The Mets couldn’t have believed what they were getting when they traded for Ron Darling
The Texas Rangers turned out to be the fool’s when on April 1, 1982, they struck a deal with the Mets for Lee Mazzilli. One of the better Mets players in the post-Tom Seaver era in New York, the Mets managed to flip Mazzilli for Walt Terrell and pitcher Ron Darling. They would later trade Terrell for Howard Johnson, the move I mentioned earlier that didn’t quite make this list of seven.
Darling’s trade, however, does make it.
By 1986, Darling had established himself as a key member of the club’s starting rotation. He was an All-Star in 1985 for the first and only time in his career. He would go on to win double-digit games multiple times for the Mets and become one of the best pitchers in franchise history.
The 1986 season included a regular season record of 15-6 and an ERA of 2.81. He would finish fifth in the Cy Young race and start three of the seven World Series games.
Against the Boston Red Sox in the World Series, Darling would go 1-1 with a 1.53 ERA. None of it would have been possible if not for the trade that first brought him to New York.
Years later, a whole generation knows him best for his work in the booth and not so much for his heroics in 1986.