1985 Winter Meetings: Free-Agent Freezeout: Collusion I

This article was written by Jeff Barto

This article was published in Baseball’s Business: The Winter Meetings: 1958-2016

Baseball's Business: The Winter Meetings: 1958-2016Kirk Gibson of the Detroit Tigers and Carlton Fisk of the Chicago White Sox led baseball’s free-agent class going into the 1985 Winter Meetings.1 Kansas City Royals GM John Schuerholz was so interested in slotting Gibson into the team’s cleanup spot that he asked a team representative to host him on a hunting trip to gauge his interest in them. New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner so coveted Fisk that he discreetly proposed a contract that turned out to be the only offer to any free agent that winter.

The Yankees soon rescinded their offer to Fisk after White Sox owner Jerry Reinsdorf slapped King George’s hand for going rogue with his star catcher.2 Soon after, Kansas City also cooled on Gibson. As the Royals rep traipsed through the woods hunting birds with Kirk, he sheepishly apologized: “… [L]ook, I’m sorry for misleading you, but I did what I was told to do.” The reversal caught Gibson off guard. “They definitely were courting me and then cold-shouldered me big-time,” he said.3 

The two snubs sharply characterized the central issue of the 1985 baseball Winter Meetings, free-agent dormancy. Every player who filed for free agency that fall either re-signed with his original club or was released. Only after clubs freed players did other teams make any offers. Player agents, and the players’ union director, Donald Fehr, smelled conspiracy among the owners and general managers. Not long after the meetings, on February 3, 1986, the Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance that would later be dubbed Collusion I.4  Months before the Winter Meetings, a couple of gatherings had taken place among the owners and general managers. It was at these meetings that Commissioner Peter Ueberroth sowed the seeds that forged the first of three collusion grievances filed by Fehr.

On October 16, 1985, Lee MacPhail fired the first subtle shot of collusion. As he neared retirement as president of the owners’ Player Relations Committee, he penned a memo to his colleagues. MacPhail’s letter included his thoughts on the escalation of players’ salaries. It clearly summarized the first 10 years of player free agency that began after the demise of the reserve clause in 1976:

“We must stop daydreaming that one free agent signing will bring a pennant. Somehow we must get our operations back to the point where a normal year for the average team at least results in a break-even situation, so that clubs are not led to make rash moves in the vain hope that they might bring a pennant and a resulting change in their financial position. This requires resistance to fan and media pressure and is not easy. On the other hand, the future health and stability of our game depend on your response to these problems.”5

MacPhail went on to summarize the folly of signing players to long-term contracts. His data analysis revealed a decline by hitters and pitchers after they signed such agreements.  Furthermore, too often these players were injured and were thus not contributing, but they continued to drain the owners’ coffers.6 Specifically, after noting that general managers shelled out $40 million for injured players in 1985 and that no free agents made any major contributions to the last four World Series winners, writer Peter Gammons commented, “That isn’t collusion, it’s just a dose of realism.”7

MacPhail sent his memo to the other owners before they met on October 22, 1985, during the World Series. Gussie Busch, the Cardinals hardline owner, opened his Anheuser Busch headquarters for the meeting. Newly appointed Commissioner Ueberroth opened the meeting by addressing the owners with a tone-setting tongue-lashing:

“If I sat each one of you down in front of a red button and a black button and I said, ‘Push the red button and you’d win the World Series but lose $10 million. Push the black button and you would have a $4 million profit and you’d finish in the middle.’ You are so damned dumb. Most of you would push the red button. Look in the mirror and go out and spend big if you want, don’t go out there whining that someone made you do it. … I know and you know what’s wrong. You are smart businessmen. You all agree we have a problem. Go solve it.”8

Two weeks later, on November 6, the general managers met in Tarpon Springs, Florida. Here Ueberroth reinforced MacPhail’s caution against signing hitters for contracts longer than three years or pitchers for two years. “It’s not smart to sign long-term contracts. They force clubs to want to make similar signings,” he wrote. “Don’t be dumb. We have a five-year agreement with labor.”9 Ueberroth’s terse missive focused on “fiscal responsibility” while his implicit message suggested “collusion.”

