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Covering The Bases

Baseball agent shows it's not just whether you win or lose it's how you play the negotiating game.

This story appears in the June 1997 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Ron Shapiro is a legendary negotiator, but his style can be surprising. That's because the Baltimore attorney holds to a guiding philosophy that makes him very different from most negotiators: "Never beat up on the other side."

Sound crazy? Not judging by the rich deals Shapiro has made for clients ranging from businesses to pro athletes including $32 million over five years for Orioles star Cal Ripken Jr. and about the same for former Minnesota Twin Kirby Puckett. What's more, despite winning those lucrative contracts, Shapiro is so highly regarded by Major League Baseball's owners that he frequently gets mentioned as a strong candidate for baseball commissioner.

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