Wednesday, October 12, 2005

October 12th, 1989

Joe Foy Dies

Every team has a notorious bad trade, that one really awful deal. The Red Sox' was selling Babe Ruth, the Expos' was trading Randy Johnson and for the Mets it was dealing Nolan Ryan. However, while every team has one notorious bad trade, all teams have moves which are perhaps not quite as bad, but still pretty awful. For the Mets, Joe Foy was the player they acquired in what might still be the second worst trade in franchise history, when he was traded for Amos Otis.

Otis had not impressed the Mets in his two seasons with the team, hitting just .177 in around one hundred fifty at-bats over the 1967 and 1969 seasons, and although Otis was just twenty-three, the Mets decided to send him to the Royals for Joe Foy. Foy was an average hitting infielder who had his best years at the beginning of his career with
Boston in the mid-60s but had never slugged .400 outside of Fenway Park.

Suffice to say, the trade was an almost instant disaster for the Mets. Foy took over the hot corner from Wayne Garrett and while he hit better than Garrett had, the Mets as a whole slumped from the "Miracle Mets" one hundred wins and a World Series victory to just eighty-three and third place. Otis meanwhile had a great year for the Royals in
Kansas City, making the All-Star team, while stealing thirty-three bases (against just two CS) and leading the league in doubles. Otis was even better in 1971, making the All-Star team again, winning a Gold Glove, hitting .301 (sixth in the league) and finishing eighth in the MVP vote. Meanwhile, by 1971 Foy was gone from the Mets, who lost him to the Washington Senators in the Rule V draft 1970-71 off season. And Foy was out of baseball by 1973 when Otis finished third in the MVP vote behind Reggie Jackson and Jim Palmer.

Otis was to continue to have a pretty good career for the Royals; by the time he retired (after one aborted season with the Pirates, the rest of his career was a Royal) Otis had won three Gold Gloves, gone to the All-Star game five times, stolen more than twenty-five bases five times and helped the Royals reach the playoffs five times, including one trip to the World Series. Foy meanwhile, had been out of baseball for more than a decade by the time Otis' career had ended.

It might not have been giving up Nolan Ryan, but as second worse trades in franchise history go, Amos Otis for Joe Foy is a pretty bad one.

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