Sometimes I wonder if I don’t need an arbiter to settle the disputes taking place inside this collector’s head.

Now before you implore me to see my doctor and get back on my meds, I want to assure you there’s nothing wrong with me. Nothing that a doctor can cure, anyway.

Like many in the hobby, I struggle to decide which (team) sets are worth adding to my collection. There are just too many products over the past 30 years to even think about trying to collect them all- and yet I have found myself investing time, money and space while trying to keep up with the Jones’ on way more sets than I should (most of which I don’t even like). But the time has come to draw a line in the sand and settle these disputes once and for all- and I’ve been able to resolve them without any outside help.

Jim Todd, on the other hand, needed a third party after not being able to come to an agreement with the Mariners on his salary following the 1978 season. Todd, coming off his third consecutive poor season, was offered $80,000 for the ’79 season- the same amount he played for in 1978. Convinced he was worth 100,000, he filed for arbitration but was put on waivers and then released before the hearing; Oakland then signed him as a free-agent three weeks after his release.

Jim was even worse in ’79, which turned out to be his worst- and last- season in the majors.

As bad as the Mariners looked during the whole process, they did offer up an excuse: the team was negotiating with the pitcher prior to the arrival of new team president and CEO Dan O’Brien. Once O’Brien arrived in mid-January, the team began to re-evaluate some of its players, according to then-GM Lou Gorman.


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