Atlanta trades Donnie Elliott, Melvin Nieves, and Vincent Moore to San Diego for Fred McGriff
As the 1993 season grew older, the Braves, two division titles into their fourteen consecutive, found themselves nine games back from the thriving San Fransisco Giants, according to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman.
Schuerholz knew the team needed a big-time bat and decided to turn to San Diego. The team was in a fierce sell mode, following an order from ownership to cut payroll, according to MLB.com’s AJ Cassvell. San Diego rid themselves of Gary Sheffield and Tony Fernandez earlier that summer and the Braves knew they could capitalize.
On July 18th, the Braves made the deal, while managing to hold onto their most revered prospects at the time, such as Hall of Famer, Chipper Jones. According to Bowman, Moore never advanced past the Double-A level. Elliott spent the rest of his career in the minors following 31 appearances for San Diego in 1993, and Nieves thrived for two seasons before falling into obscurity.
McGriff, however, wasted no time upon arriving in Fulton County, homering in his debut with the team. He hit his way to a .310/.612/1.004 slash line with 19 HR, 55 RBI, and a 3.2 WAR to finish the campaign.
Legend speaks of the infamous press box fire, which was set ablaze shortly before the eventual Hall of Famer arrived in Atlanta.
The story goes that Ted Turner said he “hoped this is an omen that the Braves get hot,” according to Tim Tucker of the AJC, and he was right. The Braves went on to post a 52-18 record following the blazing of the broadcast booth, according to Bowman, eventually earning their third consecutive division title.
Crime Dog went on to spend five years in Atlanta, playing an integral part in the road to the 1995 World Series. He finished his career with 493 HR, 1,550 RBI. He also had a career slash line of .284/.509/.886 with three Silver Slugger awards and five All-Star appearances.
Simply put, the Braves won this trade; big time.
While we’re on the topic of impactful trades that led to a Postseason journey, it’s prudent that we mention a rag-tag group of everyday guys who turned themselves into Atlanta legends.