Baseball and the Law

It’s opening day for major league baseball.  As throngs converge on Nationals Park and other stadiums we (i.e. those of us at work/in class instead of at the game!) can take a moment to remember the unique legal status of baseball in all of sports: i.e. its antitrust exemption.

Well timed for the start of the new season, UCLA Law Professor Stuart Banner has just published a concise history of baseball’s antitrust exemption—The Baseball Trust. Banner traces the sport’s legal battles highlighted by the Supreme Court’s 1922 decision in Federal Club v. National League (holding federal antitrust laws do not apply to baseball), reaffirmed 50 years later in Flood v. Kuhn— a decision that famously devotes its introductory paragraphs to a history of “The Game.”