Former major leaguer Garry Arthur Jestadt is a partner at Scottsdale Investment Management in Scottsdale, Arizona.
The 70-year-old played with the Montreal Expos in 1969, the Chicago Cubs, and San Diego Padres in 1971 and 1972.
A graduate of Fremont High School in Sunnyvale, California, Mr. Jestadt is one of 500 retirees w/o an MLB pension.
As I’ve indicated in past posts, the 500 retirees do not receive MLB pensions because of a change in the vesting requirements that occurred during the 1980 Memorial Day Weekend.
The players’ union was offered the opportunity to give its members the following sweetheart deal: one game day of service credit to be eligible to buy into the league’s health insurance coverage plan, and 43 game days of service for a pension, which is currently worth between $34,000 and $210,000 a year.
The problem for men like Jestadt was that the union didn’t insist on retroactive coverage.
So in April 2011, the league and union tried to partially remedy the problem by giving men like Jestadt $625 for each quarter of 43 game days of service they accrued, up to 16 quarters. The payment, which is not a real pension, cannot be passed on to a widow, loved one, family member or other designated beneficiary.
When the man passes, the payment passes with him.
What make this story special is that Jestadt is an exceptional person who set up a foundation to help first responders — police officers and firefighters – who are without benefits. The man is crapped upon by the league and the union, but he’s magnanimous enough to try to help others.
As the holiday season approaches, a guy like Jestadt is proof positive that there are kind people out there if you look hard enough.
I guess I’ve just spent too much time looking for that quality at the Park Avenue offices of the league and the East 49th Street offices of the union.
Freelance magazine writer.
Advocate for MLB players rights