Deal of the Century

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Anaheim Angels have traded with each other only once: in 1972, when the Halos shipped Andy Messersmith and Ken McMullen up Interstate 5 for Frank Robinson, Bill Singer, Mike Strahler, Billy Grabarkewitz and Bobby Valentine. The trade did little to improve each team: the Angels finished 1973 with a 79-83 record, while the Boys in Blue placed second behind the Cincinnati Reds in the National League West Division.

But in 1973, a deacon at St. Barbara's in Santa Ana tongued a boy, setting into motion one of the best swaps in trading history. The following year, officials with the Los Angeles Archdiocese elevated the deacon, Theodore Llanos, into the priesthood and placed him in an LA parish. Llanos went on to become the most notorious pedo-priest in Los Angeles County history, violating at least 21 children in various county parishes until he was placed on the disabled list (a.k.a. put on inactive leave) while at St. Lucy's in Long Beach in 1991.

But LA archdiocesan officials returned the favor to OC parishioners. Shortly after Llanos left Santa Ana in 1974, then-LA Cardinal Timothy Manning moved Eleuterio Ramos from Resurrection Church in Los Angeles to St. Joseph's in Placentia. In a 16-year career that ended in the Mexican Winter League (a.k.a. Tijuana) in 1994, Ramos became king of Orange County pedophiles, admitting to more than 25 victims.

The Llanos-Ramos transaction is reminiscent of the 1999 Marshall Faulk-Edgerrin James deal between the St. Louis Rams and Indianapolis Colts, in which both teams exchanged young stars and saw each prosper—if by “prosper,” you mean chewing up a lot of yardage as NFL running backs for Faulk and James and chewing up a lot of kiddie trousers as Roman Catholic priests for Llanos and Ramos.

Indeed, in the annals of the reallyunsporting life, this was the rare trade in which both sides benefited equally, and as the following stats box shows, both priests deserve a hallowed corner of the NAMBLA Hall of Fame. To download a .pdf file on Llamos and Ramos click here.


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