A Bitter Cup of Coffee: Postscript

From SABR member Doug Gladstone at Seamheads.com on May 4:

On Thursday, April 21, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) announced, with much fanfare, that they would be giving all those men who played in “The Show” from 1947-1979, who had more than one day of service credit but less than four years, and who were therefore unable to qualify for MLB pensions, payments of up to $10,000 each for the next two years, depending on their respective lengths of service. … As the author of the book widely credited with helping spur MLB to pay these men the monies they’re about to receive, I’ve naturally been asked what I thought about the announcement quite a bit over the last week or so. Admittedly, I have mixed emotions about it.


Many of the former ballplayers affected by this situation are not exactly household names. Three of the most famous are Pat Darcy, the Cincinnati Red hurler who gave up Carlton Fisk’s dramatic game-winning homer in Game 6 of the 1975 World Series, David Clyde, the flame throwing lefthander and Texas Ranger bonus baby and former Chicago Cub Jimmy Qualls, who memorably broke up Tom Seaver’s bid for a perfect game on July 9, 1969.

So why did these men find themselves on the outside looking in anyway? Good question.  Realistically, under the union’s previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) with the league, all these men had no expectation they were ever going to get a pension in the first place. They played during a time when you needed four years service to qualify for an annuity. If you didn’t have four years service credit, you weren’t eligible. Period. End of discussion.

Let me give you a quick history lesson.

Read the full article here: http://www.seamheads.com/2011/05/04/a-bitter-cup-of-coffee-postscript/

Originally published: May 4, 2011. Last Updated: May 4, 2011.