In the July 26 trade between the White Sox and the Dodgers, Chicago CM. Ken Williams thought he had dealt pitcher James Baldwin for 23-year-old Class A pitcher Jonathan Berry, among others. But because of a miscommunication between the teams' front offices, Williams had actually accepted 32-year-old Triple A outfielder Jeff Barry. Williams, who said the Sox would honor the deal, can at least take solace in knowing he's not the only exec to get the wrong man (and we're not talking Sam Bowie over Michael Jordan).
?In the 1977 baseball free-agent draft, the Giants thought they were using their eighth-round pick on infielder Bill Stein, who had hit .259 with 13 homers for the Mariners the year before. However, when a Giants staffer called the player's agent after the draft, he learned that the Bill Stein they'd drafted was a minor league pitcher. That Stein went on to win five games during a four-year, three-team major league career. The infielder Stein, on the other hand, lasted eight more seasons as a utility man.
?In 1982 the Buccaneers were eyeing Bethune-Cookman tackle Booker Reese in the first round of the NFL draft, but before they had made their final decision, an equipment manager who was Tampa Bay's rep at the draft handed in a card with the name of Penn State guard Sean Farrell. Still wanting Reese, the Bucs quickly traded their first choice in '83 to move up and get their man in the second round. Farrell started 59 games for the Bucs over the next five years; Reese started seven and produced one sack in two seasons before being traded for a 12th-round pick.
?In baseball's 1998 amateur draft, the Cardinals wanted to use their 11th-round pick to select Rene Vega, a lefty who was 11-1 for New York Dominican College in the Bronx. Alas, Ohio Dominican College in Columbus had its own lefty Vega, Joel, who was 3-5. St. Louis mistakenly picked Joel, who was elated; Rene was taken by the Mets in the 31st round. Said Cardinals scouting director Ed Creech, "When I write my book, I hope I can write that [Joel] made it, and everything turned out." Sony, Ed. While Rene Vega is hardly tearing it up—he was 1-5 with a 3.64 ERA for the Double A Binghamton (N.Y.) Mets through Sunday-Joel turned down St. Louis's puny contract offer and returned to Ohio Dominican. He has yet to be heard from in pro ball.