It isn't that difficult to understand what the Cubs were thinking on November 21, 1972.
They were coming off four consecutive seasons where the pitching faltered at the end of the year. Cubs management believed that a better bullpen would save their starters, and in turn, preserve their chances to compete into September.
Meanwhile, they had a speedster named Billy North just promoted from their minor league system and nowhere to play him. With Billy Williams entrenched in left field, Jose Cardenal in right, and former #1 draft choice Rick Monday in centerfield, the Cubs thought they could afford to give up their talented young centerfielder Billy North.
So they traded another potential superstar speedster. Unlike Lou Brock, who would torment the Cubs for a full decade, Billy North was traded somewhere he couldn't hurt them: Oakland.
The only problem with this scenario, of course, is what they got in return. The Cubs traded one of their rare home-grown position players to the A’s for Bob Locker, a washed up relief pitcher.
North became the leadoff hitter for the World Series champs, igniting one of the best lineups in baseball history. Locker was traded a year and a half later for Horacio Pina. Remember him?
We don't either.