Baseball's Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture by Krister SwansonBaseball's Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports Culture by Krister Swanson

Baseball's Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports…

byKrister Swanson

Hardcover | March 1, 2016

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From Major League Baseball's inception in the 1880s through World War II, team owners enjoyed monopolistic control of the industry. Despite the players' desire to form a viable union, every attempt to do so failed. The labor consciousness of baseball players lagged behind that of workers in other industries, and the public was largely in the dark about labor practices in baseball. In the mid-1960s, star players Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale staged a joint holdout for multiyear contracts and much higher salaries. Their holdout quickly drew support from the public; for the first time, owners realized they could ill afford to alienate fans, their primary source of revenue.
 
Baseball's Power Shift chronicles the growth and development of the union movement in Major League Baseball and the key role of the press and public opinion in the players' successes and failures in labor-management relations. Swanson focuses on the most turbulent years, 1966 to 1981, which saw the birth of the Major League Baseball Players Association as well as three strikes, two lockouts, Curt Flood's challenge to the reserve clause in the Supreme Court, and the emergence of full free agency. To defeat the owners, the players' union needed support from the press, and perhaps more importantly, the public. With the public on their side, the players ushered in a new era in professional sports when salaries skyrocketed and fans began to care as much about the business dealings of their favorite team as they do about wins and losses.
 
Swanson shows how fans and the media became key players in baseball's labor wars and paved the way for the explosive growth in the American sports economy.
 


Krister Swanson has a PhD in modern American history from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is a teacher at Thousand Oaks High School, in California, and is a content developer and presenter at ABC-CLIO Publishing.  
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Title:Baseball's Power Shift: How the Players Union, the Fans, and the Media Changed American Sports…Format:HardcoverProduct dimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.3 × 1 inShipping dimensions:9.25 × 6.3 × 1 inPublished:March 1, 2016Publisher:UNP - NebraskaLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0803255233

ISBN - 13:9780803255234

Reviews

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments    
Introduction    
1. The Magnates, "Their Boys," and the Birth of a Pastime    
2. Monopoly and Trade War    
3. 1946, a Year of Postwar Tumult    
4. The Birth of the MLBPA    
5. The Players Grow a Backbone    
6. Magnates' Worst Fears Confirmed    
7. "Strike" Gets a Whole New Meaning    
8. Freedom at Last?    
Notes    
Annotated Bibliography    
Index   

Editorial Reviews

"If you want to know how major league ballplayers went from making ends meet with winter jobs to signing multimillion dollar contracts, read Baseball's Power Shift. . . . This is a fine study of sport, business, and labor."-Elliott Gorn, author of The Manly Art and coauthor of A Brief History of American Sports
 
- Elliott Gorn - 20150922