The Mets, who were about to emerge from a long rebuild and contend for seven straight years, acquired Keith Hernandez from the St. Louis Cardinals on today's date in 1983.
In exchange, the Mets sent relievers Neil Allen and Rick Ownbey to St. Louis.
''It's not often that you get the chance to acquire someone with the talent of Keith Hernandez,'' Mets GM Frank Cashen said after swinging the trade. ''His addition should improve our club in two areas, the starting lineup and the bench.''
Hernandez, who was 29 years old when the trade went down, was set for free agency after the season and initially hesitant about signing with the Mets long-term. But once he saw what was about to come from their farm system -- including Dwight Gooden -- Hernandez was swayed.
The Mets signed Hernandez to a five-year deal worth $8.4 million after the season, and the rest is history.