Baseball and the law: a selected annotated law Libr

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*360 Weinberger, James D. “Baseball Trademark Licensing and the Antitrust Exemption: An Analysis of New York Yankees Partnership v. Major League Baseball Enterprises, Inc.” Columbia-VLA Journal of Law & the Arts 23 (1999): 75-99.

This note looks at the ways in which Major League Baseball controls merchandising of team products. Specifically discussed is a suit involving the New York Yankees who signed a contract with Adidas that bypassed the standard Major League Baseball merchandising contract.



Jurisprudence and Baseball

Curtis, Ted. “The Flood Act’s Place in Baseball Legal History.” Marquette Sports Law Journal 9 (1999): 403-12.

There have been many legal challenges that have shaped the game of baseball. This article looks at nine of the most important issues that have helped to form the game as we know it today. Included are discussions of the 1902 case of league jumper Napoleon Lajoie,51 and Pittsburgh Athletic Co. v. KQV Broadcasting Co.52 which dealt with broadcast rights.



Finkelman, Paul. “Baseball and the Rule of Law.” Cleveland State Law Review 46 (1998): 239-59.

In this extremely clever and well-written article, Finkelman explains how baseball and the common law are analogous. Beginning with a description of the two seasons of the year for the baseball fan lawyer, April (the beginning of the regular season) and October (the beginning of the court’s season), he explains how the development of the rule of law and the development of the rules of baseball coincide.



Irwin, Dr. Richard L. “A Historical Review of Litigation in Baseball.” Marquette Sports Law Journal 1 (1991): 283-300.

Baseball and the law have historically been linked. This article looks at contract law, antitrust, and labor law, explaining how the law in each of these areas has affected the game of baseball.



Shropshire, Kenneth L. “The Brave New World: Baseball in the Twenty-First Century.” Entertainment & Sports Lawyer 13 (Spring 1995): 7-8.

In this concise, informative article, Shropshire addresses ten major issues facing the game of baseball. Among those discussed are free agency, the office of the commissioner, expansion, and internationalization.



VerSteeg, Russ. “A Statutory Analysis of the ‘Laws’ of Little League Baseball (An Essay Urging Changes to the Little League Rules).” Marquette Sports Law Journal 9 (1998): 103-73.

VerSteeg presents potential changes to the current playing rules of Little League baseball. Some proposed changes are substantial, while others are minor or cosmetic. Among the changes proposed are the manager’s privilege *361 to go to the mound to confer with a player and changes to the batting order and substitution rule.



Weiss, Jason S. “The Changing Face of Baseball: In an Age of Globalization, is Baseball Still as American as Apple Pie and Chevrolet?” University of Miami International & Comparative Law Review 8 (1999-2000): 123-82.

Today, baseball is more than a game, evidenced by the many legal issues that effect it. This article looks at the myriad of legalities related to baseball, including salary arbitration, contract negotiations, and issues involving players and coaches from foreign backgrounds.



Yablon, Charles. “On the Contribution of Baseball to American Legal Theory.” Yale Law Journal 104 (1994): 227-42.

This article presents comparisons between the American legal system and baseball’s “legal system.” Yablon’s thesis is that while the “real” legal system is learned through years of law school, the legal system of baseball is easily learned on playgrounds and from sports pages and television. Yablon suggests that many of the advances in the American legal system leave lawyers wondering why the law cannot be more like baseball.



Labor Relations, Negotiation, and Arbitration

Alcaro, Fredrick. “When In Doubt Get Locked Out!: A Comparison of the 2001 Lockout of the National Football League Referees’ Association and the Failed 1999 Scheme of the Major League Baseball Umpires’ Association.” University of Pennsylvania Journal of Labor and Employment Law 5 (2003): 335-61.

As big businesses, professional sports leagues have experienced many of the problems associated with more traditional types of businesses, including labor strikes. This article discusses strikes by sporting officials, specifically the 1999 strike by the Major League Umpires’ Association and the labor issues that resulted from it.



Chalpin, Marc. “It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over: The Century-Long Conflict between the Owners and the Players in Major League Baseball.” Albany Law Review 60 (1996): 205-38.

For as long as professional baseball has been in existence, players and owners have been at odds over a variety of matters. In this article, Chalpin addresses the primary grievances that keep owners and players at odds, including baseball’s long-standing exemption from federal antitrust laws, free agency, grievance arbitration, and salary arbitration.



Devine, James R. “Baseball’s Labor Wars in Historical Context: The 1919 Chicago White Sox as a Case Study in Owner-Player Relations.” Marquette Sports Law Journal 5 (1994): 1-82.

The Black Sox Scandal is undoubtedly one of the most infamous incidents in baseball’s long and sometimes tarnished history. This article looks at the state of baseball at the time of the scandal and seeks to explain how the relationship between players and owners may have driven players to such drastic measures.