These two meetings ignited a series of internal memos among the owners that strengthened their resolve to uphold Ueberroth’s suggestions. The owners, GMs, and the commissioner then hatched a “gentlemen’s agreement” that played out in San Diego at the Winter Meetings in December. 

Besides their unspoken agenda, the moguls approached these meetings with a packed agenda. First, Ueberroth pursued a hard line on drug testing in response to baseball’s cocaine trials, which had been held in Pittsburgh in September. The Pirates were looking to sell after several years of declining attendance and revenue. In addition, the San Francisco Giants were threatening to move rather than play another year in cold and windy Candlestick Park. Issues slated for less attention included talks on expansion and use of the designated hitter during the World Series.

But of all the issues, the free-agent class of 1985 commanded the least attention of all. Since the labor restructuring in 1976, the Winter Meetings had always served as a hub for trades and a flurry of free-agent signings. Now, after a decade of escalating salaries, the lemming-like owners followed Ueberroth’s advice to ignore other teams’ free agents. In previewing the Winter Meetings, The Sporting News foreshadowed the boycott with the headline “Free-Agent Freeze Out?”10

Eventually the MLBPA labeled the tactic as collusive. The union claimed that the owners acted in concert against signing any of the 62 players who initially filed for free agency. This inaction violated Article XVIII (H) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners. Crafted in 1976, it stated:

“The utilization or non-utilization of rights under this Article XVIII is an individual matter to be determined solely by each Player and each Club for his or its own benefit. Players shall not act in concert with other Players and Clubs shall not act in concert with other Clubs.”11

The second sentence in the clause eventually backfired on baseball’s landlords. First, the owners insisted on including the “Players” piece to prevent player collusion similar to what occurred in 1966. During that preseason, pitchers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale tag-teamed their contract negotiations against the Los Angeles Dodgers. Though they eventually negotiated separately, they still doubled their salaries.

To stop future player collusion, the owners required language about “Players” collusion in the 1976 CBA. Comforted by a rare win over the union, the owners agreed to the union’s request to include a reciprocal piece forbidding collusion on any “Club’s” part. Though the “Players” part of the clause alleviated the owner’s fears of player collusion, they only envisioned the “Clubs” piece as a bargaining chip. It never occurred to them that they might conspire among themselves.

At one point Ueberroth deceptively described his view on any owner consensus: “They aren’t capable of colluding. They couldn’t agree on what to have for breakfast.”12 But financial promiscuity bled the magnates yearly when free agency rocked their fiefdom in 1976. By 1985 they retaliated by hatching a plot to boycott long-term contracts and ignore other teams’ free agents. As the owners’ collusion clause was poised to boomerang on them, the 1985 baseball Winter Meetings set the stage on which to play out the owners’ scheme.

On Monday, December 9, the Winter Meetings began literally and appropriately in a San Diego fog. A weather system had created a haze so thick on Sunday that several officials chose to fly to Los Angeles and take a bus to Mission Valley in San Diego.13 The fog also clouded most trading activity. The meetings traditionally ended with a midnight interleague-trading deadline on Friday. The deadline often generated a burst of last-minute deals. But on August 7 baseball’s newest collective-bargaining agreement eliminated the interleague-trading deadline. Now the only nonwaiver-trading cutoff date would be July 31.14

Toronto GM Pat Gillick responded quickly to the new rule, saying, “With no deadline crisis, decisions can be postponed.15 Dodgers vice president Al Campanis echoed this view, saying, “There’s no rush. A lot of clubs may defer trading until they can see what their situation is in spring training.”16 Perhaps the planners of the convention were clairvoyant to book San Diego’s Town and Country Hotel — it lacked a lobby in which to make any deals!

