CHICAGO - In a trade that will surely rival Frank Robinson's shipment to Baltimore in 1966 and Lou Brock's move to St. Louis in 1964, the Chicago Cubs traded future Hall of Fame outfielder Tony Campana to the Arizona Diamondbacks for two pitching prospects.
"It was a tough decision," stated Cubs GM Jed Hoyer. "We keep seeing those flashes of greatness, like that one home run that he hit...and those stolen bases, oh those stolen bases. He had heart. He tried. He cared. And that's worth something...let me see, let me look at the papers. Oh, wait, no, it's worth jack shit. Says here it's a WAR of 1.9 for his career. Which is the equivalent of a mediocre replacement player. Like, think of Koyie Hill...well, when he had four fingers instead of five. Check that, think of a three-fingered Koyie Hill...there...But, oh, what a player Tony was."
Many in the Cubs organization were shocked by the trade.
"I've seen a lot of guys strike out," said one prominent Cubs scout. "But, I've never seen a guy strike out with so much heart. By the end of last year, he couldn't hit a good major league fastball. Anything on the outer half, he'd flail at. But, when I say flail, I mean flail. He threw his bat out there with all of his might. He came so close to hitting those balls. Just imagine if he did? We'd be talking about Hall of Fame for sure. I think this is Brock all over again."
Cubs owner Tom Ricketts heard the cries of Cubs fans nationwide, and tried to cater to their anger in an official statement.
"It is true that we let go of one of the greatest Cubs of all-time today. We'll remember his speed, his bunts, his inability to hit a good fastball...and his heart. That is why we will be retiring Campana's heart on the left field flag pole just below other Cubs greats. While he doesn't have Hall of Fame credentials (yet), his heart certainly does. And so does his passion. And toughness. Some may wonder if those traits are equivalent to Ernie Banks' 512 career home runs, or Ryne Sandberg's all-time fielding percentage record at second base, or Billy Williams' 1972 campaign, or Fergie Jenkins, or Greg Maddux's 300 wins, or...well...you get it. Tony tried. He tried really hard. And because he tried, his heart is going to rest with those greats. Now, it won't be his actual heart. Obviously, Tony has to live. But, it will be a donated heart; it will be blessed by a Greek priest and littered with the cigarette butts I used to burn out on my skin while watching him bat during the second half of last season. All hail to Mr. Campana!"
Several sportswriters were contacted in regards to this article. Chicago Tough searched high and low for Hall of Fame discussion, but, for some reason, nobody wanted to talk.
Campana finished his career with the Cubs with an amazing 1 HR, 11 RBIs, .262 BA, .306 OBP, and .300 SLG.