Few aspects of American life generate the sense of national identity associated with baseball. Through its development in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and its dominance of the national cultural landscape over much of the past one hundred years, it has established a uniquely American identity. Players such as Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, and Hank Aaron have reached beyond the realm of stardom and become pieces of a new American folklore. They have entertained, inspired, and captivated, leading baseball to its status as the "national pastime."
[...] Kuhn and the 1975 Seitz Decision. For the purpose of this essay concentrating on the Federal Baseball Club case, however, emphasis must be placed on the MLB reserve clause as it functioned prior to the events of the 1970s. In all its different forms, the reserve clause contains one main tenet: players can only negotiate contracts with their former teams. Upon the conclusion of one season, the team and the player had to come to an agreement as to how much the player would be paid for the next. [...]
[...] The Validity of Major League Baseball's Exemption from the Antitrust Laws. Cong., sess U.S. Congress. Senate. Subcommittee on Antitrust, Monopolies and Business Rights of the Committee on the Judiciary. Professional Baseball Teams and the Antitrust Laws. Cong., sess S.500. U.S. Congress. House of Respresentatives. Subcommittee on Economic and Commercial Law of the Committee on the Judiciary. Baseball's Antitrust Exemption Part 2. Cong., sess U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Subcommittee on Labor-Management relations of the Committee on Education and Labor. The Impact of Collective Bargaining on the Antitrust Exemption; The Play Ball Act of 1995. [...]
[...] Larry Coon, Salary Cap (August 30, 1999), updated (July 11, 2006); available from http://www.cbafaq.com; [INTERNET] Witting, “Salary Caps 101.” NOTE: In 2006, the New York Yankees in baseball and New York Knicks in basketball represent teams noted for paying the largest amounts in luxury tax for their respective leagues, MLB and the NBA. York Yankees, Baseball Team Valuations,” available from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2006/33/334613.html; [INTERNET]; York Knicks, NBA Team Valuations,” available from http://www.forbes.com/lists/2005/32/328815.html; [INTERNET] http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2268025 Haupert, “Economic History.” Kerry Keene, the Beginning,” The Boston Globe (December 19, 2004); available from http://www.boston.com/sports/baseball/redsox/articles/2004/12/19/in_the_begi nning/; [INTERNET] “Harry Wright,” National Baseball Hall of Fame; available from http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/wright_harr y.htm; [INTERNET]; “George Wright,” National Baseball Hall of Fame; available from http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/wright_harr y.htm; [INTERNET] Gary Frownfelter, “Forfeits,” available from http://www.retrosheet.org/forfeits.htm; [INTERNET] Haupert, “Economic History.” David Nemec, The Beer and Whisky League: The Illustrated History of the American Association—Baseball's Renegade Major League (Guilford: The Lyons Press, 2004). [...]
[...] While the policies of the NL and the AL in their early stages went untouched by nineteenth century government agencies, they would soon receive their first test under antitrust legislation in the Federal Baseball Club case. In 1914, a new challenger arose in the battle for prominence in the baseball landscape. Under the leadership of John T. Powers and James A. Gilmore, the Federal League provided fierce opposition to MLB during the 1914 and 1915 seasons. Whereas many of the earlier minor leagues had attempted to capitalize on smaller markets not utilized by major league franchises, the FL attacked the larger markets in direct competition with existing MLB clubs. Aiding the efforts of the FL was the fact that, similar to the Western/American League of the nineteenth century, they refused to recognize the reserve clause of the established major leagues. [...]
[...] Whatever the rationale behind the Court's decision and Holmes' explanation, Federal Baseball Club v. National League set an important precedent that would prove difficult to overrule in the ensuing decades. From this point forward, antitrust legislation could not regulate baseball. Courts and legislators would continue to look back at this decision as the basis for government-MLB relations, and critics of the antitrust exemption it created would struggle in their attempts to overcome the decision. As the case proceeded from one court to the next during the late 1910s, MLB faced another potential disaster in the aftermath of the “Black Sox Scandal” of the 1919 World Series. [...]
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