Top Ten Trades That Changed Boston Sports (5-1)

Two-Thirds of the "Big Three" were acquired by Red Auerbacj in 1980.

Here is part deux of the Top Ten Trades That Changed Boston Sports. Numbers 10 through 6, included the likes of Cam Neely, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Curt Schilling, Espo, Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell. All of the aforementioned players had great impacts on their teams some won championships and some fell just short.

So who rounds out the Top Five?

Buckle up your chinstrap and break out your Kleenex. WARNING: Reading this entry will induce man(and woman) tears. I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I did writing it.

I love that dirty water….

5. September 9, 1980Robert Parrish Traded to Boston by the Golden State Warriors with a 1980 1st round draft pick (Kevin McHale) for a 1980 1st round draft pick (Rickey Brown) and a 1980 1st round draft pick (Joe Barry Carroll).

Two-thirds of the original Boston Celtics “Big Three” were acquired by Red Auerbach in one of the most lop-sided trades in basketball and sports history. Robert Parrish gave the Celtics some added veteran leadership and University of Minnesota prospect, Kevin McHale brought youth to the middle. Parrish, McHale, and Larry Bird became the most feared front court in the 1980’s. Larry Bird had his supporting cast in place to make a run at the NBA Championship.

They did much more than a single championship run. During their time together, the “Big Three” won the NBA title in ’81,’84, and ’86. They also made appearances in the Finals in ’85 & ’86 but succumbed to their west coast rivals, the Los Angeles Lakers. The Celtics-Lakers rivalry injected life back into a floundering league and put the NBA back on the map.

4. October 9, 1978-Los Angeles’ first round pick (Raymond Bourque) traded to Boston for Ron Grahame.

Ray Bourque was the draft pick acquired in the Ron Grahame trade.

Bourque won the Rookie of Year in 1979 and an all star. Throughout his career he posted solid numbers and was considered an elite defensemen. He also was recognized for his leadership and was named team captain in 1985 which he held until his trade to Colorado in 2000.

He won the Norris Trophy presented to best NHL defenseman five times. Bourque is third all time in plus/minus behind Larry Robinson and former Bruin, Bobby Orr. He could also score. Bourque is only the sixth defenseman in history to score 30 goals in a season (1984).

Bourque was the face of the Bruins since his rookie year. He played with grit, determination and an undying passion throughout his whole Bruins career.

3.(A) June 28, 2007Ray Allen traded to Boston by the Seattle SuperSonics with Glen Davis for Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West.

After the Celtics missed out on franchise prospects, Kevin Durant and Greg Oden in the NBA Lottery, President Danny Ainge new the future was now. His first step in his master  plan was to acquire Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics, the former UCONN product gave the Celtics a veteran perimeter threat to compliment Paul Pierce.

But Ainge was far from being done.

Danny Ainge brought KG and Ray Allen to Boston in 2007.

3.(B) July 31, 2007Kevin Garnett Traded to Boston by the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ryan Gomes, Gerald Green, Al Jefferson, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair, a 2009 1st round draft pick (Wayne Ellington), a 2009 1st round draft pick (Jonny Flynn) and cash considerations.

About a month after the acquisition of Ray Allen, Ainge pulled off another blockbuster deal. This time he orchestrated a trade with former teammate and Minnesota Timberwolves GM Kevin McHale for Kevin “Big Ticket” Garnett. Garnett was the defensive force in the middle that Boston needed. The Celtics may have given up the farm(literally) for him, but the return on investment is still paying dividends.

With the new “Big Three”, the Celtics had one of the biggest turnarounds in NBA history. The team no longer resembled the young and inexperienced team that only won 24 games during the 2006-07 season. The Boston Celtics were loaded with talent and they were built to win now.

KG(defensive player of the year), Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce(Finals MVP) had instant chemistry while winning 66 games during their first year together. They would go to win the team’s first championship since 1986. The Celtics went from laughing stock to elite almost overnight. They remain a force to be reckoned with and are a favorite to win the championship this season after falling to the Lakers in the 2010 Finals.

Nomar was the face of the franchise before being traded in 2004.

2. July 31, 2004Normar Garciaparra Traded by Boston with Matt Murton to the Chicago Cubs. The Minnesota Twins sent Doug Mientkiewicz to the Boston Red Sox. The Montreal Expos sent Orlando Cabrera to the Boston Red Sox.

Sometimes addition by subtraction is the recipe for success, but no one thought trading the face of the Red Sox franchise would indirectly result in the team’s first championship in 86 years. But that’s exactly what happened when All-Star shortstop Normar Garciaparra was traded for shortstop Orlando Cabrera and first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz. Both of these players helped stabilize the Sox defensively and quickly meshed in the clubhouse.

The Red Sox began to catch fire and finished strong to secure a wild card berth. After dispatching the Anaheim Angels with relative ease, Boston found themselves in a deep hole against their hated rivals, the New York Yankees. The same Yankees that beat the Red Sox in a painstaking seven game series in the 2003 ALCS.

The Red Sox or the “idiots” as they dubbed themselves, never quit and came back from a 3-0 series deficit. They rode their tidal wave of emotion by steamrolling the St. Louis Cardinals and winning the world title for the first time since 1918. Ironically, the recently acquired Mientkiewicz took the flip from Keith Foulke for the last out.

1. November 18, 1997Pedro Martinez Traded to Boston by the Montreal Expos for a player to be named later and Carl Pavano. The Boston Red Sox sent Tony Armas (December 18, 1997) to the Montreal Expos to complete the trade.

Pedro ignited Boston with excitement during his career with the Red Sox.

Every so often a player comes along and ignites a city with excitement. That player was Pedro Martinez and the city was Boston. When you scored Sox tickets, you always hoped Pedro was pitching because he was the attraction and you were sure to get your money’s worth. And Pedro usually delivered.

From ’98 to ’04, Pedro electrified the Fenway Faithful. K’s would be posted in the centerfield bleachers then later in the Monster seats. Pedro was always in the running for the Cy Young. He always seemed to come through in the clutch like he did in the ’99 playoffs versus Cleveland and in the World Series against the Cardinals. He made you proud to be a Red Sox fan even prior to 2004.

During a dull and uneventful span in Boston sports history, Pedro was the lone spark. He got you excited. He made you tune in on TV or buy your tickets when he pitched. If you loved sports, you loved him. He was everything an athlete should be.

A showman.

A clutch performer.

An entertainer.

Even after Pedro’s departure following the 2004 world championship, Red Sox fans always kept tabs on him and cheered him on.

He made us love sports again in Beantown

Thanks again to  Chris Price, Mike Giardi, Clair Wyant, and John Karalis for their input.

10 comments on “Top Ten Trades That Changed Boston Sports (5-1)”

  1. EASTEND EDDIE says:


  2. Scott says:

    who picked these – a 12 yr. old ?

    how is the trade to acquire the draft pick for Bill Russell not the biggest deal in not only Boston, but in the history of sports ? it only led to the greatest sports dynasty in history.

    one other small item – how do you put the Ray Ray & KG trades ahead of the Parrish & McHale deal – one led to three titles and eight years of greatness compared with one very special title and four years at an elite level ?

    like i said – must be a youngster making these rankings – youth wasted on the young.

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