1984 Winter Meetings: Superstationary

This article was written by Ross E. Davies

This article was published in the


Baseball's Business: The Winter Meetings: 1958-2016The 1984 Winter Meetings in Houston, Texas, took place in the midst of important leadership transitions for both major-league baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association. Baseball had a new commissioner — Peter Ueberroth, an outsider best known for founding First Travel Corporation and for his role in the highly praised and financially successful 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. He succeeded Bowie Kuhn, whose contract was not renewed after 14 years. The union did not have a new executive director. The players had misfired with their selection of Kenneth Moffett to succeed Marvin Miller,1 and so Donald Fehr, a baseball insider best known for his long and effective service as counsel to the union, was filling the role on an “acting” basis. (In December 1985, Fehr was elected to fill the position permanently.)2

Thus, a casual observer might well have assumed that late 1984, the owners had their house in order while the players were in disarray. The reality was less dramatic, yet more interesting. First of all, owners and players alike were heavily concerned every December with achieving success in the short term, which meant putting together teams that could win games in the coming season. Second, baseball remained both a business and a game, and big changes tended to come slowly and only after much talking and agonizing and maneuvering. Third, no matter what else might be happening in baseball, traditions would be honored. All three of those points had always been present at the winter meetings, and 1984 would be no different. Fourth and finally, while labor-management negotiations loomed — the current collective-bargaining agreement was due to expire on December 31 — they would have to wait a few more days.3

The Players — Drafting and Dealing

Opening day of the meetings featured the Rule 5 draft. On Monday, December 3, a total of 13 major-league players who’d been left off their teams’ 40-man rosters were drafted by other teams.4 The Mets, who would at the end of the meetings be the big winners in the Gary Carter trade (more about that later), began the meetings as, apparently, the big losers in the draft, with four of their players selected by other teams.5 But with the benefit of hindsight, it was actually the Toronto Blue Jays and San Diego Padres who gave up players who would turn out to have long and productive careers:

 

Rule 5 Draft, 1984

player

from

to

Brian Giles

New York Mets

Milwaukee Brewers

Doug Gwosdz

San Diego Padres

San Francisco Giants

Bill Landrum

Cincinnati Reds

Chicago White Sox

Manuel Lee

Houston Astros

Toronto Blue Jays

Willie Lozado

Milwaukee Brewers

St. Louis Cardinals

Mike Morgan

Toronto Blue Jays

Seattle Mariners

Ed Olwine

New York Mets

Philadelphia Phillies

Junior Ortiz

New York Mets

Pittsburgh Pirates

Mark Salas

St. Louis Cardinals

Minnesota Twins

Lou Thornton

New York Mets

Toronto Blue Jays

Mike Trujillo

San Francisco Giants

Boston Red Sox

Jim Weaver

Minnesota Twins

Detroit Tigers

Mitch Williams

San Diego Padres

Texas Rangers

The minor-league phase of the draft took place the next day. The Mets did some restocking, making five of the 15 picks:

 

Class AAA

(teams identified by major-league affiliation)

player

From

to

Omar Bencomo

Boston Red Sox

Toronto Blue Jays

Kevin Burrell

Boston Red Sox

New York Mets

Matt Cimo

San Francisco Giants

Baltimore Orioles

Geoffrey Doggett

Chicago Cubs

New York Mets

Mark Gillaspie

San Diego Padres

Chicago Cubs

Kenneth Jones

Cincinnati Reds

Seattle Mariners

David Nix

Chicago White Sox

New York Mets

Rafael Pimentel

St. Louis Cardinals

Milwaukee Brewers

Jeff Reynolds

Toronto Blue Jays

Montreal Expos

Mark Williams

Montreal Expos

Chicago White Sox

Class AA

(teams identified by major-league affiliation)

player

From

to

Douglas Barba

Cincinnati Reds

New York Mets

David Haberle

Cincinnati Reds

Pittsburgh Pirates

Angel Morris

Pittsburgh Pirates

Kansas City Royals

Jose Pruneda

California Angels

Chicago White Sox

Scott Thompson

San Diego Padres

New York Mets

Also on December 4, the Montreal Expos purchased first baseman John Daugherty from the independent Pioneer League’s Helena (Montana) Gold Sox (which would in 1985 become a rookie-league affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers).