Despite predictions of a trade drought, the 1985 meetings eclipsed the bustle of the previous year’s meetings, in Houston, by a small margin. When the mist cleared in Mission Valley, 12 deals had been completed, involving 31 major-league players.17  (The year before, only 10 transactions changed the caps of 25 players.18)  Though the impact of not having a trade deadline was negligible, “The trading deadline had to go,” said 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.”19

One major trade of note took place early in the meetings, on December 10. That afternoon Oakland dealt left-handed pitcher Tim Conroy and catcher Mike Heath to St. Louis for its temperamental star hurler, right-hander Joaquin Andujar. Many issues surrounding Andujar led to the trade. Though he won 21 games for the Cardinals in ’85, he won only one game after August 23. He also refused to pitch in the All-Star Game when he wasn’t guaranteed to start. Later he was linked to cocaine during testimony in the September Pittsburgh drug trials. Finally, his emotional breakdown in Game Seven of the World Series led him to charge and bump umpire Don Denkinger.  Denkinger had made an erroneous “safe” call the day before, allowing the Royals to force a Game Seven. Andujar’s boorish behavior in the final game led to his ejection and a 10-game suspension to start the 1986 season.20

The embarrassed Cardinals had seen enough. Andujar told a friend before the Winter Meetings that the Cardinals called to tell him he would never pitch for St. Louis again.21 Oakland was in need of a number-one pitcher and felt that Andujar was worth the risk of an injury-plagued catcher (Heath) and a struggling young pitcher who would be out of the majors two years later (Conroy).

The Major League Rule 5 draft opened the proceedings on December 10. Major-league teams could draft any player left off any other team’s 40-man roster. Until this year, $25,000 secured such players, but at the 1985 meetings the price tag doubled to $50,000.22 Pittsburgh lost infielders Bobby Bonilla to the White Sox and Bip Roberts to San Diego. California claimed right-handed pitcher Carl Willis from Cincinnati and the Reds also surrendered third baseman Eddie Williams to Cleveland. Former first-round pick Clint Hurdle went from the Mets to St. Louis. Texas tried to bolster its pitching by taking righty Scott Patterson from the Yankees’ Columbus team. Toronto landed right-hander José de Jesus from Kansas City and right-handed pitcher Jeff Parrett flew from Milwaukee to Montreal. Finally, Minnesota singed the Mets by taking right-handed pitcher Tom Burns.23 In all, nine prospects switched organizations in the Rule 5 draft, the fewest selected since it began in 1903.24

The next day the minor leagues held their phase of the draft. For $12,000, Triple-A teams could select any unprotected player from any Double-A roster, while any Double-A team could raid any Single-A team’s exposed players for $4,000. In all, a dozen Triple-A selections were made while nine Single-A players were picked for Double-A teams.25 Later that day, at its annual banquet, Minor League Baseball presented its “King of Baseball” for lifetime achievement in minor-league baseball to Stan Wasiak in recognition of having managed for 37 consecutive seasons, mainly in the Dodgers’ system. During his tenure he amassed the record for most games managed, as well as the most wins and losses in minor-league history.26

When Commissioner Ueberroth gave his “state of the game” address to open the meetings on Monday, he unpacked a number of topics to address with the owners. They included the sale of the Pittsburgh franchise, possible drug testing, expansion, the Giants’ plight in San Francisco, and the use of the designated hitter during the World Series. Most of the talks took place in a joint meeting between the National and American League owners on Wednesday. Since the lobby-less Town and Country Hotel acted more like a motel, they met at another, undisclosed location. By late afternoon they returned to brief the media on the results of their discussions.27 One of the first issues the owners resolved was unanimously approving the sale of the Pirates. A public-private partnership of 13 groups, headed by Ryan Homes CEO Malcolm “Mac” Prine, bought the floundering franchise for $23 million. The agreement tied the team and city together through 2011, but an escape clause would allow the new owners to sell the team after five years if they could show continued operating losses.28

The Pirates’ struggles extended beyond the financial health of the team. A major scandal, centered in Pittsburgh all summer, threatened the franchise and embarrassed the sport. Since free agency in 1976, the players’ discretionary income had ballooned, and cocaine had become their drug of choice in the 1980s. Much of the drug activity seemed to swirl around the Pirates’ clubhouse, and by 1985 it caught the attention of major-league baseball. In September Pittsburgh hosted drug trials that identified 21 players who used cocaine. Seven of them testified under immunity, and on September 20, seven nonplayers were convicted and took the fall for all the involved players.29 

