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Welcome to the page for Will Leitch - The MLB Master Replacement Player List

Will Leitch is the author of three books, including "God Save the Fan".  He is also the founder of Deadspin.

This page is dedicated to the players who partook in spring training in 1995 that came so close to playing the regular seasons.

Replacement Players - (from Baseball

The 1994 strike set in motion a chain of events that Major League Baseball and its fans still feels to this day. One of them was the use of replacement players during Spring Training in 1995 (Excel spreadsheet with complete rosters can be download from this page). These players, like them or not, crossed the proverbial picket line and became forever known as the replacements.

Each of the players below, according to the Players Association, are not allowed union membership. They each are given representation during arbitration or other matters, they all receive pension benefits, but they are not part of the actual union — which essentially means they do not receive any licensing monies and they cannot vote on union matters.

Each Major League team was permitted to carry thirty-two replacement players on their rosters for Opening Day and twenty-five could be used in any game. No waivers were going to be used, no disabled lists, and salaries were set at $115,000 (plus a $5,000 signing bonus, a $5,000 bonus for making the Opening Day roster, and up to three players could have a contract as high as $275,000).

When the strike finally came to an end, Major League players had a three week Spring Training and replacement players were either sent to the Minor Leagues, terminated, or in some cases given a team travel bag to load their belongings in before leaving to their homes. However, the following players have made it to "the show" and are considered non-union replacement players.

Here is a list of players that had no MLB experience before the strike.

Had MLB experience before strike

Fast Facts -  (from Baseball

The replacement players were entitled to their signing bonus and Spring Training expenses. Most of the Major League teams paid this and gave a severance ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 per player. The St. Louis Cardinals, on the other hand, gave each replacement player $25,000 while the Montreal Expos gave each player a jersey. The Phillies, who probably did not want to be considered as cheap as the Expos, gave each player their jersey AND a ball signed by the entire team (the same team that they were playing on / with).

Sources : The Cultural Encyclopedia of Baseball (1999)
Sources : New York Times (Many Citations from 1994)
Sources : David A. Walker [APBA Data] (08-01-2004)
Sources : Jason Robertson [Excel Data] (08-31-2004)

Other Materials

Baseball strike of 1994-95 timeline

The basics of the baseball strike:

When: The players walked out Aug. 12, 1994. The rest of the season, including the World Series, was called off Sept 14. It was the eighth work stoppage in baseball history.

Why: Citing a worsening financial situation in baseball, the owners were demanding a salary cap. The players were adamant they would never accept such a thing. The dispute was played out with a backdrop of years of hostility and mistrust between the two sides.

"We felt in '94 we were pushed into it," said Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Association. "I still think that's a justified conclusion."

How long: The strike lasted 234 days, dragging into the next spring. Baseball became the first sport in history to lose its postseason to a labor dispute.

The cost on the field: Besides the obvious financial losses, baseball also ruined a season of fascinating possibility. The unsung Montreal Expos were six games ahead in first place in the National League East. San Diego's Tony Gwynn had a batting average of .394, making him a contender to become the first .400 hitter in 43 years. San Francisco's Matt Williams had 43 home runs and was on pace to hit 61, challenging Roger Maris' record four years before Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa did so.

Back to baseball: The strike ended when a federal judge issued an injunction against the owners. The 1995 season resumed April 25 under the conditions of the expired contract.

By Mike Lopresti, Gannett News Service

August 29, 2002
The replacements
ESPN The Magazine
It was one of the lowest points in baseball history, a time of anger, confusion and disgrace. In spring training of 1995, major league players were on strike, so teams were built with replacement players, a collection of minor leaguers, former major leaguers and anyone else who could play at all. Tigers manager Sparky Anderson was so disgusted, he boycotted the exercise. Regrettable -- in some cases, nearly unavoidable -- decisions were made, decisions that affect a group of players today. For those players on major leaguers who are classifield as replacement players by the Players Assocation -- a group that includes Shane Spencer, Rick Reed, Brian Daubach, Damian Miller, Cory Lidle, Benny Agbayani and Keith Osik -- the fiasco of 1995 is a painful memory. They are welcome members of their current teams, but some of their teammates never will forget what they did.
Replacement players
According to the Players Association, the following players on 40-man rosters were replacement players in the spring of 1995 and are not allowed union membership:

Benny Agbayani, Brian Daubach, Brendan Donnelly, Angel Echeverria, Charles Gipson, Matt Herges, Cory Lidle, Kerry Ligtenberg, Ron Mahay, Tom Martin, Walt McKeel, Frank Menechino, Lou Merloni, Kevin Millar, Damian Miller, Eddie Oropeso, Keith Osik, Rick Reed, Chuck Smith, Shane Spencer, Pedro Swann, Jeff Tam, Brian Tollberg, Chris Truby, Jamie Walker.

