Yearbook, Nov. 6: MLB free agency opens

November, 6, 2012
Nov. 6, 1976: In December 1975, an arbitrator's ruling changed the course of baseball, allowing certain players to become free agents when their contracts expired.

And on this day 36 years ago, the first one officially signed with his new team: relief pitcher Bill "Soup" Campbell, who inked a four-year, $1 million deal with the Boston Red Sox after a strong season with the Minnesota Twins.

Campbell was far from the only player to change teams, though; among the notable names to relocate through the unusual process were Reggie Jackson (Baltimore Orioles to New York Yankees), Gene Tenace (Oakland Athletics to San Diego Padres), Don Baylor (A's to the California Angels) and Rollie Fingers (A's to the Padres).

Bill Campbell with the Boston Red SoxB Bennett/Getty ImagesCampbell
Reggie Jackson with the New York YankeesAP PhotoJackson.
Gene Tenace with the San Diego PadresGetty ImagesTenace. (Whammy.)
Don Baylor with the AngelsRich Pilling/Getty ImagesBaylor.
Rollie Fingers with the San Diego PadresFocus on Sport/Getty ImagesFingers.
Patrick Dorsey works for SportsNation. He has worked for the Web and newspapers, had a cup of craft service coffee in film school, and played in one Division III golf tournament (he shot 105).



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