THIS DAY IN SPORTS: A baseball trade that pays off big-time

Presented by POOL SCOUTS.

This Day In Sports…July 26, 2000:

The Arizona Diamondbacks formulate one of the most awesome one-two pitching tandems in big league history when they obtain Curt Schilling from the Philadelphia Phillies and add him to Randy Johnson in their rotation. It would pay off for the third-year expansion D-Backs when they won the 2001 World Series in seven games over the New York Yankees, with Schilling and Johnson sharing Most Valuable Player honors.

Schilling was already 33 at the time of the trade but, as it turned out, he was entering the prime of his career. He pitched for the Diamondbacks for four seasons and would go 58-28 and lead the National League in 2003 with a 2.40 ERA. Only Johnson, who went 70-26 during the same stretch, kept him from winning a couple of Cy Young Awards.

The 2001 World Series was a riveting one, coming as it did less than two months after America was rocked by 9/11. The Series had been delayed to November for the first time because of the pause in the regular season following the attack on the World Trade Center. The script dictated that the team from New York City would win the championship, especially with the Yankees coming off three straight titles. But Schilling and Johnson rewrote the narrative. The Diamondbacks won the Series in Game 7 when Luis Gonzalez hit a bases-loaded, walk-off bloop single. The Fall Classic hasn’t been won in a seventh-game walk-off since.

After the 2003 season, Schilling was traded to Boston and became a centerpiece of two World Series championships for the Red Sox, including the 2004 title that ended the 86-year-old Curse of the Bambino. Schilling was the Cy Young runnerup again that season. He was also legendary for the “bloody sock game” in the 2004 ALCS, throwing seven impressive innings in Game 6 with blood showing through his sock after a procedure to treat an ankle injury. Had Schilling not turned in that performance, Boston’s dream of rebounding from a three games-to-none deficit to the Yankees would have been squashed.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment during the football season on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra. He also anchors four sports segments each weekday on 95.3 FM KTIK and one on News/Talk KBOI. His Scott Slant column runs every Wednesday.)


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