In 1966, University of Southern California pitcher Tom Seaver signed a contract with Atlanta’s Richmond farm team. Baseball Commissioner William Eckert voided the contract, however, due to Seaver’s having played two exhibition games already with USC. Unfortunately for Seaver, signing a professional contract also left him ineligible to play any longer at the collegiate level. When Seaver’s father threatened a lawsuit on his son’s behalf, a special draft was held, in which three Major League teams offered to match Richmond’s $40,000 contract. The Indians, Phillies, and Mets all participated in the draft, where one team would be drawn from a hat. The Mets won Seaver’s contract, and on April 3, 1966, Tom Seaver signed with New York with a reported $50,000 bonus.