Trades

The 1984 meetings were low on trade volume, but some of those trades proved to be immediately important and historically significant. Sixteen trades had been completed in 1983 and there would be 12 in 1985, but in 1984 there were just 10 or 11.

Why the uncertainty about the number? Because by 1984 it was not necessarily easy to define what qualified as business conducted at the winter meetings. Put another way, did the meetings really begin with the first official proceedings on Monday morning and end with the last official business on Friday afternoon? Or could there be action before or after those moments that might also qualify as part of the winter meetings?

One of those important 1984 trades nicely illustrates the puzzle. The deal in question sent future Hall of Fame catcher Gary Carter from the Montreal Expos to the New York Mets for infielder Hubie Brooks, catcher Mike Fitzgerald, outfielder Herm Winningham, and minor-league right-handed pitcher Floyd Youmans.

The winter meetings themselves officially began on Monday, December 3, and ended on Friday, December 7, with no word of the transaction sending Carter to the Mets. That’s because the pieces were not all in place until Sunday, December 9, and the trade was not made public until December 10 (the date experts commonly use when talking about the deal).7 Wrote the New York Times on Tuesday, December 11:

“The trade was worked out unexpectedly last Friday at the winter baseball meetings in Houston, but was wrapped in absolute secrecy by both clubs. Carter [who had the seniority and service to veto a trade] reportedly gave his assent to the Expos on Sunday, and then Cashen flew to Florida yesterday with Al Harazin, vice president of the Mets. … An announcement was planned in both Montreal and New York for today. But when the clubs began to receive inquiries late yesterday, they promptly scheduled a joint announcement for 9:30 last night.”8

So, an important transaction began to take shape on the last day of the winter meetings, was finalized over the weekend after the winter meetings, and was announced and recorded for posterity on Monday. And yet ever since, it has been treated as a Winter Meetings deal. Nowadays, Carter-to-Mets frequently appears on lists with titles like “The biggest Winter Meetings trades of all time”9 and “5 most lopsided trades in Winter Meetings history.”10 Similarly, albeit less importantly, business before the Winter Meetings officially opened was treated the same way. The Hartford Courant, for example, reported that, “The first deal of the Winter Meetings was made Sunday [December 2]: The Cubs made a conditional purchase of Jamie Nelson, a 25-year-old minor-league catcher, from Milwaukee.”11

Another one of the really big trades of the 1984 Winter Meetings —  future Hall of Fame outfielder Rickey Henderson (and right-handed pitcher Bert Bradley and cash) going from the Oakland Athletics to the New York Yankees for right-handed pitchers Jay Howell and Jose Rijo, outfielder Stan Javier, and two minor-league hurlers, lefty Tim Birtsas and righty Eric Plunk — illustrates the converse of the same puzzle. The Henderson-to-Yankees deal is commonly treated as having been done on Tuesday, December 5, solidly within the official Winter Meetings week.12 Yet in a December 8 article, the Associated Press reported that as the Winter Meetings ended on December 7, “the New York Yankees still were negotiating with Oakland A’s outfielder Rickey Henderson and his agent, Richie Bry, on a contract that could consummate a seven-player deal between the two clubs.”13 Indeed, one Sporting News story excluded the Henderson-to-Yankees deal from the tally of Winter Meetings trades (finding there were only nine) precisely because it “took place after the journalists went home” when “the 1984 meeting droned to a close at 5 p.m. on Pearl Harbor Day” (Friday, December 7).14

The lesson of these stories may be that the duration of the Winter Meetings had become much like the strike zone: Both the drawing of the boundaries and the identification of what falls within them are at least partly matters of judgment and perspective.

