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The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption Hardcover – April 1, 2013


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (April 1, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199930295
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199930296
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #440,468 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"Splendid... [A] valuable corrective to the widely held view that the romance of baseball was the main reason that courts have treated it with special solicitude... Mr. Banner, who teaches law at the University of California, Los Angeles, is himself a sure-footed historian and a legal writer of exceptional grace and clarity." --Adam Liptak, New York Times


"Among the most compelling baseball books this season..." -David Ulin, Los Angeles Times


"Stuart Banner, a law professor and noted legal historian, explores the history that led to baseball's being the only sport exempt from antitrust laws. Through the use of extensive primary materials, Banner leads the reader through the history of the decisions that ultimately led to 'such a weird state of affairs'... The Baseball Trust is a well-researched and entertaining look at how antitrust law has affected the national pastime." --Library Law Journal


"One of the great puzzles of the history of both baseball and anti-trust law is the 'exemption' granted to the baseball industry from anti-trust law. Nearly everyone agrees that the exemption, which is not available to other professional sports, makes very little sense as a matter of law or economics. Stuart Banner demonstrates that the exemption was not intended to serve the usual reason for avoiding anti-trust laws, but rather to preserve baseball's 'reserve clause,' which bound players indefinitely to their clubs and thereby reduced the players' leverage. By following shrewd advice from lawyers, organized baseball was able to convince both the courts and Congress that replacing the reserve clause with free agency would undermine competitive balance. Even though this turned out not to be the case, baseball's anti-trust exemption remains in place. Banner's book will be the place to start in understanding that curious anomaly." --G. Edward White, author of Creating the National Pastime


"In this important study, Banner provides extensive treatment of organized baseball's battle with antitrust regulations... [A] decidedly strong contribution to the literature on organized baseball and the law." --Library Journal


"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 discerning eye, 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


About the Author


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 Possessing the Pacific: Land, Settlers, and Indigenous People from Australia to Alaska.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jonathan Kutner on April 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
If you wonder why Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Ted Williams played for peanuts while A-Rod signed for $250,000,000, it's the Reserve Clause, stupid. Its demise in 1975 led to free agency and wealth for ball players. Banner explains in readable, non lawyerly prose the legal history of baseball's exemption from anti trust law which enabled it to preserve the Reserve Clause, including the irony that it was demolished by a lowly arbitrator after withstanding three challenges that had gone to the Supreme Court. Free agency followed in 1976 and that's one reason -- of many -- why we pay so much more for seats nowadays than in the past. Interesting reading for baseball fans.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Reviewer on March 1, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Robert C. Cottrell in Library Journal, writes "In this important study, Banner (law, Univ. of California, Los Angeles) provides extensive treatment of organized baseball's battle with antitrust regulations. He goes back to 1879--before federal antitrust laws were in place--when baseball's reserve clause was devised, contractually binding a player to a team for the whole of his career. Banner refutes the long-standing analysis that competitive balance and the safeguarding of capital investments required the reserve clause, but acknowledges that many relatively well-paid players felt ambivalent about the clause. He counters stereotypical notions regarding baseball and antitrust law, including the belief that a 1922 Supreme Court ruling asserted that Congress determined "to exempt baseball from the antitrust laws." Nevertheless, that 1922 ruling was predicated on an analysis of interstate commerce that soon dissipated. Decades of challenges to the reserve clause followed, culminating in the agreement to allow free agency. As of today, baseball's antitrust exemption remains battered but intact. ­VERDICT Not for casual baseball fans, this is a decidedly strong contribution to the literature on organized baseball and the law. -- RCC" Banner, Stuart. The Baseball Trust: A History of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption. Oxford Univ. Apr. 2013. 304p. notes. index. ISBN 9780199930296. $29.95. SPORTS
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By fanofhistory on September 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
This book was recommended to me as an emerging sports history enthusiast. I was expecting something dry, detailed and complicated. What I found was a highly readable, fascinating explanation of how America's pastime functions as the professional level.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Nana on July 26, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this for my nephew, who is a lawyer, and he loved it. My husband and sons want a copy now. Great for all baseball fans.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book made a terrific gift for a baseball-lover. It's a topic well worth researching. This book did the job!
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