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Home BoB Documents 1900 - 1960 1903 AL-NL Agreement

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1903 AL-NL Agreement PDF Print E-mail
User Rating: / 1
1900 - 1960
Written by MLB Agreement   
Monday, 29 November 1999 19:00




This Agreement, made and entered into by and between the National League and American Association of Professional Base Ball Clubs, and the American League of Professional Base Ball Clubs, known and designated herein as Major Leagues, parties of the first part, each with the other and both, jointly and severally, by and with the National Association of Professional Base Ball Leagues, known and referred to herein as Minor Leagues, party of the second part, shall be styled the National Agreement, and shall have for its objects:

(1) Perpetuation of base ball as the national pastime of America, by surrounding it with such safeguards as will warrant absolute public confidence in its integrity and methods, and by maintaining a  high standard of skill and sportsmanship in its players.

(2) Protection of the property rights of those engaged in base ball as a business without sacrificing the spirit of competition in the conduct of the clubs.

(3) Promotion of the welfare of ball players as a class by developing and perfecting them in their profession and enabling them to secure adequate compensation for expertness.

(4) Adoption of a uniform code of rules for playing base ball.









Section 1.  A commission of three members, to be known as the National Commission, is hereby created with power to construe and carry out the terms and provisions of this Agreement, excepting when it pertains to the internal affairs of the National Association.  One member shall be the President of the National League and one the President of the American League.  These two members shall meet, on or before the first Monday of January in each year, to elect by majority vote a suitable person as the third member.  The third member so chosen shall be the Chairman of the Commission for one year from the date of his election, and shall preside at all meetings.  Each member shall have a vote on all questions which may come before it, except as hereinafter directed.  A Secretary shall be elected yearly.  The salary of the Chairman shall be $............. per annum, in addition to living and traveling expenses incurred in the discharge of his official duties.  Other members of the Commission shall serve without compensation.  The salary of the Secretary shall be $............. per annum.  Immediately after the election of a Chairman and Secretary, the Commission shall proceed to the transaction of such business as many properly come before it.

Sec. 3.  The National Commission shall have the power to inflict and enforce fines or suspensions, or both, upon either party to this Agreement, who are adjudged by it to have violated the letter or spirit of this Agreement.

Sec. 4.  Whenever a National League Club or an American League Club claims the services of the same player by selection, reservation or contract, the right to said player shall be established by the decision of the Chairman of the Commission, who shall determine the case on the law and evidence without the aid of either of his associates.

Sec. 5.  Whenever a National League Club or a Minor League Club cannot amicably arrange differences over a player, the testimony shall be heard and the case adjudicated by the Chairman of the Commission and the representative of the American League.  If the contention be between an American League Club and a Minor League Club, the decision shall be made by the Chairman of the Commission and the representative of the National League.  If the Chairman of the Commission and the  major league member entitled to vote on any question arising between a major and minor league club shall not agree, the Chairman's findings shall determine the case.



Sec. 2. The party of the second part hereby guarantees that none of the leagues in its membership shall establish or maintain a club in a city on the circuit of either major league, or within five miles of the limits thereof, without the consent in writing of the major league club or clubs located therein and recorded in the office of the Secretary of the National Commission, Jersey City excepted.



Sec. 6. The right of a minor league club to its players shall be absolute, except that from September 1 to October 15 of each year, major league clubs shall have the privilege of selecting players from the National Association clubs for the following season, upon payment of $750 for each player so selected from clubs in Class "A" leagues; $500 for each player so selected from clubs in Class "B" leagues; $300 for each player so selected from clubs in Class "C" leagues, and $200 for each player so selected from clubs of a lower class, the payments to be made to the Secretary of the National Association, through the Secretary of the Commission, as follows:  One-half of the amount when the selection is made, and one-half of the amount on June 1 following, the player to revert to the club from which he was selected if the selecting club defaults on any of the payments, the player also to revert to the club from which he was selected if when released he is not signed within ten days by a club of  a minor league; provided, however, that not more than two players shall be selected from any Class "A" club during any one year.

Sec.  8. A major league club may at any  time purchase the release of a player from a minor league club,. to take effect forthwith or at a specified date, provided such purchase is recorded with the Secretary of the Commission and Secretary of the National Association for promulgation within five days of the  transaction.

Sec.  9. If a selected player is released within the year of, or the next year after, his selection, by a major league club, and no other major league club claims him prior to the expiration of his notice of release, the minor league club which lost him by selection shall have the priority of right to him over all clubs.

Sec. 10. The selection of a player made by a major league club under an arrangement with a minor league club for the return of the selected player after the expiration of the period of selection, shall be void, and the National Commission shall impose a fine of $500 on each club which becomes a party to a conspiracy to prevent a player from advancing in his profession, or in any way abusing the privilege of selection.



Section 1.   On or before the 25th day of September in each year the Secretary of each party to this Agreement shall transmit to the Secretary of the Commission a list of players then under contract with each of its several club members for the current season and in addition thereto a list of such players reserved in any prior annual reserve list who have refused to contract with such clubs. Such players, together with all others thereafter to be regularly contracted with by such clubs (namely, those whose releases have been secured for future services by purchase or selection by draft under this Agreement), are and shall be ineligible to contract with any other club of any league during the period of time between the termination of their contracts and the beginning of the next season. The Secretary of the Commission shall thereupon promulgate such lists. No club shall be permitted to  reserve any player while in arrears of salary to him. Failure of a club to tender a contract to a player by March 1 shall operate as a release.



Sec.  5.  A player suspended by a club or league for a term longer than ten days shall have the right of appeal to the National Commission, which is given authority to order his reinstatement if it deems the punishment excessive or not merited. This and other questions may be determined by a mail vote by members of the Commission.




                                                                    ARTICLE X.


Approved September 11, 1903.

Source:  1904 Reach Guide, pp. 115-123.


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