It was a squishiness that was quite reasonable and understandable. By the 1980s (if not earlier), the business of baseball was not a simple, seasonal business for anyone involved. It was so complex, multifaceted, and year-round — a never-ending process of planning and dealing and marketing and managing, as well as training, practicing, and playing — that few things ever got started and finished quickly. As Jeff Barto recounts in his chapter on the 1985 Winter Meetings in this volume (quoting Angels general manager Mike Port), “There’s too many complexities involved with today’s contracts. It became impossible to take care of all the details in a limited time.”15 In such a world, the moment when a deal is really done will rarely be obvious and incontrovertible.

Despite all this complexity and lengthiness and uncertainty, things did still happen at the Winter Meetings, even if many did not definitely begin or end there. Teams drafted and traded and bought and sold players, players reached agreement on terms with teams, and so on.

In addition to the Carter and Henderson deals, a few other trades qualified, at least in retrospect, as major transactions.

The Chicago White Sox traded right-handed pitcher LaMarr Hoyt and two minor-league righties, Kevin Kristan and Todd Simmons, to the San Diego Padres for left-hander Tim Lollar and right-hander Bill Long, utility player Luis Salazar, and minor-league infielder Ozzie Guillen. In 1983, Hoyt had won 24 games and the American League Cy Young Award, but his 1984 season was, to put it gently, a great disappointment. The Padres were gambling that Hoyt would rebound, and he did in 1985, but then his career came to a sad and speedy end after a series of drug-possession arrests and related problems in 1986 and 1987. The White Sox ended up enjoying both short-term and long-term benefits from the deal, because Guillen turned out to be a great player. He was American League Rookie of the Year in 1985 and, later in his 13-year career with the White Sox, an All-Star and a Gold Glover.

The Detroit Tigers traded third baseman Howard Johnson to the Mets (where Johnson would play for nine years and earn multiple All-Star berths and Silver Slugger awards) for right-handed pitcher Walt Terrell (who would deliver four years of solid pitching for the Tigers).

And while Don Sutton was nearing the end of a long and distinguished pitching career, he wasn’t done yet. The Milwaukee Brewers traded the right-hander to the Oakland Athletics for pitcher Ray Burris and two minor league pitchers, left-hander Eric Barry and right-hander Ed Myers.16 Sutton went on to deliver three solid years for the A’s and the Angels, and eventually entered the Hall of Fame (though as a Dodger). In contrast, Burris, who had pitched well for the A’s in 1984, was not as effective in Milwaukee as the Brewers had hoped, and he retired after the 1987 season.17

Right-hander Bill Caudill had had an All-Star season in 1984, saving 36 games for Oakland. It would prove to be his only year on the East Bay, as the A’s shipped him to Toronto in exchange for speedy outfielder-first baseman Dave Collins, infielder Alfredo Griffin (the 1979 American League Rookie of the Year), and cash.

And the Yankees and Pirates began discussing a deal that finally came to fruition a few days before Christmas. Dale Berra, son of the legendary Yogi, would seem to be a perfect fit for the Yankees, so they made it happen by sending infielder Tim Foli, outfielder Steve Kemp, and cash to Pittsburgh. In exchange, the Yankees received outfielder Jay Buhner, left-hander Alfonso Pulido, and Berra, whose time in New York proved to be considerably shorter and less memorable than his father’s.18

There were five other trades as well:

Right-handers Porfi Altamirano and Rich Bordi, outfielder Henry Cotto, and catcher Ron Hassey went from the Chicago Cubs to the Yankees for outfielder Brian Dayett and southpaw Ray Fontenot.

Right-hander Brian Fisher, once a highly rated prospect, was sent by the Atlanta Braves to the Yankees for catcher Rick Cerone.

Infielder Vance Law, son of Cy Young Award winner Vern Law, was moved by the Chicago White Sox to the Montreal Expos for right-handed pitcher Bob James.

In a separate deal, the White Sox sent right-hander Bert Roberge to the Expos for infielder Bryan Little.

Catcher Ray Smith moved from the Minnesota Twins to the San Diego Padres in exchange for right-hander Floyd Chiffer.

