Gary Cooper (not that one) and his (lack of) pension

santadevil

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moondog80

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It sucks but hard cases make bad law. I assume he's not the only guy who played exactly 42 days.
 

DJnVa

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No matter what the rules are there's ALWAYS going to be someone that just misses out. If the rule had been 42, this story would be about the guy that was at 41.
 

joe dokes

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He's 67; I think his pension would be around 5-6k/yr if he started taking it at 65. If they so choose, the Braves should just write him a check and not make bad law.

But I'm confused:
Cooper spent 42 days with the team and on the 43rd day – the threshold for earning a mandatory MLB pension – was set to play a game before it was canceled due to rain. Before his next appearance, though, he was moved down to the minor leagues, never to return.
Gary Cooper Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Rookie Status & More | Baseball-Reference.com

He only played MLB in 1980.
He played in the Braves final game of the season on October 5.
He also played the game before, October 4.
His first game with the Braves was 8/25. He got into every game between 8/25 and 9/5. Then 9/14-9/20; then 23rd, 27th, & October 2, 4, & 5.

This from another story, just doesn;t check out:
A native of Savannah, Georgia, Cooper was living out a dream of playing for the beloved hometown Atlanta Braves. But late in the season on Sept. 28, 1980, the Braves were rained out and Cooper never played in another MLB game again. He fell one game shy of receiving his MLB pension -- a requirement of 43 games.
Braves were rained out on the 28th, and played on 9/10 & 10/1-10/5. Bref has him playing on 10/2, 10/4, and 10/5. Then the season ended.
Also, isn't it days on roster, not games played? It seems real unlikely that the Braves would send a guy down in September when the MLB roster was expanded to 40, and then bring him right back up thus costing him a day.
 
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joe dokes

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Why would a rainout not qualify as a day he was on the roster?
When I first read it, I thought maybe they sent him down at 9am or some time that makes the day "not count."
But he not only was with the team after the rainout, he played in the last 3 games of the season.

EDIT: I do feel kinda schmucky for FARKing the guy like this. But the story made me curious about the guy.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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He's 67; I think his pension would be around 5-6k/yr if he started taking it at 65. If they so choose, the Braves should just write him a check and not make bad law.

But I'm confused:

Gary Cooper Stats, Height, Weight, Position, Rookie Status & More | Baseball-Reference.com

He only played MLB in 1980.
He played in the Braves final game of the season on October 5.
He also played the game before, October 4.
His first game with the Braves was 8/25. He got into every game between 8/25 and 9/5. Then 9/14-9/20; then 23rd, 27th, & October 2, 4, & 5.

This from another story, just doesn;t check out:


Braves were rained out on the 28th, and played on 9/10 & 10/1-10/5. Bref has him playing on 10/2, 10/4, and 10/5. Then the season ended.
Also, isn't it days on roster, not games played? It seems real unlikely that the Braves would send a guy down in September when the MLB roster was expanded to 40, and then bring him right back up thus costing him a day.
According to baseball reference, Cooper's debut was August 25, 1980, and his last game was October 5, 1980 (as you point out). That's 42 days.

I'm pretty sure MLB pension rules at that time were calculated in days on roster not games played so the stuff about the rainout would not be germane to the situation.
 

joe dokes

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According to baseball reference, Cooper's debut was August 25, 1980, and his last game was October 5, 1980 (as you point out). That's 42 days.

I'm pretty sure MLB pension rules at that time were calculated in days on roster not games played so the stuff about the rainout would not be germane to the situation.
That sounds right. (My bad, I could have figure out that part). The rainout and "getting sent to the minors" were red herrings at best.

That said, whoever is behind the effort, laudable though it may be, is doing Cooper no favors when the heart-tugging-est part seems to be inaccurate.
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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That sounds right. (My bad, I could have figure out that part). The rainout and "getting sent to the minors" were red herrings at best.

That said, whoever is behind the effort, laudable though it may be, is doing Cooper no favors when the heart-tugging-est part seems to be inaccurate.
The petition was started by a guy who has employed Cooper in the landscaping business on occasion. you can find it here: Petition · Help former Atlanta Brave Gary Cooper get his pension from Major League Baseball - United States · Change.org (I signed it).

As for the significance of the rainout, I'm not sure why people keep mentioning it (it's in the Petition plus this longer article on Cooper). I think maybe someone believes that since ATL only played 161 games that year - ATL was not required to make up the rainout - there should be some equitable consideration but Cooper's attorney said that according to league rules, even if the rainout had been made up, it wouldn't have counted towards his service time.

I do think that a couple of articles that talk about a "43 game requirement" tried to figure out why the rainout was important and figured there must be a games-played requirement, which is incorrect.

Finally, there's a Go Fund Me for Cooper. Given that he's basically homeless from all accounts, I threw in some money (and hope that it's going to the correct place). Here's the link: Fundraiser by Robert Jonas : Former Atlanta Brave Gary Cooper needs our help (gofundme.com)

He was DFA'd, Gary Cooper?
No as the article I linked above states, the season ended and then he spent 1981 in the minors and then retired.
 

bankshot1

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Interesting career stats 2AB no hits, no walks, 2 stolen bases and 3 runs scored.

Maybe the Braves can give the sac fly guy, a one game/one day contract at the end of the season and a pension.
 

joe dokes

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One issue with the rainout referenced in the story is that it's in the context of "he was sent down and never returned." Whether the error is intentional, the "sent down after the rainout" scenario sounds more unfortunate for him (or make the Braves seem more heartless) than "Had he been called up one day earlier in August he would have qualified."
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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The article I posted says, "Just a week after a rainout against the San Francisco Giants on Sept. 29 that year, a game the Braves were not required to make up . . . ."

Agreed I don't know why the articles are focusing on the rainout.

It also seems super confusing because it seems to me that he really wasn't "sent down" as much as the season-ended. Maybe the authors think that the rainout will draw people's attention to the issue (even if isn't germane).
 

joe dokes

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I was listening. Just took my cue from the OP's linked story and the pulled quote from it, which conflated the rainout and the demotion.
I hope he gets something good from this.

I do wonder, as posited above, if there are others whose service time ended exactly at 42 games. (or whatever "1 day short of one quarter" is for their time).
 

wade boggs chicken dinner

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I do wonder, as posited above, if there are others whose service time ended exactly at 42 games. (or whatever "1 day short of one quarter" is for their time).
The Andscape article says that there are 176 players short of the 43 day service time. I presume no one else is at 42.