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This Day in Sports History: Ron Santo is the First to Invoke the "10-and-5 Rule"



Shortly after the 1973 season had concluded, Cubs star third baseman Ron Santo was faced with a dilemma. He had just completed his 14th year in the majors and the Cubs, having established himself as one of the Windy City's best players and adopting the city as his hometown. Still, the Cubs were entitled to make their roster a little better. They tried to trade him to the California Angels, but the aging third baseman had a trick up his sleeve.


On December 5, 1973, Ron Santo became the first player in baseball history to invoke baseball's new "10 and 5 rule". According to the rule, a player who has at least 10 years of major league experience and has been with the same club for the past five years can refuse any trade scenario. Given the fact that he had been in both the Major Leagues and with the Cubs for the past 14 years, Ron Santo clearly had the right to veto any trade.


Mostly due to his advanced age, Santo didn't want to leave Chicago, his home ever since 1960. Enlightened with this information, the Cubs eventually traded him to the crosstown White Sox for Ken Frailing, Steve Stone, Steve Swisher and a player to be named later (Jim Kremmel). Since he was staying in the Windy City, Ron Santo agreed to the trade, playing the 1974 season for the White Sox before retirement.



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