*362 Devine, James R. “The Legacy of Albert Spalding, The Holdouts of Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, and Sandy Koufax/Don Drysdale and the 1994-95 Strike: Baseball’s Labor Disputes are as Linear as the Game.” Akron Law Review 31 (1997): 1-75.

This article focuses on several of the game’s greats and how management at the time dealt with the holdouts of these players. Devine believes that the management style in place at the time that Cobb, DiMaggio, Koufax, and Drysdale played is still in place today and argues that this approach by management affected the baseball strike of 1994-95.



Donegan, Frederick N. “Examining the Role of Arbitration in Professional Baseball.” Sports Law Journal 1 (1994): 183-204.

Donegan examines the role of arbitration in Major League Baseball by first looking at the early history of the reserve clause. Donegan then examines the current major league arbitration process and its advantages and disadvantages, as well as specific arbitration cases.



Edelman, Marc. “Has Collusion Returned to Baseball? Analyzing Whether a Concerted Increase in Free Agent Player Supply Would Violate Baseball’s ‘Collusion Clause.”’ Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review 24 (2004): 159-84.

A very timely article on the issue of the collusion clause and the attempt by baseball clubs to flood the 2002-03 labor market with free agents. The article provides a very good discussion of the evolution of baseball’s collusion clause and the settlement in the 1980s of the collusion disputes.



Fisher, Christopher J. “The 1994-95 Baseball Strike: A Case Study in Myopic Subconscious Macrocosmic Response to Conflict.” Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law 6 (1996): 367-95.

On August 12, 1994, the Major League Baseball Players Association went on strike, wiping out the remainder of the 1994 season and eliminating post-season play. This article explains how the 1994 strike came to be and the pivotal role that lawyers played in the initiation, mediation, and resolution of the strike.



Fizel, John L. “Play Ball: Baseball Arbitration After 20 Years.” Dispute Resolution Journal 49 (June 1994): 42-47.

Quoting Whitey Herzog, who once said that “arbitration is the strongest vehicle that players have and the worst thing that happened to owners,” this article looks at baseball arbitration since its enactment in 1974. Looking at the success rate of arbitration for both players and owners, Fizel concludes that while final offer arbitration is an imperfect method of resolving salary disputes, it is nonetheless viable.



Giamporcaro, Peter F. “No Runs, No Hits, Two Errors: How Maryland Erred in Prohibiting Replacement Players From Camden Yards During the 1994-95 Major League Baseball Strike.” Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Journal 17 (1996): 123-56.

While much has been written about the Major League Baseball strike of 1994 in general, this article focuses solely on the strike’s effect in Maryland. As a result of the players’ strike, the Maryland General Assembly passed legislation barring *363 minor league players or “scabs” from playing baseball in Baltimore’s Camden Yards.53 Giamporcaro considers the constitutionality of this legislation.



Glazer, Daniel C. “Can’t Anybody Here Run This Game? The Past, Present and Future of Major League Baseball.” Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law 9 (1999): 339-430.

This article looks the various issues that have led to eight work stoppages since 1972, and presents alternatives to Major League Baseball’s present collective bargaining agreement.



Griffith, Clark C. “New Law Provides Optimism In the Coming Baseball Labor Negotiation.” Antitrust 14 (Spring 2000): 33-39.

Labor negotiations in the sports industry have provided many memorable antitrust-labor cases. The article looks at how future labor negotiations in Major League Baseball will be affected by the Supreme Court’s rulings on these types of cases.



Hylton, J. Gordon. “The Historical Origins of Professional Baseball Grievance Arbitration.” Marquette Sports Law Review 11 (2001): 175-84.

This article provides an excellent overview of the origins of grievance arbitration starting with the blacklisting of players in the nineteenth century. Included is a review of the John Rocker incident and a discussion of how grievance arbitration allowed Rocker to obtain a reduction in his penalty and begin the 2000 season.



Kiner, Ralph. “The Role of Unions and Arbitration in Professional Baseball.” Hofstra Labor & Employment Law Journal 17 (1999): 159-64.

This article is an adaptation of an address given to the New York Bar Association by former Pittsburgh Pirate Ralph Kiner, who discusses the role of unions in arbitration and his experiences with contract negotiations, pension plans, and collective bargaining.



Lipinski, Tracy. “Major League Baseball Players Ass’n v. Garvey Narrows the Judicial Strike Zone of Arbitration Awards.” Akron Law Review 36 (2003): 325-62.

A very thorough discussion of judicial review of arbitration awards and the issue of when a reviewing court can vacate an arbitrator’s awards. This article looks at Supreme Court decisions dealing with judicial review of arbitration awards and discusses the case of Major League Baseball Players Ass’n v. Garvey.54



Long, Eric I. “The 1994 Baseball Strike Revisited: A Better Impasse Analysis.” Southern Illinois University Law Journal 22 (1997): 117-50.

