But that's not the point, he says—fairness is. And because he has been so vocal, he routinely fields phone calls from sick and financially strapped retirees who now hope he can produce the ultimate late-inning relief.
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Dan Foster, chief executive officer of the Major League Baseball Players Alumni Association, says, "I continue to have discussions with the powers that be on increasing benefits for all former players, and as I assume you are aware, we don't comment until the results are finalized. I will be happy to provide details at which time the information is available to the public."
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Asked why Baney is the guy fielding all the phone calls from retirees, Gladstone answers, "Because he's been very vocal. Dick is a guy who essentially personifies the issue on principle. Does Dick need this money? Probably not. Herb Washington? The same. Post-baseball, they have had fairly good careers. David Clyde does not need the money.
"But that's beside the point. It is the principle of the thing. . . . They are hosing guys out there who really do need the money, such as Mike Colbern."
For Baney, it's simple: "We just want what everyone else is getting," he says with a shrug. "I don't want to sound like I hated my playing days. I loved every minute of it; I loved the opportunity. If I could do it all over again, I would. It's just there are guys out there who need help."
This article appeared in print as "The Lost Boys of Summer: Even after Dick Baney helped embarrass Major League Baseball into helping retired ballplayers such as himself, he's still not happy—and he has plenty of company."