly to the team going to the 1973 World Series.
I don’t remember much about the 1973 season, mostly because I wasn’t alive yet. Judging by his long hair in old photos and undying love of the Grateful Dead, I’m not sure my father remembers much about the 1970s at all.
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Gentry wasn’t the same with the Braves. He only appeared in 113.1 innings for them over the next three seasons before his MLB career came to an end. Frisella was less effective with the Braves but continued to play after. Tragically, he died in a dune buggy accident on New Year’s Day 1977.
Millan and Stone made a great impression with the Mets immediately. In his first year with the club, Millan finished 16th in the MVP vote while busting out a then-franchise record 185 hits. He would later top this with 191 in 1975.
For several seasons, Millan provided the club with stability at second base. A tough man to strike out, Millan is appropriately one of the most underrated Mets in addition to the headliner in the most underrated trade in franchise history.
Stone’s time in New York wasn’t as impressive. By his second year, he was a fringe major leaguer. This wasn’t the case in 1973 when Stone went 12-3 with a 2.80 ERA across 20 starts and 7 relief appearances.
The 1973 season was an incredibly tight race between multiple teams battling for the NL East title and .500. Each of Stone’s dozen wins mattered. Remove him from the season and we never get the Miracle Mets of 1973.
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There’s little doubt in my mind the Mets needed Millan and Stone in 1973 to go as far as they did. It’s not a trade we discuss enough.