Though the players who testified at the trials were protected from criminal prosecution, Ueberroth sought to impose baseball’s own punishment on the abusers. After sitting down with each player soon after the Winter Meetings, he ordered suspensions on February 28, 1986. Seven players were banned for a year and four for 60 days.30 Ueberroth later removed the suspensions when each agreed to community service and to donate 5 to 10 percent of their salaries to drug programs. Seventeen of the 21 players also agreed to undergo drug testing for the balance of their careers.31 The scandal hastened Ueberroth to try to make drug testing mandatory in major-league baseball. In the spring he ordered such testing for all professional baseball personnel except for the players, who were protected by the CBA.32 Leading into the Winter Meetings, the owners included as many as 550 mandatory drug-testing clauses into player contracts. Donald Fehr quickly responded that clubs “can’t force players to undergo testing as a condition of employment. It has to be negotiated. We’re going to take whatever action is appropriate to knock that out, probably within the next two or three weeks.”33 Fehr filed a grievance after the Winter Meetings charging that the drug testing violated the CBA and was subject to collective bargaining; the grievance was upheld in arbitration. Ueberroth was reduced to urging voluntary support among the players, which Fehr advised them to ignore.

After the union broke the reserve clause in 1976, the owners spent a futile decade scrambling to regain control of their assets. Their collusive action during the Winter Meetings was another attempt to control salaries, but it had to remain an unwritten agreement. However, the owners could show open solidarity by manipulating the 25-man roster. The CBA required teams to carry a maximum of 25 players and a minimum of 24. Discussions on roster reduction started at these Winter Meetings but fully flowered in February before spring training. One by one, clubs tested the waters, suggesting they would go to 24-man rosters if all the others did.34

Union chief Fehr protested this move as another act of collusion. “It’s now apparent to us that they’ve changed the rule,” he said. “What clubs have said is you can have 24 players and not more than 24. It’s clear that some clubs would go to 25 if others would, but no one wants to be the first. This costs players jobs and affects competition.”35 Fehr felt the CBA language intended for clubs to act independently rather than collectively to reduce rosters. In May he filed a grievance over this issue, the third complaint stemming from the Winter Meetings (drug testing and collusion being the other two). This time the union had no grounds to protest as arbiter George Nicolau granted a rare victory to the owners.36

The owners cloaked the roster reduction as a cost-cutting move. They pointed to a report by their Player Relations Committee as the basis for the downsizing. The committee estimated losses of $59 million by all 26 teams. Elimination of one player would save each club about $111,000, or $2.9 million total, a saving of only 5 percent of the losses.37 In the end, these savings paled in comparison to the open victory the magnates managed to maneuver from the players.

Wednesday’s off-site meeting also addressed the future of expansion. Earlier in the fall, a dozen groups prepared proposals for a possible expansion team. All 12 groups met on November 7-8 in New York with baseball’s Long-Range-Planning Committee, chaired by Ueberroth.38 The 14-owner committee reported their findings at the joint meeting with the rest of the owners. Since expansion was scheduled to be only a report and not an action item, the discussions proceeded as “staid and straightforward,” as described by Cleveland Indians President Peter Bavasi.39 Reports on each city lasted only a few minutes, with no comments by Ueberroth, or the owners. After this short report the owners tabled expansion, claiming that four struggling clubs (San Francisco, Seattle, Cleveland, and Pittsburgh) still needed to sort out their finances before further growth could be explored.40 Washington, the leading city hoping for a team, would have to wait until next year again!

