The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseballs Antitrust Exemption

Paperback | December 15, 2014

byStuart Banner

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The impact of antitrust law on sports is in the news all the time, especially when there is labor conflict between players and owners, or when a team wants to move to a new city. And if the majority of Americans have only the vaguest sense of what antitrust law is, most know one thing aboutit-that baseball is exempt.In The Baseball Trust, legal historian Stuart Banner illuminates the series of court rulings that resulted in one of the most curious features of our legal system-baseball's exemption from antitrust law. A serious baseball fan, Banner provides a thoroughly entertaining history of the game as seenthrough the prism of an extraordinary series of courtroom battles, ranging from 1890 to the present. The book looks at such pivotal cases as the 1922 Supreme Court case which held that federal antitrust laws did not apply to baseball; the 1972 Flood v. Kuhn decision that declared that baseball isexempt even from state antitrust laws; and several cases from the 1950s, one involving boxing and the other football, that made clear that the exemption is only for baseball, not for sports in general. Banner reveals that for all the well-documented foibles of major league owners, baseball hasconsistently received and followed antitrust advice from leading lawyers, shrewd legal advice that eventually won for baseball a protected legal status enjoyed by no other industry in America.As Banner tells this fascinating story, he also provides an important reminder of the path-dependent nature of the American legal system. At each step, judges and legislators made decisions that were perfectly sensible when considered one at a time, but that in total yielded an outcome-baseball'sexemption from antitrust law-that makes no sense at all.

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The impact of antitrust law on sports is in the news all the time, especially when there is labor conflict between players and owners, or when a team wants to move to a new city. And if the majority of Americans have only the vaguest sense of what antitrust law is, most know one thing aboutit-that baseball is exempt.In The Baseball Tru...

Stuart Banner is Norman Abrams Professor of Law at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. A noted legal historian, he is the author of many books, including most recently American Property: A History of How, Why, and What We Own; Who Owns the Sky? The Struggle to Control Airspace from the Wright Brothers On; and Poss...

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:304 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 0.79 inPublished:December 15, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199389721

ISBN - 13:9780199389728

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. The Reserve Clause2. The Baseball Trust3. The Supreme Court Steps In4. The Birth of the Antitrust Exemption5. Baseball Becomes Unique6. A Political Football7. Three Months of State Antitrust Law8. The Curt Flood Case9. The End of the Reserve Clause10. A Shrunken Exemption

Editorial Reviews

"This is the best single-volume history of baseball's antitrust exemption. Prof. Banner does an excellent job mining primary sources to show how savvy lawyers and baseball officials laid the groundwork for 'baseball's bizarre monopoly.' Banner brings a lawyer's rigor, a historian's discerningeye, and a baseball fan's ear to this very important work of baseball and American legal history. This is a tale that needed to be told." --Brad Snyder, author of A Well-Paid Slave: Curt Flood's Fight for Free Agency in Professional Sports