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Thursday, April 02, 2020

This Day in Sports History: MLB Players Go on Their First Strike

In the long history of Major League Baseball, there have been eight work stoppages. Most were relatively unsubstantial: Five of the eight resulted in no games missed, with the 1985 players’ strike lasting a mere two days from Aug. 6-7.

Others have been more consequential. The infamous 1994 strike stands out among the rest, as it resulted in the cancellation of the playoffs and World Series. When the next work stoppage will occur is anybody’s guess, but the first will always be the 13-day players’ strike that began on April 1, 1972.

The MLB Players Association wasn’t even six years old heading into the 1972 campaign. But with the expiration of the league’s three-year pension agreement imminent, an opportunity existed for the players to take some control over labor negotiations.

The players were requesting increases to ownership’s pension contributions, which the owners were set against. Amid talk of a strike, owners did not take the players’ threats seriously—at this point, there had never been a work stoppage before, and the MLBPA had yet to demonstrate any meaningful bargaining power.

The story of a strike, in brief form.


QLE Posted: April 02, 2020 at 01:45 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: history, mlbpa, strikes

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   1. puck Posted: April 02, 2020 at 02:38 PM (#5935926)

On March 30, the MLBPA's general counsel Dick Moss reached out to several player representatives to discuss potential options, ultimately deciding it was not the right time to strike—the players had not been paid yet for the previous season, and there was no strike fund set up to aid any further payment delays.

They had not been paid yet for the previous season? That seems odd, even if they only meant the last paycheck.
   2. SoSH U at work Posted: April 02, 2020 at 03:11 PM (#5935938)
The Red Sox played one fewer game than Detroit, and finished a half game back in the AL East.
   3. Walt Davis Posted: April 02, 2020 at 04:25 PM (#5935981)
Because of the strike, the Cubs opened on a Saturday and it's the only opening day game I ever went to (Mom would never have agreed to skipping school). Most Cub tix were still sold day of the game then so you just had to get there early enough. I unknowingly got into the line for the bleachers -- not necessarily an ideal environment for a 10-year-old on his own.** I had the thrill of swearing out loud for the first time -- "Go to Hell Left Field Go to Hell." Willie Montanez came out to chat and toss a ball into the crowd at which point of course we harassed the person who caught it until they threw it back (I like to pretend that's when the tradition started). Willie tried a few times but we would have none of it.

Apparently I saw Carlton beat the Cubs 4-2. A very tight game with the Cubs tying it 2-2 in the bottom of the 8th. Bill Hands, in his 3rd inning in relief of Fergie***, gave up 2 in the 9th. I saw 4 HoFers. I couldn't tell you any of that without the box score.

I went again on Sunday and Hooton threw a no-hitter (with a mere 7 walks). My season was off to a great start.

** It must have been a Fri night decision on my part -- no idea why I didn't have a brother or a friend in tow.
*** Not sure why Fergie came out. He wasn't PH for (in fact he had their only RBI to that point). Maybe he didn't feel ready to go 9 yet although I'm pretty sure Fergie could go 9 today.

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