THIS DAY IN SPORTS: One of the weirdest of the weird trades

Presented by BACON BOISE.

This Day In Sports…January 19, 1983, 40 years ago today:

One of the craziest trades in sports history, as the Seattle Breakers of the Western Hockey League trade the rights to left wing Tom Martin to the Victoria Cougars—for a used bus. Seattle’s bus had blown an engine eight days before, and Martin, a Victoria native, had refused to play for Seattle. So the Breakers got the bus, and the Cougars got $35,000 and the rights to Martin, who would forever be known around the WHL as “Bussey.”

There have been some bizarre ones over the years. For more, I went to a site called, which has a list of “The 25 Strangest Trades in Sports History.” (The hockey bus is No. 2, by the way.) Here’s another: “Lou Piniella for Randy Winn. How much is a manager really worth? If you ask the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, they’d say more than an All-Star outfielder. That is the only justification we can find behind their decision to acquire manager Lou Piniella from the Seattle Mariners while sending them Randy Winn, who was basically Tampa’s only decent player. Predictably, this trade did not work out especially well for the Rays; Piniella lasted just three years, going 200-285 and accepting a $2.2 million buyout to bring an end to his borderline-disastrous tenure.”

And another: “Bill Belichick for draft picks.  We’re pretty sure the Patriots would do this one again. When Bill Parcells stepped down as head coach of the Jets, he had already appointed defensive coordinator Bill Belichick as his successor. The only problem was that, apparently, Belichick wasn’t into it. Rather than introduce their new coach at the pre-scheduled press conference, the Jets were shocked as Belichick scribbled a typically-terse resignation letter (the entirety of which read “I resign as HC of the NYJ”) and about a month later was hired as head coach of the Patriots. Because he was still technically under contract with the Jets, though, the Patriots were forced to ‘trade’ their 2000 first round pick in exchange for the coach’s rights.”

(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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