Alternate History: Touch 'em All ... Fred?

Friday, January 28 2005 @ 07:03 AM EST

Contributed by: Mick Doherty

Any reader of Alternate History fiction will tell you that even the smallest changed detail can result in, say, the Confederacy winning the U.S. Civil War or U.S. President John F. Kennedy's second term ending in a humiliating withdrawal from Vietnam in 1967. Whatever. In fact, we've found the following several paragraphs from the December 6, 1990 Toronto Alternate Planet and want to share it so Bauxites everywhere can fill in the blanks ... what happened in the ensuing 15 years?

Jays Back Out of Blockbuster Deal With Padres
December 5, 1990 (Reuters): Baseball's Annual Winter Meetings almost got a shot of adrenalin last night, but a rumoured deal between the Toronto Blue Jays and the San Diego Padres collapsed at the last minute.

The Padres apparently offered the Blue Jays young second baseman Roberto Alomar, 22, who hit .287 and stole 60 bases last season, and 30-year-old outfielder Joe Carter, coming off back-to-back 100-RBI seasons, to the Jays in exchange for 1989 AL home run champ Fred McGriff, 26, a first baseman, and All-Star shortstop Tony Fernandez, who at the age of 28 already has four Gold Gloves and led the AL in triples last season.

It would have been one of the biggest trades in recent memory, but before all the papers were signed, the Blue Jays decided they were unwilling to part with their cleanup hitter McGriff and fan favourite Fernandez.

Toronto manager Clarence Gaston said, "I'd love to have Robbie Alomar on my team, any time. I know his dad. But we like our young second baseman, Manny Lee -- and we have both Glenallen Hill and Mark Whiten, who will both be remembered in Toronto long after Joe Carter is gone from the game."

So, baseball fans ... in "The-Trade"-Never-Happened Alternate Reality ... what happened next?