San Francisco’s ballpark appeared next on Wednesday’s eight-hour agenda. Giants owner Bob Lurie again threatened to leave the poor playing conditions of Candlestick Park. The team lost a club-record 100 games in 1985 and Lurie blamed the blustery ballpark.41 Though nine years remained on his lease with the city, Lurie scrambled to find an alternative. In March of 1985 he had explored the chance to relocate to the San Jose area, but San Francisco Mayor Diane Feinstein intervened, threatening to charge San Jose with tampering.42

On October 2 Lurie looked to buy out his lease and share the Oakland Coliseum with the A’s for three seasons while he built a new ballpark. That plan fell flat when he forgot to mention his plans to Oakland mayor Lionel Wilson, who spelled out a list of reasons to keep the Giants at “Bay.”43 Lurie then asked Denver and then Vancouver to host the team until he could build a downtown replacement. Both cities wanted a permanent team to replace their current Triple-A clubs, so those plans collapsed. By the end of the meetings, the Giants still called Candlestick Park home for the 1986 season.44

The DH debuted in the 1973 American League season, but it did not appear in the World Series until 1976. From then through 1984, it was used in World Series games in even-numbered years. By 1985 the use of the DH in the Series troubled Commissioner Ueberroth, who stated, “I think the American League is penalized under the current rule. … When it comes to the Series, I have a firm belief that a team should be able to play with what got it there.”45 Ueberroth proposed changes for the owners to consider at the Winter Meetings. When pressed on what to do if his suggestions failed, Ueberroth affirmed, “Well, I can change the rule independently — and I would consider strongly doing just that.”46

The owners considered his two-pronged proposal to use the DH every year in the Series in games hosted by the American League team. The plan would end the “alternating-year” approach and introduce an “alternating-park” approach.47 The owners took no action on the issue at the meetings, but Ueberroth leaked his intentions to change the Series DH rule by stating, “[T]hey decided not to do anything about it. But that’s not to say I won’t do anything about it. For sure, before the next season starts, I will decide on the use of the designated hitter in the World Series.”48 Ueberroth eventually gained a switch to the “alternating-park” format for the 1986 World Series by working with the Major League Baseball Rules Committee in March of 1986.49

Baseball’s 1985 Winter Meetings appropriately ended on Friday the 13th. The week provided a few peculiar changes: The Pirates changed ownership, Bob Lurie changed his mind, and cocaine changed the game’s landscape. But when the fog cleared in San Diego, no free agents changed teams. The Tigers never budged from their three-year, $4.1 million offer to retain outfielder Kirk Gibson, the poster boy for the 1985 free-agent class. Shortly after his honeymoon in January of 1986, he re-signed with the Tigers, eschewing his five-year $8 million demand.50

His agent, Doug Baldwin, shed the strongest light on the boycott of his client and fellow players: “I think their action speaks louder than any of the announcement the clubs have made about why they’re not pursuing free agents. … The best information I have is that not one of the 62 free agents has received offers from any but their former clubs.51 Baldwin later added, “It’s pretty clear there was a directive from somewhere. If the market doesn’t open up, I think the agents and the Players Association will be getting together to make charges of collusion.”52 Baldwin’s words proved to be prescient by the time 1986 arrived. Union director Donald Fehr filed the first of three collusion grievances against the owners in February. The 1986 Winter Meetings were shaping up as a sequel to the salary slowdown of 1985.



Sources used in addition to those cited in the notes include primary newspaper sources accessed mainly through Google News archives and The Sporting News articles accessed through SABR’s research link for the Paper of Record.



1 Associated Press, “Gibson Claims Royals, Others ‘Tampered’ With Him,” Owosso (Michigan) Argus-Press, June 24, 1986: 11.

2 Doug Wilson, Pudge: The Biography of Carlton Fisk (New York: Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), 257.

3 “Gibson Claims Royals.”

4 Gerald W. Scully, The Business of Major League Baseball (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989), 9.

5 Roger I. Abrams, Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2001), 146-147.

6 John Helyar, “Playing Ball: How Peter Ueberroth Led the Major Leagues in the Collusion Era,” Wall Street Journal, May 20, 1991: A1.

7 Peter Gammons, “Owners Mount Drive for Drug Testing,” The Sporting News, December 2, 1985: 57.

8 Jerome Holtzman, The Commissioners: Baseball’s Midlife Crisis (New York: Total Sports, 1998), 220-221.

9 Howard Burman, Season of Ghosts: the ’86 Mets and the Red Sox (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2012), 11.

