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  • Getting released

    Every single player, without exception (I'm making a bold generality, but one that's fairly accurate) has experienced being released from his MLB club. My question is: exactly how was this done? If a player was going to be released, did he, in most cases, know that it was coming? (E.g., he was injured, suffering pain, or his performance had declined.) And how was it done? If Outfielder Jones was in the locker room, was he approached by one of the clubhouse staffers, who told him, "John, Mr. Smith [manager] wants you to come to his office"? Once he was there, did Manager Smith tell him, "We're releasing you in ten days, Jones." Or "You're being released, effective in 10 days." Or "We're giving you an unconditional release." Or "I think you know why I called you here, don't you?" Or did Manager Smith hand Jones an envelope or document, inform him that he was being released, and that he should read and sign such and such a form? Did he have to sign two or three copies, one copy to be retained for his records?

    I'm curious to know how it was done in the 19th century and Deadball Era. It was an experience that all players were familiar with, some of them multiple times, of course, but in some cases, I'm sure that it was dreaded, in others, accepted as a matter of course, and possibly others, welcomed.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Hoyfan View Post
    Every single player, without exception (I'm making a bold generality, but one that's fairly accurate) has experienced being released from his MLB club. My question is: exactly how was this done? If a player was going to be released, did he, in most cases, know that it was coming? (E.g., he was injured, suffering pain, or his performance had declined.) And how was it done? If Outfielder Jones was in the locker room, was he approached by one of the clubhouse staffers, who told him, "John, Mr. Smith [manager] wants you to come to his office"? Once he was there, did Manager Smith tell him, "We're releasing you in ten days, Jones." Or "You're being released, effective in 10 days." Or "We're giving you an unconditional release." Or "I think you know why I called you here, don't you?" Or did Manager Smith hand Jones an envelope or document, inform him that he was being released, and that he should read and sign such and such a form? Did he have to sign two or three copies, one copy to be retained for his records?

    I'm curious to know how it was done in the 19th century and Deadball Era. It was an experience that all players were familiar with, some of them multiple times, of course, but in some cases, I'm sure that it was dreaded, in others, accepted as a matter of course, and possibly others, welcomed.
    I don't know who broke the news to the player, but I know that in the late 19th Century and Deadball Era it was a requirement to give a player 10 days notice of his release. Sometimes the player remained with the team during those ten days and even appeared in some games, and other times the player immediately left the team to search for another team that would sign him (but he was still paid for those ten days by the team that was letting him go).

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