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Former Braves GM John Coppolella & MLB’s ‘Banned From Baseball but Reinstated’ All-Stars

Last Updated: July 1, 2023
After more than five years on the “permanently ineligible” list, Coppy has come in from the cold. So, who else in MLB history has been banned from baseball only to be welcomed back?

On Nov. 21, 2017, Atlanta Braves General Manager John Coppolella was banned for life by Major League Baseball. The transgression? No, he did not stand accused of gambling, harassing or physically attacking another person, or any manner of crimes related to controlled substances. Rather, he was found to have violated MLB rules regarding the signing of international players to Atlanta’s farm system.

But this month, after just over five years in the cold, The Athletic’s Jayson Stark was first to report that the man once known as “Coppy” had been removed in low-key but officially binding fashion from the league’s “permanently ineligible” list.

“I want to thank Commissioner [Rob] Manfred for granting my application for removal from the Ineligible List,” Coppolella said on the occasion. “I deeply regret and accept accountability for my actions. I want to again apologize to the Atlanta Braves organization, Major League Baseball, its fans, and especially my family and friends. I am grateful for this decision and will strive each day to honor this opportunity.”

Well, that got us thinking — before you start yammering on about Pete Rose, whose name may as well come from the Latin for “not gonna happen” — who else is on the strange, curious Banned From Baseball but Reinstated All-Star team that John Coppolella has just joined?

You have questions, Boardroom has answers.

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Every Person Banned From Baseball but Later Reinstated


Thomas Devyr, Ed Duffy, William Wansley

Banned from MLB: 1865
Infraction: Associating with gamblers
Reinstated by MLB: 1865 (Devyr), 1870 (Duffy, Wansley)

John Radcliff

Banned: 1874
Infraction: Attempted bribery of an umpire
Reinstated: 1875

Oscar Walker

Banned: 1877
Infraction: Signing a pre-contract with a new team while still under contract with an incumbent team
Reinstated: 1878

Lip Pike

Banned: 1881
Infraction: Suspicion of throwing games
Reinstated: 1883


Joe Harris

Banned: 1920
Infraction: Playing for a non-MLB club while under an MLB contract
Reinstated: 1922

Ray Fisher

Banned: 1921
Infraction: Leaving MLB while under contract to accept a college coaching job
Reinstated: 1980


Ferguson Jenkins

Banned: 1980
Infraction: Criminal possession of cannabis and cocaine
Reinstated: 1980

Willie Mays

Banned: 1980
Infraction: Accepting paid work from an Atlantic City casino
Reinstated: 1985

Mickey Mantle

Banned: 1980
Infraction: Accepting paid work from an Atlantic City casino
Reinstated: 1985

George Steinbrenner

Banned: 1990
Infraction: Bribing a private investigator for kompromat on Dave Winfield
Reinstated: 1993

Marge Schott

Banned: 1996
Infraction: Making racist, antisemitic, and homophobic statements that brought MLB into ill repute
Reinstated: 1998

Jenrry Mejía

Banned: 2016
Infraction: Repeated violations of MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy
Reinstated: 2018

John Coppolella

Banned: 2017
Infraction: Violating MLB’s international signing rules
Reinstated: 2022

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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.