And then, of course, there were the trades — or at least rumors of trades — that got away, including close calls for deals between the Texas Rangers and Pittsburgh Pirates (involving outfielder Larry Parrish and second baseman Johnny Ray);19 the San Francisco Giants and the Detroit Tigers (involving Giants southpaw reliever Gary Lavelle);20 and the Philadelphia Phillies and the St. Louis Cardinals (involving catcher Mike LaValliere and pitcher Jeff Lahti).21

Free Agency

As Jeff Barto makes clear in his chapter on the 1985 Winter Meetings, the 1984 meetings were the last (for a while) in which free agency functioned at all before the owners sought to shut it down. Even 1984’s temporary last hurrah was pretty quiet. (It must be said, however, that shortly after the 1984 meetings, some additional and fairly important free-agent moves were struck, such as outfielder Fred Lynn’s December 11 signing with the Baltimore Orioles22 and pitcher Rick Sutcliffe’s December 14 re-signing with the Chicago Cubs.23)

Five players changed teams via free agency at the 1984 Winter Meetings, but just one of those moves — Bruce Sutter’s — was a big deal. With the Cubs and then the St. Louis Cardinals, Sutter had accumulated six All-Star selections, the 1979 National League Cy Young Award, and, in 1984, a share of the major-league saves record. (He had also led the National League in saves from 1979 to 1982.) The Atlanta Braves signed him to what was at the time a huge contract, worth an estimated $44 million spread over 36 years.24 But plagued by injuries, Sutter’s performance begin to decline almost as soon as he arrived in Atlanta. After three disappointing seasons playing for the Braves and a fourth entirely lost to injury, Sutter retired. His years in Atlanta, however, did not affect his overall standing with Hall of Fame voters, and he was inducted into Cooperstown in 2006.

Of the other four deals, only one was productive: The Baltimore Orioles signed outfielder-infielder Lee Lacy (formerly of the Pittsburgh Pirates), who played for the Orioles for the last three years of his long (1972-1987) career; these were the only three he played in the American League. Designated hitter Cliff Johnson (formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays) signed with the Texas Rangers, but he was back with the Blue Jays (via trade) by the end of August 1985. His major-league career ended when he was released by Toronto after the 1986 season. Outfielder Al Woods, who had been released by the Blue Jays in September 1984, signed with the Minnesota Twins. Other than a pair of brief call-ups in 1986, he spent the rest of his career in the minors and retired after the 1986 season. Catcher Marv Foley (who had been released by the Texas Rangers at the end of the 1984 season), signed with Detroit Tigers, but he never made it back to the majors, playing in the minor-league systems of the Tigers and White Sox before retiring after the 1986 season.

There were also two free agent re-signings at the Winter Meetings. The headliner in this category was the Cleveland Indians’ re-signing of Andre Thornton, their All-Star and Silver Slugger designated hitter. He played three more seasons in Cleveland, and retired in 1987.25 Left-handed pitcher Steve Trout re-signed with the Chicago Cubs and stayed with the team for 1985, 1986, and part of 1987, after which he was traded to the New York Yankees and then to the Seattle Mariners, where his playing career came to a close with his release in June 1989.

The League — Television, Teams, and Rules

In another stretching of the Winter Meetings beyond the Monday-to-Friday zone of official proceedings, new Commissioner Ueberroth met with members of the news media on November 29, the Thursday before the meetings, to present “a ‘virtual outline’ of his intended speech on December 3 at the Houston conclave.”26 Ueberroth’s main message was indeed the same one he would emphasize just a few days later — indeed, as The Sporting News reported, “Everything he said in his first State of the Game address [at the Winter Meetings] needed to be said and was well said. But everything he said had been said several days before during a media briefing in New York.”27

Ueberroth’s remarks on the 29th and the 3rd included early public indications of an outlook on the business of baseball that would soon find the commissioner leading the owners into a divisive and expensive exercise in unlawful collusion against the players: “The No. 1 problem of baseball is the owners’ inability to work together, their inability to be partners and solve problems. …”28

Of more immediate and concrete interest to most observers in December 1984, however, were two other recurring themes: television and expansion.

