Black list

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A Black list is a list of persons prevented from taking part in a professional activity as punishment for having violated important rules.

From time to time the offices of Major League Baseball (even before they were called Major Leagues), the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues, Nippon Pro Baseball, the Korea Baseball Organization and other leagues have seen fit to set examples by banning certain players under "rules of propriety". Usually involving gambling, contract disputes (League jumping), banned substances etc. A few have been banned for life and then reinstated but for others the ban has continued into their graves.

The most famous current case of a banned player is that of Pete Rose, who was declared "permanently ineligible" by Commissioner A. Bartlett Giamatti in 1989 for allegedly gambling on the outcome of major league games involving his team. With all of the brouhaha about Rose trying to be reinstated, there has been a lot of talk about baseball's permanently ineligible list. The list is the ultimate punishment that can be meted out to players by Major League Baseball. As a result of being placed on the list, a player is not allowed to play, coach or be employed in any way in the Major Leagues and its affiliated Minor Leagues. The permanent ban also includes a ban from induction into the Hall of Fame. A player on the list is even barred from appearing at major league ballparks unless he receives a special dispensation.

Other famous persons on the list are the eight members of the 1919 Chicago White Sox (and one other player) accused of fixing the 1919 World Series in what is known as the Black Sox Scandal. There have also been regular calls for the reinstatement of the eight, particularly of OF "Shoeless" Joe Jackson, who would otherwise have been elected to the Hall of Fame.

Judging from history, two things become clear: first, any connection with gambling could result in a player being suspended. This would be a violation of baseball Rule 21, particularly sections (a) and (d), which state:

(a) Any player or person connected with a club who shall promise or agree to lose, or to attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which he is or may be in any way concerned; or who shall intentionally fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any such baseball game, or who shall solicit or attempt to induce any player or person connected with a club to lose, or attempt to lose, or to fail to give his best efforts towards the winning of any baseball game with which such other player or person is or may be in any way connected; or who, being solicited by any person, shall fail to inform his Major League President and the Commissioner.

(d) Any player, umpire, or club or league official or employee, who shall bet any sum whatsoever upon any baseball game in connection with which the bettor has a duty to perform shall be declared permanently ineligible.

The other fact that becomes clear is that the banned list is hardly "permanent" at all. Of the 37 men that have been placed on the Major League Baseball list, many of them were reinstated to the game after a short period of time. But those who were not reinstated are more notable.

For a more thorough discussion of what has been encapsulated here and a list of the guilty along with their crimes, see Major League Baseball's "Permanently Ineligible List"

Further Reading[edit]

  • Hal Bock: Banned: Baseball's Blacklist of All-Stars and Also-Rans, Diversion Publishing, New York, NY, 2017. ISBN 978-1635760316
  • Kevin Spain: "MLB's permanently banned list: A motley crew of gamblers, thieves, cheats and drug users", USA Today Sports, November 21, 2017. [1]

See also[edit]

Reinstated Players