Ellis Valentine for Jeff Reardon
May 29, 1981
Valentine will play just 159 games for the Mets, while Reardon will blossom into one of baseball’s best relievers. Reardon reached double figures in saves from 1982-92 while leading the league with 41 saves in 1985 with the Expos.
Reardon saved 367 games, 9th all-time as of 2016, before hanging it up after the 1994 season. Reardon was a four time All-Star and a member of 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins saving three games in the post-season.
Valentine, a gold glove right fielder was hit in the face with a pitch and was out 40 days with a fractured cheekbone during the 1980 season and was never the same player again.
Valentine hit .260 in a season plus with the Mets before being released after the 1982 season and disappearing off into baseball horizon.