Two months later, the MLB’s charity gesture to retired players hasn’t moved an inch


In late April, we did a column (linked here) about how some 900 Major League Players from 1947 to 1979, who came up short of being vested in the post-career, tax-free income that included health insurance and spousal support, were to be compensated for their trouble by the MLB.

Commissioner Bud Selig and players union executive director Michael Weiner announced those players who fell between the cracks would now be eligible for an annual payment of up to $10,000. But not a pension.

No health coverage. Just this small act of charity.

“This is one of those things that you not only feel good about,” said Selig, “but it’s just the right thing to do.”

Doug Gladstone, a freelance writer who wrote the book last year on this social injustice called “A Bitter Cup Of Coffee: How MLB and the Players Association Threw 874 Retirees a Curve” (linked here), emailed this recent update:

“To date, NOBODY has received a check.

“Further, and what’s even more disconcerting, none of the men have been FORMALLY advised of the payment agreement announced on April 21, 2011 by Commissioner Selig and Mr. Weiner. That’s right — neither MLB nor the players association have extended the simple courtesy of even telling the affected retirees of this supposedly magnanimous gesture.”

It reminds us of the last quote from the column, where 69-year-old former big-leaguer Carmen Fanzone said: “After all these years, it’d be nice to get something before I die. Even if it’s just enough to get a couple of margaritas a month.”

Don’t hold your breath waiting for the MLB to pick up the tab.

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