SABR

Andy Messersmith

Andy Messersmith

On December 23, 1975, arbitrator Peter Seitz ruled that major league players could become free agents after playing one year for their team without a contract, effectively wiping out baseball's reserve clause. Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Andy Messersmith became the game's first free agent when he signed a three-year deal with the Atlanta Braves. (NATIONAL BASEBALL HALL OF FAME LIBRARY)

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