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Friday, July 23, 2010
Hall of Fame Inductee Andre Dawson Important in Fight Against Baseball Collusion

This Sunday, power-hitting outfielder Andre Dawson will earn his induction into the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame. To many, Dawson is best known for his 438 career home runs, 314 stolen bases, and 1987 MVP Award.

However, from a sports law perspective, Dawson is also important for having signed a blank contract with the Chicago Cubs during the 1986-87 off-season--an act that helped to expose Major League Baseball's collusive practices during that era.

According to labor arbitrator George Nicolau's 1988 arbitration ruling, he notes that Dawson was so willing to leave the Expos during the collusion era that he called a unilateral press conference to announce he would sign a blank contract to play for the Cubs. Embarrassed by these events, Cubs management then offered the all-star outfielder a contract for $500,000—almost half of his previous season’s salary.

After accepting this 50% pay cut, Dawson won the 1987 National League MVP for the last-place Cubs--becoming the first play in baseball history to win that award for a last place team.

(Cross-posted on SportsJudge Blog)


Man, didn't know about this! Awesome for sharing.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/23/2010 4:47 PM  

Congrats to Andre Dawson. Long awaited and well deserved.

Blogger MK -- 7/23/2010 8:00 PM  

He also was awarded over a million once the owners were found guilty of collusion, so made out pretty well in the end.

Anonymous Anonymous -- 7/24/2010 7:38 AM  

Marc - Another interesting labor relations aspect of Dawson's career to me is that he is one of only six Cubs to ever go to a salary arbitration hearing with the team. Chicago and the Milwaukee Brewers both had cases this past February although they are both teams with a record of few hearings since the process began in 1974. Dawson lost his hearing in 1988 when the exchanged figures ($1,850,000 and $2,000,000) were actually pretty close. Dick Moss was his agent, and he put together a two-year deal for Dawson in March 1988. Steve Goldberg was the arbitrator who decided for the Cubs, and he holds the distinction of being the most prolific of all salary arbitrators.

Blogger Ed Edmonds -- 7/26/2010 11:31 AM  

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