Television

Technology — from railroads and radios early on, then to airplanes and television, and on to satellites and cable — has always contributed to the growth and wealth of major-league baseball. But there have always been growing pains, too. When it comes to change, some owners leap more quickly, manage more wisely, and profit more richly than others. Then some of the others complain about the injustice of it all. And eventually, all of them cash in.

In 1984, that pattern was playing out again with the rise of television superstations. The shortest, simplest version of the story is that Ted Turner, owner of the Atlanta Braves, also owned a local television station, WTBS, that carried Braves games. In addition, the station was a pioneer in the use of satellite technology to transmit its local programming to cable networks in distant places, enabling viewers all over the country to watch those local broadcasts without relying on the traditional big networks —  ABC, CBS, and NBC. TV stations like Turner’s, with a local base and global reach, were soon known, quite appropriately, as superstations. Owners of major-league baseball franchises in Chicago and New York had developed similar setups.

For the rest of the major-league owners, this spelled trouble, for two reasons. First, the owners of the Atlanta, Chicago, and New York team-superstation combos were now making money by transmitting games into the local TV markets traditionally dominated by the other 23 major-league baseball teams based in those markets, and the owners of those 23 teams wanted a slice of that pie. Second, in 1983, the major leagues had signed five-year broadcast-rights contracts with ABC and NBC that would bring in a total of more than $1 billion for the owners.29 The superstations were (or at least were perceived to be) cutting into the networks’ viewership, and that meant that when the time came to negotiate with the networks again, more billions might not be forthcoming.

And there was Ueberroth, saying, with respect to the first and more immediate concern:

“(The television superstations) are telecasting into the territories of other major-league teams and it is blatantly unfair.”30

With respect to the second concern, during his November 29 “pre-meetings” meeting, he had stated: 

“I’ve spoken with network officials and they have told me not to bother to come calling when the current contract expires unless there is a modification of the saturation problem created by the superstations.”31

At the Winter Meetings, the owners, like Ueberroth, focused on the first concern, and left the second alone for the time being.32 By a vote of 25 to 1, they resolved to find what Ueberroth called a “business solution” to the conflicts between the teams that had superstations and the teams that did not. “We said,” Ueberroth explained, “Here are the two courses. Pool the money and split it up equally, or else cut back the number of games on the air.”33 In the short term, not much would happen. There would be no quick “business solution.” A little bit of superstation money did make its way into the pockets of the other owners, but there was no pool and there were no cutbacks. In the long term, the technology cycle would repeat itself yet again. Today, cable is a revenue mainstay for every major-league team.34 But in 1984, that future was not clear.

Teams

Concerns about declining attendance at ballgames dovetailed with concerns about the rise of the superstations. Were fans in towns with struggling major- or minor-league teams staying home to watch Atlanta Braves games on Ted Turner’s superstation instead of taking themselves out to the ballpark to root for the home team? Commissioner Ueberroth said yes; superstation owner Turner said no. No one found an answer at the Winter Meetings, or at least no formal action was taken by the owners there.35

The same held true for issues of team ownership. There was a good deal of talk about franchises old and new. According to Ueberroth, seven existing teams were up for sale — presumably Cincinnati, Cleveland, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Seattle, and Texas.36 No sales were made, although:

“In one of the nice little ironies of Houston, while Ueberroth was telling his audience that seven franchises might be for sale, seven groups of well-financed investors were in the hotel, lobbying diligently to acquire franchises. Incredible.”37

Those investors were, however, mostly there to talk about expansion teams. Eight cities sent delegations to the Winter Meetings: Buffalo, Denver, Indianapolis, Miami, St. Petersburg, Tampa, Vancouver, and Washington.38 Ueberroth and other major-league officials met with the aspirants, but his comments on the topic were noncommittal:

