Originally written on Mets360.com  |  Last updated 11/17/14
The readership of this site seems to skew toward a younger demographic. Every now and then, a history lesson is in order. Now is one of those times. There was a time when highly-touted rookies could make a team right out of Spring Training. Heck, there were a couple of notable players from the 1960s & ‘70s – Dave Winfield and Catfish Hunter — who became Hall-of-Famers despite never having played even a single minor league game! This was a time before free agency – that didn’t arrive until after the 1975 season. It was also a time before salary arbitration – not minted until 1973. From the late 1800s until 1973, the legendary “Reserve Clause” ruled. Veteran and rookie alike were subject to the whim of the owner, who could extend a contract yearly and unilaterally until the player proved no longer useful. There was no CBA – there was barely a players’ union in anything but name until the mid-‘50s. So when we hear about things like “arbitration clocks” and “service tim
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