Scott A. Dunn


anti-trust exemption, baseball


Baseball remains the only professional sport exempt from anti-trust scrutiny. Because of this unique status, baseball players have not pursued anti-trust lines of attack. Some now say that baseball players no longer need to depend on the anti-trust laws to effectuate modifications in their reserve system. Such commentators say that because of the equal bargaining strength of the parties, the labor exemption would operate to shelter from scrutiny even a term that was unilaterally imposed by the owners. In Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore, Inc. v. National League of Professional Baseball Clubs, the Supreme Court held that the baseball industry was not amenable to anti-trust attack because it was purely an intrastate activity; Toolson v. New York Yankees, Inc. reaffirmed this holding. The Court failed to extend this exemption to other professional sports. The Court should overrule the exemption or alternatively, Congress should place the baseball industry in the same position as other professional sports with respect to anti-trust laws via legislative acts. Usage of the labor exemption to shelter unilaterally imposed terms, such as a reserve system, turns labor's shield into the employer's sword.



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