- 17 wins in relief
- 20 saves
- 167 innings pitched
- Of his 78 appearances, only 13 merely lasted 1 inning.
- 56 appearances were multi-inning games
- 23 of his appearances were 3 innings or more
- 6 times he pitched 5 innings or more
- Surprisingly, he only blew 7 saves all year, after pitching all those innings
- Earned a 7th place finish in the Cy Young voting, 8th place in the MVP voting
- Grew a fu that Charles "Old Hoss" Radbourne would have envied
"The now-powerful players' union negotiated it [the reserve clause] out of existence in the 1970s, setting up the lucrative free agent era. Union head Marvin Miller, who knew that universal free agency would be just as bad as having no free agency, negotiated a system based on service time for potential free agents." - from Answers.ComIn short, instead of letting everybody into the pool at the end of their contract, Miller was wise to create a trickle flow of free agents. The lower supply would serve to increase the individual take in player contracts. Too many high level players would dilute the money pool, so the control was set up. But before that, his agent, Larue Harcourt (see photo), negotiated Bill's big pot of gold - 5 years, $1M - with the BoSox (why, oh why, do people say these agent / lawyers have sleazy names?).
A face that would have served him well as a
bit actor in a western barroom scene.
Appropriate, as 1970's baseball was a lot
like the wild, wild west.
By today's rules, a player only becomes eligible for free agency after 6 years of inclusion on the team's 40 man roster. Under that format, Campbell wouldn't have become eligible to bolt until after the 1978 season. As it was, within three years, the Twins lost Campbell, Bert Blyleven (his trade preempting his all-but-certain free agency), Larry Hisle (team's top slugger), Lyman Bostock (Twins best pure hitter after Carew), Eric Soderholm (starting third baseman), and Dave Goltz (staff ace after Blyleven). It was all sickening stuff for Twins fans to stomach - the exodus from the shantytown and cotton field that our (now-lovely) Twins Territory was. It made it ever more difficult for the club to compete in the late 1970's...gone was their chance to win another pennant (or two) in those years.