On Friday Aug. 30, 2002, the MLBPA and MLB reached agreement, averting a strike that would have begun with the Labor Day weekend schedule. It marked the first time since 1970 that an agreement was reached without a work stoppage.
On Friday Aug. 30, 2002, at shortly before noon EDT, the Players Association and Major League Baseball agreed to a contract and averted a strike that would have commenced with the Labor Day weekend schedule.
The four-year agreement was reached after tense bargaining through the night with negotiators shuttling between MLB and union offices in midtown Manhattan. It marked the first time since 1970 that a Basic Agreement had been reached without a stoppage.
The difficult final days and hours of negotiating centered around finding an appropriate balance in the luxury tax and revenue sharing.
"I'm happy. It's a great day for baseball and the fans of baseball," said Tom Glavine, who was the NL Representative on the MLBPA's Executive Committee at the time. "We worked hard and long to get this done. It wasn't easy but, in the end, it was worth all of the time and the effort."
The bargaining took place with a backdrop that included eight successive work stoppages between agreements, including a bitter 232-strike in 1994-95.
“All streaks come to an end and that is one that was overdue to come to an end,” Executive Director Don Fehr said later that afternoon at a joint news conference with Commissioner Bud Selig.
Tony Clark, the current executive director, was the union’s AL Representative at the time and playing for the Boston Red Sox, who were scheduled to travel to Cleveland that day – but only if a settlement was reached.
The Red Sox were the first team scheduled to travel that day, so all eyes were on their clubhouse, where Clark was huddled with his teammates and in constant communication with the union office in New York.