Appel: The Mexican League and the last full-season player suspensions

From SABR member Marty Appel at The National Pastime Museum on April 7, 2014:

If Alex Rodriguez’s season-long ban holds up in 2014, he will be the first Major Leaguer to miss a full season for disciplinary reasons since Commissioner Happy Chandler banned the Mexican League “jumpers” for five years following their 1946 defections.

Commissioner Bowie Kuhn banned Ferguson Jenkins indefinitely, and Commissioner Fay Vincent sought to sit Steve Howe down “for life” following drug infractions, but both attempts were reversed in arbitration.

The Mexican League was not affiliated in any way with organized baseball in the U.S. at the time. It was not a startup league, however; it had been around since 1925, with available records and a greater organization behind it since 1937. It was a familiar port of call for a vast number of Negro League players who tended to shop around for the best offer year after year, with organized baseball unavailable to them until Jackie Robinson played in the International League in 1946.

Coincidentally, 1946 was the year that 39-year-old Jorge Pasquel, who with his four brothers owned the league and its eight teams, decided to go after Major League players by offering them much more money than they were making back home.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: April 7, 2014. Last Updated: April 7, 2014.