Pre-1980 MLB Retirees to Receive a Pension

April 22, 2011 ( - Major League Baseball’s Commissioner’s office and players union announced that players who played between 1947 and 1980 but not long enough to qualify for the league’s pension will receive annual payments of up to $10,000.

Players who retired before 1980 were only eligible for benefits if they completed at least four seasons, but after 1980 that requirement was lowered to just one game.  

According to the New York Times, the money would come from the competitive balance tax that teams pay for exceeding the maximum payroll, said Rob Manfred, the league’s vice president for labor relations. The amounts would be based on time of service, as measured in quarters of years. Those who played just under four years would have seven quarters of service and receive $10,000 and the amounts graduate down from there.  

The New York Times said Eddie Robinson, who is a former All-Star first baseman as well as a former general manager, pointed out that many players in his day (he played from 1942 to 1957, although he served three of those years in the Navy) lost years of baseball because they served in the military during World War II.  

“The current generation of players understands the rights they have now came from the sacrifices of the generations before them. The union under Marvin Miller tackled pensions as its first issue and in each round of bargaining we have attempted to improve the conditions of former players,” said Michael Weiner, the executive director of the players union, according to the news report.