“Expansion is a front-burner item which will be looked at seriously as soon as our labor situation is settled. … I’m not going to put baseball on a deadline. Expansion is an owners’ decision. But I’d have no objection to have it happen quickly.”39

It would, in fact, be seven years before the owners approved any expansion, awarding teams to Denver and Miami in 1991, with the Rockies and Marlins playing their first official games in 1993. In contrast, Marge Schott bought a controlling interest in one of the for-sale franchises, the Cincinnati Reds, just a few days after the 1984 Winter Meetings ended,40 and several more would be sold later in the 1980s.41

Rules

Nothing happened to the rules of the game in 1984. But in a sign that they understood their dealings with television were urgent, the owners did adjust the rules governing themselves. They voted 25 to 1 to make decisions on all issues relating to television by a simple majority vote, rather than the usual super-majority (three-quarters) vote in each league.42

The Traditions — Honors and Awards

Following longstanding tradition, the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues honored the winner of its annual “King of Baseball” award for dedication and service to minor-league baseball. Donald Davidson, a long-serving and much-liked and respected official, first with the Braves organization in Boston, Milwaukee, and Atlanta, and then with the Houston Astros, received the 1984 award.

And, launching a new tradition, the first Scout of the Year Award was also presented at the National Association’s luncheon, with Howie Haak of the Pittsburgh Pirates deservedly receiving the award.43 Starting in 1985, it would become a plural award, with East Coast, Midwest, and West Coast honorees.44

Other honors bestowed during the Winter Meetings included two by The Sporting News — Player of the Year (second baseman Ryne Sandberg of the Chicago Cubs)45 and Minor League Player of the Year (first baseman Alan Knicely of the Wichita Aeros of the American Association)46 — and the Robert O. Fishel Award for Excellence in Public Relations (Red Patterson of the California Angels), which will live forever in the annals of public relations for this line from his acceptance: “Thank you, Mickey Mantle.”47

And, finally, a last word: In a move that may resonate with modern followers of player-safety issues, Gene Coleman, director of conditioning for the Houston Astros, chaired a symposium for team physicians on the subject of batting helmets and reducing head injuries suffered by players.48

 

Notes

1 As tends to be the case with messy breakups, opposing camps had opposing views. Some in the union felt that Moffett had been an insufficiently engaged and vigorous advocate for players, while Moffett felt that he had been forced out because of his stance on drug abuse by players. Thomas Boswell, “Moffett Links His Firing With Drugs in Baseball,” Washington Post, February 22, 1984: D1, D6; Lee Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 2010), 252-253.

2 Marvin Miller, A Whole Different Ball Game (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1991; 2004 edition), Chapter 16.

3 Stan Isle, “MacPhail Predicts Agreement Between Players, Management,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 43.

4 1984 Rule 5 Draft, baseball-reference.com/bullpen/1984_Rule_V_Draft.

5 “Mets Lose Quartet in Draft,” Binghamton (New York) Press and Sun-Bulletin, December 3, 1984: C1.

6 “Mets Stock Up in Minor Draft,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 44.

7 See, for example, 1985 MLB Transactions, baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1985-transactions.shtml.

8 Joseph Durso, “Mets Get Expo’s Carter for Brooks and 3 Others,” New York Times, December 11, 1984: B15.

9 AJ Cassavell, “The Biggest Winter Meetings Trades of All Time,” m.mlb.com/news/article/158887650/the-best-winter-meetings-trades-of-all-time/.

10 Bryan Mcwilliam, “5 Most Lopsided Trades in Winter Meetings History,” thescore.com/news/906624.

11 Claire Smith, “Yanks, Red Sox Reportedly Talk Pitchers Trade,” Hartford Courant, December 3, 1984: C3.

12 See, for example, 1985 MLB Transactions, baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1985-transactions.shtml.

13 John Nelson, Associated Press, “Braves Sign Sutter as Meetings Close,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 8, 1984: C1; (“A flurry of million-dollar signings and multi-player trades wrapped up baseball’s 1984 winter meetings Friday. ….”).

