Graig Nettles grew up in the same North Park neighborhood that produced Ted Williams. He graduated from San Diego High and played basketball and baseball for San Diego State. He played for the Twins, Indians and Yankees during his first 17 years in the majors when his phone rang at 2 a.m. in March 1984.
The Yankees were trading away their captain.
Nettles knew precisely where he was going.
“They knew,” a 75-year-old Nettles recalled recently, “the only place I’d agree to go was San Diego.”
Nettles had that right because he’d accrued 10-and-5 rights: 10 years of big league service and more than five consecutive years with one team.