In 1980, a pair of 18-year-old friends attempted to do the impossible: become general managers of an MLB franchise with no experience simply by writing each team and hoping they’d accept them.
Those friends were Paul Greenberg and Andrew Chodos, and they knew they had no shot of actually landing the job. They pretty much admit that in their letter to teams.
“I’m sure you chuckle at the idea of replacing two established major league personnel with 18-year-old rookies, but consider the benefits,” Greenberg writes in his 1981 letter.
The letter lists each of their “qualifications.” Chodos was a “great student of the game” and a “great tactition.” Greenberg was a player-manager at his “local divisional championship baseball team.” They claim that together they could “mold most any team into a feared, respected, and winning ballclub.”
This effort started with a letter to the Expos. After getting rejected (which you can see below), the two teenagers decided to use that as a launching point for the rest of the teams in Major League Baseball.
“We had the chutzpah to apply to be GM and manager of every MLB baseball team,” Greenberg tells Sporting News. “We started with our hometown Montreal Expos and then sent around their reply to each of the other 25 teams. The flaw in our reasoning was that, had we been successful in securing those highly-prized jobs, we would have had to sit through 162 games per year. Lucky for us we were turned down!”
Trying to complete this task today would be fairly simple. Every team is easily accessible through the internet, and writing an email to every franchise would only take a few minutes. But as Greenberg points out, trying to do this in 1980 was “no small research project.”
To their surprise, a number of MLB teams actually responded back with a letter. Even future MLB commissioner Bud Selig offered up a response. Greenburg says he still holds on to these letters 40 years later as “precious mementos” and appreciates every response he and his friend received.
“Obviously, the effort was all tongue-in-cheek and most of the replies got the tone exactly right in recognizing its silliness,” Greenberg says. “We never thought of it as striking out. Instead, in our minds, we thought of it as hitting a home run in taking this off-beat plan to its logical conclusion.”
You can read the responses from each team below.
Chicago White Sox
Los Angeles Dodgers
San Diego Padres
Toronto Blue Jays
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