The 5 Dumbest Moves in Franchise History

Al Zarilla

SoSH Member
Dec 8, 2005
San Andreas Fault
IMO Buckner being "hobbled" had nothing do do with the error. He was there, the ball went through his legs.
The ball hugged the ground and he couldn't bend over enough to get it. However, I wouldn't put this one on the list. Before Mookie Wilson hit the grounder to Buckner, the score was already tied, Sox were on the road and they probably lose anyway.

Blizzard of 1978

Sep 12, 2022
New Hampshire
Selling Ruth has to be number one. Not signing Willie Mays might be number two. What are the other two?
Willie Mays is a big one and the curse might have been broken sooner. Mays in center with Ted Williams in left the early part of Mays career and Mays in center with Yaz in left the later part of Mays career. Imagine Willie Mays on the 1967 Red Sox?


SoSH Member
Mar 23, 2007
Bradford, MA and section 15
Going way back... giving away Earl Wilson to the Tigers --- they did get an over-the-hill Don Demeter in return.

In 1966, the Sox didn't have the attention of a large fan base, but it was worse than the Bill Lee-for-Stan Papi "trade".


SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
Sending Sparky Lyle to the Yankees for Danny Cater was, uh, not a moment of glory.
After Ruth, that's always my first reaction to this question, until I remember Bagwell.
The George Scott/Cecil Cooper trade always bothered me.
Me too. Still.
He finally spoke about it years later when he took a look at the replay. He was wearing a very old, soft glove, and when the ball hit it the glove was so unstiff that it gave way and didn’t stop the ball at all. And upon replay he’s right, you can see the glove bend back as the ball hits it.

Buckner was done dirty.
A) Why the fuck would anyone watch a replay of that? And B), it never happened. At least, *I* refuse to believe that it ever happened. So replays of that are to me as moonlanding vids are to Jurassic Carl.


SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
The award should be named after the Ruth trade for obvious reasons.

Trading all of the “Buffalo Head” for trash was total horseshit and was the leading indicator that Haywood Sullivan was going to be a terrible co-owner and GM. Instead of telling Zimmer to go away, the team trades 3 serviceable (or better) pitchers and a helpful bench piece for literally nothing. Fergie Jenkins starting games instead of Bobby Sprowl means the Sox handily win the division despite a furious charge by the Yankees.

Hated the Cecil Cooper for George Scott trade at the time and still do.

Mailing Fisk’s contract a day late was inexcusable.

Grady’s boner was more egregious than McNamara’s, but I can see the other side of that argument as well.

Betts trade is the worst move of this ownership group


Mar 25, 2015
Thought I had posted this earlier (but maybe bungled trying to do it on my phone), but I'd add (at least as a dishonorable mention): failing to offer Ellis Burks a contract after 1992. (not to mention leaving him exposed in the expansion draft, but I guess that's on the Rockies and Marlins for not picking him/picking Jody Reed instead). But I guess they needed to make sure they had enough in the budget to lock up a washed up 38 year old Andre Dawson for twice as much.


SoSH Member
Aug 3, 2010
As for 5 moves:

- selling Ruth
- the above mentioned Robinson tryout fiasco
- The Kapstein triplets/not offering Fisk a contract in time
- Earl Wilson and the Winter Haven Elks club incident
- the Mookie trade

Honorable mention to Tony C night and trading away Reggie Smith.
Wasn't it Harper and the Elks? Or were there more than one incident involving the Red Sox and that place? Which, of course, makes the Harper situation more embarrassing than I thought it was.

E5 Yaz

Transcends message boarding
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Apr 25, 2002
Wasn't it Harper and the Elks? Or were there more than one incident involving the Red Sox and that place? Which, of course, makes the Harper situation more embarrassing than I thought it was.
Wilson's story is mentioned upthread. It eventually led to his being traded when power/management was upset he made it public