Damage hearings in the 1985 baseball collusion case will begin Jan. 18 and last for at least two weeks, according to arbitrator Thomas Roberts.
Roberts ruled Sept. 22 that the major league clubs conspired against signing free agents after a series of meetings after the 1985 season.
The union and the owners exchanged briefs outlining their positions for the hearings, which will determine the damages suffered by the 62 free agents of 1985.
The union will ask Roberts to:
--Issue an order asking the owners to stop their collusive practices.
--Allow the 1985 players still in baseball to void their contracts and become free agents again.
--Set player-by-player damages for the 62 free agents.
--Set player-by-player damages for the 98 players who filed for salary arbitration that year and all other players who signed contracts that winter.
--Set general and punitive damages against the owners.
Donald Fehr, executive director of the Major League Baseball Players Assn., refused to give an exact figure for what the players are seeking, but said, “It will be substantial.”
The first week of hearings will be held at an undisclosed location in Southern California and the second week’s will be in New York.