Final Thoughts on David Green
I saw David Green play in Busch Stadium early in the 1982 season when he was still starting in center field. I must say, he looked like an professional athlete. At that time he looked like a can’t miss player and I could see why Herzog and the Cardinals wanted him included in the Simmons trade.
I can also see why the Giants were willing to give up 30-year-old unhappy Jack Clark for a 25-year-old five-tool David Green, who was still in his prime. Perhaps they thought that they could get more out of him than the Cardinals did. It was an understandable conclusion.
The irony of the David Green story with the Cardinals is their center fielder of the 80s did not come from the blockbuster trade of Dec. 1980. No, it came from an almost unheard of trade on Oct. 21, 1981, when the Cardinals dealt left-handed pitcher Bob Sykes to the New York Yankees for Wille McGee.
This trade was done as an afterthought for both teams. The Yankees had no place for McGee in their organization, and the Cardinals made trade just for organizational depth in the outfield.
In the end, David Green was not the most memorable member of the 1980s Cardinals. Nevertheless, he was part of trade which sent a Cardinal legend to another franchise, an injury which opened the door for another Cardinal legend, and a trade which helped propel the Cardinals to two NL Pennants.
His impact was significant.
God speed, David Green.