What would normally have been the All-Star break, the time during which the best baseball talent in North America gathered to put on a show for the fans, came and went without any baseball activity. The votes that had been cast all season long by the fans were counted, but this year’s All-Star selections would not be found on the playing field. Instead, they took the route normally reserved for the also-rans: they relaxed, fixed up the house, did things with their families and generally felt miserable that they weren’t outside playing baseball.
Some ballplayers, foreseeing a long strike, planted the seeds for other employment. Others literally planted seeds. The big stars and local heroes continued reaping residuals from prior commercial endorsements, but new spots were hard to come by. The major brands did not want to be seen as irrelevant, nor were they in any hurry to alienate consumers who happened to side with management.
Younger players, once secure with their big league salaries, now had newly acquired and massive home mortgages to worry about. For them, interim jobs were more than a distraction geared toward occupying time and supplementing interest. Finding a job was a must, in order to maintain a standard of living. As one bitter rookie was quoted to say, within earshot of several teammates, “Not all of us are millionaires. I’ve got a wife and kid to support. I’ll have to find another job.”
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