View Full Version : Reserve Clause Hostages

February 19th, 2013, 12:24 PM
Prior to 1975, Major League baseball contracts contained what was known as the 'Reserve Clause", essentially a stipulation that the rights of player were retained by the team that signed him, even after the contract expired. Effectively this meant that players were perpetually bound to the team they played for, unless they were traded, waived, or released. The reserve clause was abolished in 1975 and a new era of baseball free agency was begun. Prior to 1975, free agency all but did not exist.

As a result of the reserve clause, number of very good players squandered their career in relative obscurity or were at least vastly underrated as a result of having to play in small markets or for perennial losers. Some of these players might have attained a larger measure of fame, perhaps even Hall of Fame credentials had they been able to play elsewhere. I thought it might be nostalgic if not interesting to discuss some of these players

Or perhaps not.

February 19th, 2013, 01:02 PM
First up is Camilo Pasqual. Pasqual, an eddhead favorite and notorious Yankee killer pitched for a remarkable 18 years, from 1954 to 1971, mostly for horrible basement dwellers yet still managed to compile a very respectable 174-170 record, with a 3.63 ERA over that period. It should be noted that during that era, it was common for the better pitchers (and Pasqual was certainly one of them) to pitch up to 300 innings and more a season, and complete more than 20 startes. He would make a fortune today

Possessing what Ted Willams described as the most feared curveball in the MLB, as well as an outstanding fastball, and despite playing for the last place Senators/Twins, Pasqual was a 5 time allstar who led the league in completed games, innings pitched, and strikeouts three consecutive years from 1961 to 1963. Most of you probably know that the "old" Senators are the legacy team to Twins, having moved to Minnesota in 1960. Ironically,by the time Twins achieved respectability in 1965, winning the American League pennant, Pasqual had burned out his arm. Still, he managed to hold on until 1971, making a terrific comeback in the late '60's with the horrible "New" Senators (legacy Texas Rangers), before having less productive years with the Reds.

The Senators won no more than 73 games from 1954 to 1961 and were under 60 wins for most of those years. Had Pasqual played for even a decent team during his prime, he would have easily won over 200 games, maybe more over the course of his career.