19 Sports Law. J.
325, Spring, 2012
Author: Avraham J. Sommer
Professional baseball has existed in the United States since the founding of
the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869. The modern model of professional baseball
was created in 1903 when the American League and the National League reached an
agreement to coexist. The teams in both leagues agreed to employ the Reserve
System and to honor player contracts. After finalizing the union between the
American and National Leagues, the first World Series was played in 1903,
creating an American tradition that continued without interruption until 1994. From
the outset, Major League Baseball's (MLB) evolution has been marked by an
overall steady growth in attendance and revenues.
In addition to this economic success, the American judiciary has consistently
deferred to "America's pastime." The United States Supreme Court has
allowed the business of baseball to become a figurative "field of
dreams." The Court's "baseball trilogy" has set baseball apart
from all other professional sports leagues by insulating it from the reach of
the antitrust laws. This Article details the history of baseball's antitrust
exemption, then proceeds to examine the effect of the Curt Flood Act and the
Supreme Court's ruling in American Needle, Inc. v. NFL on the potential
expansion of the Supreme Court's holdings as applied to baseball.
II. History of Major League Baseball's Antitrust Exemption
The merger between the American League and the National League stabilized the
business of baseball at the turn of the ... [footnotes omitted]
More information / access or purchase the full text
For more information about LexisNexis products and
solutions connect with us through our corporate site.