14 Dave Nightingale, “GMs Enjoy Quiet Week in Houston,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 43.

15 Tom Pedulla, “Hot Stove League Sees Trade Talks Put on the Backburner,” Battle Creek (Michigan) Enquirer, December 9, 1985: C1.

16 Myers became part of the deal in March 1985 in the role of “a player to be named later.”

17 “Burris an Instant Brewers Starter,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 48.

18 Peter Gammons, “Yanks-A’s Swap Benefits Both,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 51.

19 “Rangers Deal Collapses,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 49.

20 “Deals Needs Lavelle’s OK,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 50.

21 “Lahti Is Expected to Join Phillies,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 46.

22 “Fred Lynn Lands with Orioles,” Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, December 12, 1984: 1D.

23 Fred Mitchell, “A Happy Ending,” Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1984: section 2, page 1.

24 Associated Press, “Sutter Becomes a Brave,” New York Times, December 8, 1984: section 1, page 21.

25 “Thornton Re-Signs With Indians,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 48.

26 Dave Nightingale, “Ueberroth Sees Problem,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1984: 48.

27 Bill Conlin, “Ueberroth’s Repeat Message Falls Flat,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 45.

28 Dave Nightingale, “Ueberroth Sees Problem.”

29 James Edward Miller, The Baseball Business (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1991), 278-279; Lee Lowenfish, The Imperfect Diamond, 251-252.

30 Dave Nightingale, “The New Commish,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 42.

31 Dave Nightingale, “Ueberroth Sees Problem.”

32 Dave Nightingale, “The New Commish.”

33 Thomas Boswell, “Ueberroth on Offensive in Baseball’s TV Wars,” Washington Post, December 6, 1984: F8.

34 Jack Moore, “The Saga of Superstations and Baseball’s Historical Resistance to Technology,” Hardball Times, June 29, 2016, hardballtimes.com/the-saga-of-superstations-and-baseballs-historical-resistance-to-technology/.

35 Ibid.

36 Peter Gammons, “Ueberroth: The Onus Is on Some Owners,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1984: 54.

37 Bill Conlin, “Ueberroth’s Repeat Message Falls Flat.”

38 Dave Nightingale, The New Commish.”

39 Thomas Boswell, “Ueberroth on Offensive in Baseball’s TV Wars.”

40 Warren Corbett, “Marge Schott,” SABR Baseball Biography Project, sabr.org/bioproj/person/09e49f1e.

41 The other teams to change hands during that period were the Baltimore Orioles (purchased in 1989 by a group led by Eli Jacobs), the Cleveland Indians (purchased in 1986 by Richard E. Jacobs and David H. Jacobs), the New York Mets (purchased in 1986 by Nelson Doubleday and Fred Wilpon), the Pittsburgh Pirates (purchased in 1986 by a group that included the City of Pittsburgh and several local businesses), the Seattle Mariners (purchased in 1989 by a group led by Jeffrey Smulyan), and the Texas Rangers (purchased in 1989 by a group led by George W. Bush).

42 Thomas Boswell, “Ueberroth on Offensive in Baseball’s TV Wars.”

43 “Baseball Crowns Davidson King,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 42; milb.com/milb/history/awards.jsp?#king.

44 “History of the Scout of the Year Program,” in Jim Sandoval and Bill Nowlin, eds., Can He Play? A Look at Baseball Scouts and Their Profession (Cleveland: SABR, 2001), 165; Gary Gillette and Pete Palmer, The Emerald Guide to Baseball (Phoenix: SABR, 2011), 242.

45 Joe Goddard, “Hard Work, Improvement Bring Sandberg Top Award,” The Sporting News, December 10, 1984: 48.

46 Casey Scott, “Player of the Year,” The Sporting News, December 3, 1984: 56.

47 Dick Young, “Did Kuhn Bend to O’Malley on DH?,” The Sporting News, December 31, 1984: 9.

48 Stan Isle, “Astros Seek Safer Batting Helmet,” The Sporting News, December 17, 1984: 42.

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