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Playing the Field: Why Sports Teams Move and Cities Fight to Keep Them Paperback – September 1, 1994

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press; Reprint edition (September 1, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080184973X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801849732
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,014,853 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


As Euchner shows in persuasive detail, individual sports owners as well as the leagues in whose interests they ultimately act are in a position to control the terms of debate.

(Jonathan Yardley Washington Post)

Details how owners... have shamelessly played cities against one another to get sweetheart deals for their stadiums.

(Sports Illustrated.)

Chapters on the Colts and Orioles in Baltimore, the White Sox in Chicago, and the Raiders in Oakland and Los Angeles... describe the sweetheart deals and legal disputes that arise when a franchise even flirts with relocating.

(Chronicle Of Higher Education.)

About the Author

Charles C. Euchner has taught in the Department of Political Science at the College of the Holy Cross. A former journalist, he was educated at Vanderbilt University and the Johns Hopkins University..

More About the Author

Charles Euchner, the author or editor of nine books, is the owner and operator of The Writing Code.

Euchner's newest book is Nobody Turn Me Around (Beacon Press, 2010), an intimate account of the 1963 March on Washington. Based on more than 100 interviews and thousands of pages of archival materials, Nobody Turn Me Around offers the only complete study of the only moment when all of the factions of the civil right's movement gathered in one place, a day capped by Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" oration.

Euchner is also completing a book called The Writing Code. Building on his experience in colleges and universities -- at institutions such as Yale, Harvard, Holy Cross, and Northeastern -- Euchner offers a sure-fire system to improve writing for high school and college students, journalists and academics, and corporate and nonprofit professionals.

Euchner's latest books -- both published in 2006 -- explore baseball from its highest to lowest levels. The Last Nine Innings provides a dramatic narrative of the seventh game of the 2001 World Series between the Arizona Diamondbacks and the New York Yankees.Little League, Big Dreams looks at the revolution in youth sports through a portrait of the 2005 Little League World Series.

Until June 2004, when he stepped down to satisfy the demands of his writing career, Euchner was the executive director of the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. In that capacity, Euchner coordinated a wide-ranging research agenda on urban and regional politics and policy, conferences and other events, training programs for public and public service fellowships for graduate and professional students.

Euchner edited the Governing Greater Boston Series, served on numerous advisory committees, and contributed to newspapers and magazines on issues facing the region.

Euchner has written widely on public affairs. His most recent book on politics and policy, coauthored with Stephen McGovern of Haverford College, is Urban Policy Reconsidered: Dialogues the Problems and Prospects of American Cities (2003). That book has won praise for its comprehensive and even-handed approach to complex issues. The book has been praised not only by scholars of urban affairs but also by practitioners as diverse as Michael Dukakis, the three term Massachusetts governor and 1988 presidential nominee, and Steve Goldsmith, the former Indianapolis mayor and domestic policy advisor to George W. Bush.

Euchner's research has focused on the grassroots level of politics. His book Extraordinary Politics: How Protest and Dissent Are Changing American Democracy (1996) provides a critical analysis of the causes, strategies, tactics, and effects of outsider forms of politics in the U.S. Playing the Field: Why Sports Teams Move and Cities Fight to Keep Them (1993) was the first book to question the economic and political arguments for building sports stadiums.

Prior to entering academe, Euchner was a staff writer for Education Week, the nation's newspaper of record for elementary and secondary education. At Education Week, Euchner covered the federal government, teachers unions, state education policy, and computers in education.

Euchner received his B.A. from Vanderbilt University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bruce J. Richards on March 11, 1999
Format: Hardcover
"Playing the Field" is a well-written, scholarly work (Euchner is a professor of political science) which examines, as its subtitle succinctly states, "why sports teams move and cities fight to keep them." Euchner's work seems especially relevant now, in the wake of recent moves by teams in the NFL and NHL and the mind-numbing escalation in franchise values (over $500 million dollars for the expansion Cleveland Browns). "Playing the Field" charts the reasons for the growth of this phenomena, first focusing on the political and economic interrelationship of teams and cities, and also examining the unusual nature of the pro sports "industry". The book also presents "case studies" of three cities' experience with the movement of teams: Los Angeles, Baltimore, and Chicago.
Euchner, however, does not merely limit the book to observations and explanation of "why teams move and why cities fight to keep them". Euchner presents an interesting argument that cities negotiate from a re-active (rather than pro-active) approach that puts them at an inherent disadvantage; in sports parlance, they are always "playing defense". Within the case studies, he points to how the course of events may have been changed had the cities/states "played offense". This include everything from the NFL suing the Raiders for breach of contract before the Raiders filed the anti-trust suit against the NFL, the State of Maryland suing the NFL instead of suing Robert Irsay after the Colts' move, and the city of Chicago "playing hardball" with the White Sox rather than capitulating to their demands.
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By Luis A. Moreno on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
was shipped very quickly. was wrapped in sturdy packaging that had taken a beaten but the book was still perfect which is a sign of a good seller (good packaging).
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