10 Murray Chass, “Free-Agent Freeze Out?,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1985: 2-3.

11 Paul C. Weiler and Gary R. Roberts, Sports and the Law. Test, Cases, Problems. 3rd Edition. (Eagan, Minnesota: West Publishing Company, 2004), 265.

12 Rob Neyer, Rob Neyer’s Big Book of Baseball Blunders: A Complete Guide to the Worst Decisions and Stupidest Moments in Baseball History (New York: Touchstone, 2006), 222.

13 Murray Chass, “Owners Working for Control; Free Agents Put on Hold — For Now,” New York Times, December 9, 1985: D-8.

14 Murray Chass, “Pitching Is the Prime Need as Officials Prepare to Meet,” Spartanburg (South Carolina) Herald Journal, December 9, 1985: B4.

15 United Press International, “Issues, Rather Than Trades, Figure to Dominate Winter Meetings,” Columbus (Indiana) Republic, December 9, 1985: 17.

16 Ross Newhan, “Winter Baseball Meetings: Without Deadlines, There’s No Reason to Deal,” Los Angeles Times, December 8, 1985: 4.

17 Baseball-Reference, baseball-reference.com/leagues/MLB/1985-transactions.shtml (accessed March 31, 2015).

18 Joseph Durso, “Yanks and Mets Disappointed,” New York Times, December 14, 1985: 48.

19 Ross Newhan, “Winter Baseball Meetings.”

20 Fred Mitchell, “Andujar Sent to A’s for Heath,” Fort Lauderdale (Florida) Sun Sentinel, December 11, 1985: C1.

21 Peter Gammons, “Andujar Says Brewery Told Him ‘Adios,’” The Sporting News, December 23, 1985: 35.

22 Associated Press, “Trades Big Topic at Baseball’s Winter Meetings,” Toledo Blade, December 8, 1985: 3E.

23 Stan Isle, “Major League Draft Is Nearly Becalmed,” The Sporting News, December 23, 1985: 39.

24 Baseball-Reference, baseball-reference.com/bullpen1985_Rule_V_Draft  (accessed May 15, 2015).

25 Ibid.

26 Baseball-Reference, baseball-reference.com/bullpen/Stan_Wasiak (accessed May 17, 2015).

27 Bob Chick, “Baseball Takes Expansion Off the Hot Burner,” St. Petersburg (Florida) Evening Independent, December 11, 1985: 1C.

28 Craig Stock, “A Murky, Intricate Deal to Save a Team,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 14, 1986: A1.

29 Aaron Skirboll, The Pittsburgh Cocaine Seven: How a Ragtag Group of Fans Took the Fall for Major League Baseball (Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2010), 195-196.

30 The four players initially suspended for 60 days were Al Holland (Yankees), Lary Sorensen (Cubs), Lee Lacy (Orioles), and Claudell Washington (Braves). The seven players initially suspended for one year were Dave Parker (Reds), Keith Hernandez (Mets), Joaquin Andujar (A’s), Lonnie Smith (Royals), Enos Cabell (Dodgers), Jeff Leonard (Giants), and Dale Berra (Yankees).

31 Associated Press, “Pittsburgh Cocaine Trial Baseball’s 2nd Biggest Scandal: One Year Later,” Los Angeles Times, September 21, 1986: 18.

32 United Press International, “Mandatory Drug Tests for Non-Players in Baseball,” The Courier (Prescott, Arizona), May 8, 1985: 7B.

33 Associated Press, “Union Vows to Take Action Over Drug-Test Clauses in New Contracts,” Gainesville (Florida) Sun, November 20, 1985: 6D.

34 United Press International, “Baseball Rosters: 24 Instead of 25? — Major League Rosters Beginning to Shrink,” The Tennessean (Nashville), February 8, 1986: 37.