Looking at the Major League Baseball strike of 1994, this article proposes a simpler solution for parties to use in determining the existence of an impasse in bargaining.



Mandell, March. “Baseball’s First Free Agent: Nearly 100 Years Ago, Sports and Law Were Already Intertwined, and One of the First Legal Cases Involving a *364 Baseball Player Unfolded Before the Courts of Pennsylvania.” Pennsylvania Lawyer 19 (May/June 1997): 16-18.

Mandell has written an interesting account of the case of Napoleon Lajoie,55 baseball’s first free agent. Mandell also discusses some of the earliest sports lawyers, including John I. Rogers, William J. Turner, John G. Johnson, and Richard L. Dale who represented Lajoie and the National League.



Moorad, Jeffery S. “Major League Baseball’s Labor Turmoil: The Failure of the Counter-Revolution.” Villanova Sports & Entertainment Law Journal 4 (1997): 53-86.

The rise of the players’ association has done much to support the interest of players. This includes the attempt by baseball owners to illegally destroy the open market for free agents in the 1980s. While looking at the current status of labor relations, this article also discusses the history of labor relations in Major League Baseball.



Seabury, Susan H. “The Development and Role of Free Agency in Major League Baseball.” Georgia State University Law Review 15 (1998): 335-80.

An interesting look at the early development of the two-league structure, this article also looks at attempts by players to procure more favorable contracts. Additionally, Flood v. Kuhn56 is discussed as are the events surrounding the 1994 strike.



Sica, Anthony. “Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption: Out of the Pennant Race Since 1972.” Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 7 (1996): 295-387.

While much has been written about the 1994 Major League Baseball players’ strike, this article specifically looks at baseball in the context of employment relations. Sica also discusses the antitrust laws to which baseball has been bound and how professional football has resolved some of the same issues faced by baseball.



Spurr, Stephen J., and William Barber. “The Effect of Performance on a Worker’s Career: Evidence From Minor League Baseball.” Industrial & Labor Relations Review 47 (1994): 692-707.

Spurr and Barber present an interesting labor study in which they analyze the promotion, demotion, and turnover of pitchers in baseball’s minor leagues. Because of the difficulty of hard data on workers in other industries, the authors looked at baseball, an industry for which hard statistics are available.



Wassner, Brien M. “Major League Baseball’s Answer to Salary Disputes and the Strike: Final Arbitration: A Negotiation Tool Facilitating Adversary Agreement.” Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment Law and Practice 6 (2003): 5-13.

This interesting note addresses the collective bargaining agreements that are increasing as a result of labor threats in professional sports. Looking at the beginnings of *365 arbitration in the early 1960s, Wassner provides a detailed analysis of how the process has evolved into the interest arbitration and grievance arbitration used today.



Willis, Stephen L. “A Critical Perspective of Baseball’s Collusion Decisions.” Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law 1 (1991): 109-48.

Willis discusses the events that led to charges that owners had acted in collusion with regard to players who became free agents following the 1986 season. He presents alternative remedies to compensatory damages that could be awarded to players in these types of cases.



Large Market-Small Market Issues

Day, Bryan. “Labor Pains: Why Contraction Is Not the Solution to Major League Baseball’s Competitive Balance Problems.” Fordham Intellectual Property, Media & Entertainment Law Journal 12 (2002): 521-82.

Day begins with several excellent examples of the problems faced by small-market teams. He addresses the correlation between overall revenue and team payroll with regard to success on the field. He also discusses the concept of contraction where teams that cannot garner support are simply eliminated.



Hamilton, Joshua. “Congress in Relief: The Economic Importance of Revoking Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption.” Santa Clara Law Review 38 (1998): 1223-54.

This comment discusses how eliminating Major League Baseball’s exemption from federal antitrust laws would help to assuage the disparity between large-market and small-market teams. Furthermore, Hamilton asserts that removing the exemption would give baseball much needed stability and protect it from future work stoppages.



Martens, Kevin E. “Fair or Foul? The Survival of Small-Market Teams in Major League Baseball.” Marquette Sports Law Journal 4 (1994): 323-73.

Using the 1965 move of the Milwaukee Braves from Milwaukee to Atlanta as an example, Martens discusses the ongoing debate regarding the survival of small-market teams. He discusses not only the importance of Major League Baseball to small-market cities, but also how the interest of franchise owners and encouragement of market competition can conflict.



Rosenthal, Jeffrey A. “The Football Answer to the Baseball Problem: Can Revenue Sharing Work?” Seton Hall Journal of Sport Law 5 (1995): 419-67.

The small-market, large-market disparity is an ongoing problem in Major League Baseball. This article looks at this problem in a historical context and examines considerations such as the effect of revenue sharing on fan interest. The author proposes a revenue-sharing plan that considers both economic and legal obstacles.



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