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Federal Baseball Club v. National League and the precedent for MLB antitrust exemption

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modern history

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  1. Introduction.
  2. Economic principles and the conflict between those who own and operate the teams and the league.
  3. The reserve clause and the antitrust exemption.
  4. Salary floors in the sports world.
  5. The early stages of the development of the sport of baseball.
  6. National League and the American Association.
  7. The greatest challenge to NL supremacy.
  8. The Sherman Act.
  9. Landis and the strength of the MLB exemption.
  10. The Toolson decision.
  11. Conclusion.

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.[2] 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. [...]

[...] The Application of Antitrust Laws to Major League Baseball. Cong., sess U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. Subcommitteee on the Study of Monopoly Power of the Committee on the Judiciary. Study of Monopoly Power, Part 6 Organized Baseball. 82nd Cong., 1st sess U.S. Congress. House of Representatives. The Antitrust Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary. Organized Professional Team Sports, Part 3. 85th Cong., 1st sess H.R U.S. Congress. Senate. A Subcommittee of the Committee on the Judiciary. Subjecting Professional Baseball Clubs to the Antitrust Laws. [...]

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