Cincinnati Reds: Three most foolish trades in team history

CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 14: A close up view of a hat and baseball glove in the dugout with the New Era logo before a game between the Cincinnati Reds and the Chicago Cubs. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** /
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Cincinnati Reds
ANAHEIM,CA – CIRCA 1986: Joe Torre California Angels broadcaster interviews Curt Flood (Photo by Owen C. Shaw/Getty Images) /

3. Curt Flood (1957)

Curt Flood was a seven-time Gold Glove winner, a three-time All-Star and a two-time World Series champion. But, did you know that Curt Flood once played for the Cincinnati Reds? The Texas native, who would play 15 seasons in the majors, played with the Reds from 1956-1957 before being dealt to arch-rival St. Louis.

Flood signed with the Reds in 1956 and made a grand total of four plate appearances in eight games while hitting just .250 in a Cincinnati uniform. With up-and-coming centerfielder Vada Pinson on his way to the bigs, Flood was deemed expendable and traded to the Cardinals.

Flood was more a defensive presence in the St. Louis outfield during the early part of his career. His offense offered just a .250 batting average from 1958-1960 and his on-base percentage hovered around .300. By today’s standards, he’d be Billy Hamilton.

But something clicked in 1961, the year in which Johnny Keane took over a skipper for the Cardinals. Flood hit .322 with 15 doubles. The St. Louis centerfielder hit .296 the following season and racked up 12 homers. Flood earned his first All-Star appearance in 1964, a year in which he led the league in hits (211).

Curt Flood went on to become one of the greatest outfielders in St. Louis history. He finished his career winning seven consecutive Gold Gloves and a career batting average of .293. Flood’s on the field efforts are probably not as well known as what he did off the field. After challenging the reserve clause, Flood paved the way for widespread free agency throughout baseball.