In 1988, Jane’s Addiction claimed that Nothing’s Shocking but I disagree. Baseball still has a way of bewildering us. Throughout New York Mets history, there have been plenty of surprising transactions.
Rather than rank them—because how do you really rate your surprise—I thought instead I’d take you through history and share a few details on what I believe are the five most shocking Mets transactions.
If you’re new to this, clean the floor. Your jaw may drop to it.
NY Mets trade their franchise star Tom Seaver on June 15, 1977
I wasn’t around in 1977 to see the gas shortages, the end of Elvis Pressley, or the Midnight Massacre. The name given to the day when the Mets tore their franchise apart, it was headlined by the Tom Seaver trade to the Cincinnati Reds.
On June 15, 1977, MLB’s trade deadline was the opportunity for the Mets to say sayonara to winning and having to pay their players. Seaver had regularly been in disputes with ownership over his pay. With baseball evolving during this decade with free agency and other parts, the Mets felt it was time to move on.
It’s hard to really compare trading Seaver to anything else. Even dealing Jacob deGrom wouldn’t measure up. Seaver was the first true star the franchise ever had. It’s why they nicknamed him “The Franchise.” He remains the best player to ever represent the team, too.
Outside of landing a star player back of equal ability, the move was cursed from the start. Still held in the lowest of regards all of these years later, it was the most shocking negative transaction the franchise was ever involved in.
Rumor has it if you listen closely late at night every June 15, you can still hear Mets fans wailing with grief.