This Date In Baseball History- December 20, 1980. According to the Basic Agreement between the players and owners- unless contracts are tendered to certain veteran’s by the deadline- which was December 20, 1980 this year- the players are allowed to become free agents. In a blunder of historical proportions the Boston Red Sox failed to tender contracts to two of their stars- center fielder Fred Lynn and catcher Carlton Fisk. Both players became eligible for free agency. Lynn would sign on with the California Angels and Fisk with the Chicago White Sox. In many ways the infamous ‘Curse Of The Bambino’ over the years- 1918 to 2004 was due to the Red Sox front office. The major error of their ways of course the Red Sox ownerships racism. They were the last team to integrate missing out on a lot of great talent which set the team back years in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Even when they did integrate it was slow. And then you have this major gaff losing two of your great players by being stupid.
Fisk had some great years on the South Side after that…
I always think of Fisk as a Red Sox- but I know he spent more seasons in Chicago.
I never understood how this could happen. I wouldn’t think they did this on purpose.
Oopsie! Did the organization make the GM a “free agent” for this mistake?