This day in baseball: Luck of the draw

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.

New York Mets Tom Seaver
Baseball: Closeup of New York Mets Tom Seaver (41) during game vs Atlanta Braves. Atlanta, GA 7/9/1975 MANDATORY CREDIT: Walter Iooss Jr./Sports Illustrated SetNumber: X19696 TK1

3 thoughts on “This day in baseball: Luck of the draw

  1. I heard a similar one last night while listening to the Yankees Astros game. Apparently, Hall of Famer Hal Newhouser-then a scout for the Astros insisted the team select Derek Jeter with the number one pick in the 1992 draft. They took Phil Nevins instead. Newhouser was planning on retiring anyway, but quit anyway..pissed off. You said it best…luck of the draw.

      1. You’re welcome. I’ve never been a Yankees fan, but never hated them either. The team generates so much money for baseball. Makes it hard to knock their tradition. Jeter being a Yankee probably helped all of baseball.

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