Former Los Angeles Dodgers' General Manager Fred Claire was much maligned for his player personnel moves.
And with good reason.
Claire was responsible for signing outfielder Darryl Strawberry, a monumental free agent bust, to a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract back in 1991.
He is also the genius who traded 22-year old right-hander Pedro Martinez, a future three-time Cy Young Award winner, to the Montreal Expos for Delino DeShields, an injury-prone second baseman, prior to the 1994 season.
However, Claire's worst move as the Dodger GM is probably one that he chose not to make.
During the winter of 1989, the Pittsburgh Pirates were shopping a talented, but under-achieving 24-year old outfielder by the name of Barry Bonds.
Yep, Bonds was on the market!
In return, the Pirates reportedly were seeking Dodger third baseman Jeffrey Robert Hamilton and a pitcher, either Tim Belcher or John Wetteland.
But, Claire was not willing to pull the trigger on this deal.
Now, don't get me wrong, Belcher and Wetteland turned out to have solid pitching careers. But, they were clearly expendable. They would be peddled to the Cincinnati Reds a couple of years later.
He didn't have a particularly noteworthy career.
A native of Flint, Michigan, Hamilton was born on March 19, 1964. He was originally chosen by Los Angeles in the 29th round of the 1982 amateur draft. He played in the big leagues for a total of six seasons, all with the Dodgers. His best year was 1989, when he batted .245 with 12 home runs and 56 RBI.
In fact, Hamilton will likely be remembered for what he did on the mound rather than for what he did manning the hot corner or at the plate.
On June 3, 1989, Hamilton pitched in a 22-inning game against the Houston Astros, and took the loss. He thus became the first position player to get a decision in a major league game since Rocky Colavito on August 25, 1968.
Yet, Claire somehow concluded that Pittsburgh was asking for too much.
Boy, was he wrong!
And, incredibily, Claire is never criticized for failing to make this trade.