Part 4 of a 7 Part Series
No. 4—January 27, 1982
The Steal—The Phillies traded SS Larry Bowa and 2B Ryne Sandberg to the Chicago Cubs for SS Ivan DeJesus.
After contentious contract negotiations, the Phillies decided to swap five-time All-Star and Gold Glove shortstop Larry Bowa for Cubs shortstop Ivan DeJesus. The slick fielding Bowa was coming off a .283 season, while DeJesus checked in below the Mendoza line at .194. He was also one of the worst fielders in the league having committed 24 errors in just 106 games.
The deal begged to ask the question, "What were the Phillies thinking?" How could they trade their defensive anchor and spark plug for a light hitting, poor fielding shortstop?
Oh, yeah, and by the way, the Phillies threw in rookie Ryne Sandberg. Yes, the same Ryne Sandberg who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005.
Over the next 15 seasons, the second baseman hit 282 home runs, drove in 1,061 runs, batted .285 and stole 344 bases. For his efforts, Sandberg collected nine Gold Glove, seven Silver Slugger, and one MVP awards.
DeJesus graced the Phillies with three lackluster poor offensive, shabby defensive years before moving on. Meanwhile, Philadelphia fans will forever wonder what their hometown team could have done with Sandberg in their line up.