The replacement players are represented by the Players Association on matters of arbitration and other grievances, and they receive pension benefits, but they are not part of the union, they are not allowed to vote on union matters and they do not get licensing money. Some have applied for inclusion to the union. Only Billy McMillon (who played in one replacement game because he was fraudulently made to believe it wasn't one) has been allowed in.

Miller, the catcher for the Diamondbacks and one of the leaders of the team, doesn't consider himself a replacement player. He played in one "B" game that spring because he was told by his team at the time, the Twins, that he would not be punished by participating. Yet, to some degree, he still is being punished. His name was not included on the Diamondbacks' T-shirt celebrating the team's National League West title in 1999, nor on the T-shirt commemorating the 2001 World Series championship. When the Diamondbacks have met on union matters, Miller would leave the room and sit in the manager's office. How uncomfortable is that? Seven years ago, the minor-league players who crossed the line perhaps weren't aware of the potential severity of their decision and the risks involved. Rick Reed knew. He was pitching for the Reds' Triple-A club, his 10th year of pro ball. He was told by the Reds to cross the line or he'd be released, then blackballed. Reed's mother was sick, he was paying her medical bills, and he couldn't stop working. So he played. Late in the 1995 season, he was recalled by the Reds because they badly needed pitching. General manager Jim Bowden called a team meeting to inform the players of what he was planning to do. One player stood up in the back of the clubhouse and screamed his opposition, claiming he would never be a teammate with a "scab." Reed was recalled, making for a tense situation, but he didn't stay long, and didn't do particularly well. Two seasons later, he won 13 games for the Mets. Three years after that, he pitched in the World Series. "He's one of us," said Mets pitcher John Franco. Just like Shane Spencer is one of the Yankees. He got two at-bats in a replacement game in 1995, which was enough to brand him. He just wanted to win a job in Class A; had he not played, he was told by the team he would be released. He was impressive in a workout and was viewed as a potential major leaguer, so the Yankee coaches purposely ran him out of camp so his future would not be ruined by playing in replacement games. He was not the only player who was "saved" in that way. The Yankee replacement team was so bad, it took batting practice for three days at Coors Field in Denver and didn't hit a ball over the fence. The strike was settled before replacement players could be used in major league games. Whenever a new labor agreement is reached -- it is "at best, 50-50" that a deal can be reached before Friday's deadline, a source close to the situation said Thursday morning -- the board for the Players Association will examine the case for each player to determine if he will be allowed in the union. There's a chance that all, or most of them, will be allowed in. We can only hope that no matter what happens on the labor front, the spring of 1995 never will be repeated. Tim Kurkjian is a senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and a regular contributor to Baseball Tonight. E-mail

05/26/09 1:07 PM ET

Supreme nominee ended 1994-95 strike

Sotomayor was judge who issued ruling that halted impasse

By Mark Newman /

President Obama nominated federal appeals judge Sonia Sotomayor to be the nation's first Hispanic Supreme Court justice on Tuesday. If confirmed, the highest court in the land will be represented by someone who made a key ruling on the highest baseball league in the land.

It was Sotomayor's ruling that forced Major League Baseball players and owners to resume the national pastime in 1995 after a 234-day player strike wiped out the final six weeks of the regular season and the entire postseason in 1994.

On Dec. 23, 1994, with collective bargaining negotiations at a standstill, the owners implemented a salary cap. Commissioner Bud Selig announced at the time: "We are committed to playing the 1995 season and will do so with the best players willing to play."

Orioles owner Peter Angelos announced that his team would not use replacement players. Cal Ripken Jr. was due to break Lou Gehrig's "unbreakable" record of 2,130 consecutive games played that following September, but technically Ripken's streak would have been broken had the Orioles used a replacement player for him. That March 20, the Orioles canceled their remaining Spring Training games due to Angelos' refusal.

The strike ended when Sotomayor issued a preliminary injunction against the owners on March 31, 1995. Three days later, the day before the season was scheduled to start, the strike was finally over. Sotomayor's decision to effectively order the 1990 work rules to be reinstated received support from a panel of the Court of Appeals for the New York-based Second Circuit, which denied the owners' request to stay the ruling.

Obama nominated her as a replacement for retiring Justice David Souter, praising her as "an inspiring woman" with both the intellect and compassion to interpret the Constitution wisely.

Obama said, "Born in the South Bronx, she was raised in a housing project not far from Yankee Stadium, making her a lifelong Yankees fan. I hope this will not disqualify her in the eyes of the New Englanders in the Senate."

Barring the unexpected, Senate confirmation seems likely given the large Democratic majority. If approved, she would join Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a second woman on the current court, the third in history.

Mark Newman is enterprise editor of This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



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