35 Associated Press, “Union Files Grievance Over 24-Man Rosters,” Deseret News (Salt Lake City), May 14, 1986: 5B.

36 Associated Press, “24-Man Roster Limit Is Upheld,” Gainesville (Florida) Sun, April 16, 1987: 3C.

37 Associated Press, “Teams Agree to Go With 24-Man Rosters,” Sumter (South Carolina) Daily Item, April 5, 1986: 1B.

38 Dave Nightingale, “Expansion Not a Priority Item at Winter Meetings,” The Sporting News, December 9, 1985: 48.

39 Gary Pomerantz, “Major League Baseball’s Decision on Expansion Moves at Snail’s Pace,” Washington Post, December 13, 1985: 1.

40 Dave Sell, “Baseball Owners: Not Showing Their Cards,” Washington Post, December 4, 1985.

41 William D. Murray, “Plans Scrapped to Build New Stadium for Giants,” Ottawa Citizen, November 19, 1985: C15.

42 Bob Oates, “The Battle on the Bay: If the Giants Want to Stay in San Francisco and the City Wants the Team to Stay, Then What’s All This Talk About San Jose?,” Los Angeles Times, December 4, 1985: 4.

43 United Press International, “Baseball’s Orphans: San Francisco Giants Have No Place to Play,” Los Angeles Times, October 13, 1985: 1.

44 Chicago Tribune Wires, “Giants to Stay at Candlestick,” Chicago Tribune, January 30, 1986: 7.

45 Dave Nightingale, “Expansion Not a Priority.”

46 Ibid.

47 Richard G. McKelvey, All Bat, No Glove: A History of the Designated Hitter (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland, 2004), 86.

48 Ibid.

49 Philadelphia Inquirer Wire Services, “Rules Committee Votes to Allow DH in World Series Games in AL Parks,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 28, 1986: 14.

50 Associated Press, “Gibson Isn’t Bitter About 3-Year Pact,” Montreal Gazette, January 20, 1986: 4D.

51 Murray Chass, “Free Agents Less Free to Move,” Wilmington (North Carolina) Morning Star, December 2, 1985: 4B. The 62 players who filed for free agency in 1985:

American League:

  • Baltimore: Rich Dauer, Jim Dwyer, Lenn Sakata
  • Boston: Bruce Kison, Rick Miller
  • California: Juan Beniquez, Rod Carew, Bobby Grich, Al Holland, Donnie Moore, Don Sutton
  • Chicago White Sox: Carlton Fisk, Bart Johnson, Dan Spillner
  • Cleveland: Benny Ayala, Tony Bernazard, Jamie Easterly, Mike Hargrove, Vern Ruhle
  • Detroit: Tom Brookens, Doug Flynn, Kirk Gibson, Aurelio Lopez
  • Kansas City: Dane Iorg, Lynn Jones, Hal McRae, Jamie Quirk
  • Milwaukee: Danny Darwin
  • New York Yankees: Marty Bystrom, Joe Niekro, Phil Niekro, Butch Wynegar
  • Oakland: Bruce Bochte, Tommy John, Steve McCatty, Mike Norris, Rob Picciolo
  • Texas: Alan Bannister, Bill Stein
  • Toronto: Jeff Burroughs, Steve Nicosia, Al Oliver

National League:

  • Chicago Cubs: Richie Hebner
  • Cincinnati: Tony Perez
  • Houston: Harry Spilman, Dickie Thon
  • Los Angeles: Steve Yeager
  • Montreal: Dave Palmer, U.L. Washington
  • New York Mets: Larry Bowa, Rusty Staub
  • Philadelphia: Garry Maddox, Derrel Thomas
  • St. Louis: Doug Bair, Cesar Cedeno, Ivan DeJesus, Mike Jorgensen, Matt Keough
  • San Diego: Kurt Bevacqua, Al Bumbry, Miguel Dilone
  • San Francisco: Vida Blue

Two teams in the American League (Minnesota and Seattle) and two teams in the National League (Atlanta and Pittsburgh) did not have any player file for free agency in 1985. See Associated Press, “Baseball: 62 Free Agents from 1985,” New York Times, September 22, 1987: A32.

52 Steve Wulf, “Where Have All the Big Spenders Gone?” Sports Illustrated, December 9, 1985: 22-23.