On This Day

  • On this day in 1966, baseball commissioner William Eckert nullified the Atlanta Braves’ contract with Tom Seaver.
  • In those days, baseball held a winter draft that was during the college baseball season and Seaver was drafted by the Atlanta Braves. USC coach Rod Dedeaux called Eckert, who said not to let Seaver sign so he could keep pitching at USC. That night, USC could not reach Seaver, who left his phone off the hook after he reached an agreement with the Braves.

Atlanta was going to tear up the contract so Seaver could finish the season with USC but athletic director Jess Hill contacted the NCAA and was told USC must declare Seaver ineligible. In a Pat Haden move, Hill complied, no doubt worried about crossing the NCAA, which had given USC sanctions in 1959.

Eckert nullified the Braves contract and three teams (Indians, Phillies, Mets) agreed to match Atlanta’s contract for Seaver. The Mets won a drawing and Seaver signed for a $50,000 signing bonus.

The entire saga probably cost USC the 1966 College World Series title.

Tom Seaver pitches for USC in 1966

38 thoughts on “On This Day

  1. And the hits just keep on coming. Scottie moves from one topic to another as if he is late to catch a plane, he is like the hare whereas the OTHER blogger is the tortoise as he leaves topics to stale for days at a time.

    Anyway, I was a student in 1966 and I do not recall the Seaver problem because I was feeling suicidal with the football team’s loss to a second string quarterback at sucla and a loss of 51-0 to Neuter Dame. Although it did perk me up a bit when McKay cracked that “There should be no worries, men, there are a billion Chinese who did not see the game!”

    Liked by 3 people

      1. “Not so fast” my man.

        Scottie is as worried as we are about the current news, including the Ukraine,
        but thinking of Tom Seaver has soothed much of his pain,

        Liked by 2 people

      1. Yeah –I think McKay went all the way with it. One billion — it has a certain ring.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. P.S Despite those 1966 losses, SC was voted into the Rose Bowl over sucla (sucla students closed down Fwy-405 in protest) where they lost that game too.

    P.S.2 But a guy named O.J. was on his way to save the day, and 1967 was a National Championship.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Rod Dedeaux- USC baseball has never been the same without you. It’s all about coaching USC had limited scholarships in those days also, and still won big time because of Rod’s coaching talents.

    Don’t see the program improving much yet many of the other programs in the Pac 12 are. Time to put a time limit on this one Mr. Bohn, and rebuild the program where it should be with the right coach.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Rod Dedeaux– USC baseball has never been the same without you.”

      “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.
      What’s that you say, Mrs Robinson, Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away”

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes make that D Solid again. Now let’s hope Coach O comes back for another encore. Seems like old times again. We just need norm chow back too lol. The old gang would be back minus Pete Carroll. Happy times are here again. Fight on!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. what ncaa penalties in 1959?
    SC had just finished PCC penalties ’cause of Jon Arnett,C.R.Roberts,and others working at movie studio during summer …which led to the new AAWU… and the death of the PCC.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. It’s late right now except in Maui, but I have to put this plug in for my blog-buddy MG

    But the guy is funny, sometimes very funny– and we are all getting this material for free. I am copying all of his quips and turning them into a book about me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’ll recommend the book to everybody I know. [My in-laws will love the John Wolcott character ….as long as they don’t recognize it’s me].
      btw, USC is making the game closer than it has to be right now. Maybe they’re looking ahead to Oregon and UCLA….

      Liked by 2 people

      1. From the sound of your relationship with your in-laws MG I will make sure they don’t recognize you in the book.

        Plagiarism makes writing so much more easy.


    1. Hard to win on the road versus any team, MG. And OSU was motivated to win in front of their loyal fans.

      But you’re right. It’s just Oregon St!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Where is Smacky with the “Thanks Enfield Watch”?

    Another loss, just avoided. OSU didn’t look nearly as bad as their 3-22 record. Ethan Anderson with a great running hook to win it, but I really don’t like the usc half-court sets. Motion seems forced, spacing isn’t great, lots of forced shots that they can get away with if Mobley is the one shooting. Strangest 24-4 team I have ever seen.

    And another loss for Westwood Tech. We all see that they have sucked the last month to six weeks, yet somehow, despite loss after loss, they still convince the east coast media they are one of the best hoop teams around.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Come on guys SC played without two of their best players tonight on the road, and OSU played the best game they have played all year. Losing your top guard is like playing with your 2nd string qb which throws off the offensive rhythm of a team. 24-4 is quite an achievement. I will say no chance to beat Oregon without the Boogie man and Issiah White who really is a key player on this team without scoring alot of points.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. The way I heard the Mckay story was something like this…
        McKay comes home after the big loss to ND in a terrible mood. His wife says “don’t worry John, there are 100 million Chinese people that don’t even know the game took place. The next morning Mckay gets up and walks to the corner Chinese market for the paper and the guy behind the counter says “what happened?”


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