Dave McNally (October 31, 1942-December 1, 2002) was a Major League Baseball left-handed starting pitcher from 1962 until 1975. He was signed by the Baltimore Orioles and played with them every year but his last one with the Montreal Expos.
McNally is most famous for his role in the historic 1975 Seitz decision which led to the downfall of major league baseball's reserve clause and ushered in the current era of free agency.
McNally and Andy Messersmith were the only two players in 1975 playing on the one year reserve clause in effect at the time. Neither had signed a contract at the time but both were held with their team under the rule. The two challenged the rule and won their free agency.
McNally retired after the 1975 season and had no intention of claiming his free agency. Player's union executives asked him to add his name to the grievance it had filed in opposition to the reserve clause and he agreed. Baseball owners wanted his name off the grievance so the Expos offered McNally a $25,000 signing bonus and a $125,000 contract if he made the team but he declined. (The hope was to sign Messersmith at the same time thus eliminating the challenge)
McNally never saw the benefit of his new found freedom.
He lived the rest of his life in his hometown of Billings, Montana, USA until his death from cancer in 2002.