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posted: 6/17/2014 5:18 AM

Looking back on Cubs history of bad trades

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  • Associated Press/2002 fileFor Mike North, the deal that hurt the Cubs the most was not giving up Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio 50 years ago, but rather not paying Greg Maddux to stay in Chicago and losing him to the Atlanta Braves.

      Associated Press/2002 fileFor Mike North, the deal that hurt the Cubs the most was not giving up Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio 50 years ago, but rather not paying Greg Maddux to stay in Chicago and losing him to the Atlanta Braves.

 
By Mike North
The Rebel Inside

I can't tell you for sure when I fell in love with sports, but I do remember when I first noticed the controversy it created.

It was right after the Cubs trade that sent Lou Brock to the St. Louis Cardinals for Ernie Broglio, which just marked 50 years ago Sunday.

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I know the trade is viewed as one-sided, but in 1964 it actually made some sense. I was 12 years old at the time, and I remember my uncle Joe telling my uncle Leo -- both big Chicago Cubs fans -- that the Cubs just acquired a 20-game winner.

Even my dad, who was more of a casual fan, seemed impressed.

Of course, the 24-year-old outfielder became an unbelievably great player and a Hall of Famer, surprising many and making the trade notorious in Cubs history.

Broglio developed a sore arm, which some people believed he had in his final days with the St. Louis Cardinals.

You might disagree with me, but I think an even worse thing happened to the Cubs organization, and that was the departure of all-star and perennial winner Greg Maddux in 1992.

Keep in mind that Maddux won four consecutive Cy Young awards and ended his career with a 355-227 record.

That said, the trade of Brock had monumental and long-term impact on the franchise too. Can you just imagine what the Cubs of the late 1960s and early '70s would have been with Brock in the lineup?

The Cardinals developed a storied franchise history while the Cubs continued to flounder as lovable losers.

Maybe jinxes just happen to bad management. Let's hope some lessons have been learned, but I doubt it.

Spurs may be one of the best:

The San Antonio Spurs pulled off an amazing feat. They beat the Miami Heat's LeBron James -- arguably the best player in basketball and a two-time champion -- in a decisive 4-1 NBA Finals series.

With roster changes and other issues aside, where does this 2014 NBA championship team rank with some of the greatest finals teams? Could they have matched up with the 1986 Boston Celtics or any of the Michael Jordan-led Bulls' teams?

Maybe. With Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginóbili and players such as Kawhi Leonard, their depth makes me believe they could compete. I am not saying they are the best team ever, but shouldn't they at least be in the team photo?

My top all-time NBA champions include the 1986 Celtics, the 72-win Jordan Bulls' team in 1995-96, and the Magic Johnson Lakers' teams.

Another great team that might have been able to beat the Spurs was the 1972 Lakers with Wilt Chamberlain and Jerry West.

It's always fun to debate greatest teams ever, but I know who won't make the list -- the Miami Heat!

Program notes:

Follow me on Twitter@ north2north, and listen to Fox Sports Daybreak with Andy Furman and myself from 5-8 a.m. Monday through Friday on Fox Sports radio, and check me out on iHeart radio or Foxsportsradio.com.

• Mike North's column appears each Tuesday and Friday in the Daily Herald, and his video commentary can be found Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at dailyherald.com. For more, visit northtonorth.com.

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