Wall Street Journal
sports reporter (and Barbarians at the Gate
co-author) John Helyar has produced an entertaining and concise look at the real reasons that Major League Baseball has become the big business that it is today--and a definitive glimpse at where America's erstwhile national pastime is likely to head in the coming years. With vividly painted portraits of significant players from Ty Cobb to Bud Selig, it offers both a current picture and an historical perspective that will prove invaluable to fans of the game as well as to students of business as the lords of the game continue to struggle with business problems that have forever altered their sport.
From Publishers Weekly
Helyar ( Barbarians at the Gate ) presents a history of player-owner labor relations that dissects baseball for the big-business it is. As background, he shows how the owners intimidated players into accepting low salaries and prohibited their movement through the reserve clause, which made the player the property of his team forever. The central character of the book is union organizer Marvin Miller. Helyar relates how Miller overcame anti-union feelings of the players, and how he succeeded in overturning the reserve clause with the cases of Catfish Hunter, Dave McNally and Andy Messersmith. He scored another win after the strike of 1981, when he hood-winked the baseball owners into salary arbitration, which grossly inflated salaries. We're shown the commissioners: pompous Bowie Kuhn; Peter Ueberroth and his disastrous "collusion" policies that caused the owners to pay millions of dollars in retribution to players for restricting their free movement; and Fay Vincent, whose tenure was soap-operish. This enlightening and provocative book may be too legalistic for the casual fan. Major ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.