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The Egawa Incident and the

Discussion in the Pro Yakyu History forum
The Egawa Incident and the "Blank Day"
What follows is a translation from the FAQ, Japanese Basball section, maintained by Shin'ichiro Nishizaki and translated by Joshua A. Reyer (a.k.a. CFiJ). While this may be a Frequently Asked Question on the Japanese baseball news group, I thought it more fitting for the history section.

Suguru Egawa was drafted by Crown in 1977, but did not sign. Crown's negotiation rights were valid until two days before the draft. (By the time the 1978 draft came around, Crown had become Seibu.) The day before the 1978 draft, the Giants announced that they had signed Egawa to a contract. The Giants had interpreted the rules as saying that no one owned negotiating rights to Egawa on that day, they could freely negotiate and sign him.

Central League President Suzuki dismissed the contract with the following opinion: "Negotiating rights are valid until two days before the draft because the day before the draft is assumed to be needed for preparing for the draft, and is not a day to negotiate signings. It does not mean that teams without negotiating rights are free to negotiate. In addition, Egawa is neither a free agent, nor is he able to sign with a team outside of the draft on the day before the draft. He must sign with a team through the draft process." The Giants protested the decision and appealed, not participating in that year's draft. Commisioner Kaneko's decision was to reject the Giants' appeal, invalidate their contract with Egawa, and award his negotiating rights to Hanshin, who named him their number one pick. However, he suggested a trade between the Tigers and the Giants. Both teams agreed, so Egawa signed a contract with the Hanshin Tigers and was traded to the Giants for pitcher Shigeru Kobayashi.

The "Blank Day" remained until the current deadline was adopted, but because this incident had become a precendent, no team tried to use it again.
Something here looks familar
[ Author: westbaystars | Posted: Mar 13, 2003 11:36 PM | YBS Fan ]

The Egawa Incident, where Hanshin traded him to the Giants the day after the draft, with the Giants boycotting the draft, is a famous incident - and one deserving of a topic of its own. But this is the first I'd read about the "Blank Day" part of the story. Yet, it's like "deja vu all over again."

Does the recent RedSox swiping of Millar remind anybody else of this? But instead of ruling the interim to be a formality, the powers-that-be in MLB supported the deviant behavior.

What really surprises me is that the Commissioner didn't let the Giants get away with this stunt in 1978 - although they did cave in with the trade. I was sure that the Giants rule over policy in NPB was absolute for all time.

The history of the game sure is interesting. Learn something new every day.

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Michael Westbay
(aka westbaystars)

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