May 06, 2010

Weird Baseball Contract Clauses: Hey, New York Mets fans, think things couldn't get any worse? Next year former outfielder Bobby Bonilla goes back on the payroll at the ripe old age of 48.

posted by DudeDykstra to baseball at 08:18 PM - 2 comments

They ought to do a companion story on ancillary arrangements as well. Noteworthy deals done on the side, off contract.

One of my favorites: as a first full season rookie in 1971, Vida Blue was otherworldly and unhittable heading into the All-Star break. His salary was $13,000.

Charlie Finley wanted to do something for the guy and avoid some of the shame and humiliation of hugely underpaying such an instant national stud. But, in true Finley fashion, he didn't want to redo Vida's contract.

So he bought Vida a new Cadillac. A splashy gesture, so Finley thought.

But Vida said he couldn't accept it unless it came with a gasoline credit card, because on his salary, he couldn't afford to put gas in the car.

So Finley had to toss a gas card into the deal.

(Leaded regular was around 40-50 cents a gallon at the time).

Finley was probably worried about rival owner Calvin Griffith calling him up and razzing him about overpaying his players.

Mudcat Grant played for both Griffith and Finley. He probably has some nickel and dime stories to tell.

posted by beaverboard at 09:27 AM on May 07, 2010

Not a contract clause per se, but I recall Turk Wendell insisted on a contract of $9,999,999.99 because he was number 99.

posted by holden at 01:52 PM on May 07, 2010

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.