Despite the popularity of soccer and basketball, baseball is a sport of great interest to a majority of the authors. The book titled “Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law” is an appreciable attempt of author Roger Abrams, who gives an account of the history related to labor-management relations . The author brings innovative insights not only to the subject, but also to the lawyers, baseball fans, students and historians who attempt making sense to the legal issues surrounding the sport. In the book, Abrams bases his story depending on the case studies of people who portrayed significant roles in validating the players’ rights in effectively bargaining with their employers. Each chapter of the book researches a distinct aspect of relations between players and the management. Some of the chapters include legal process, antitrust, arbitration, contract enforcement and many others . The book addresses not only the issues related to the baseball, but also the legal context of such issues.
The book is interesting as it focuses on various complicated issues related to salary arbitration, labor relations, collecting bargaining and many others. It also gives an account of the influence of antitrust exemption with regards to baseball in an understandable context to non-experts. The author has divided the book into nine chapters and dedicated the first chapter to explain the establishment of the first baseball players union and the success of the major league controlled by the players . Abrams devoted the second chapter to describe the establishment of the American League. In the following chapters, the author explains about the reserve clause, monopolistic control of the owners on the players’ salaries and the downfall of the reserve system. Abrams dedicated the last three chapters to narrate the causes and consequences of the Silverman v. Major League Baseball case, which ultimately resulted in the climax of the players’ strike in the years 1994 and 1995 .
Each chapter of the book reflects the author’s mastery of the refinements of the American Labor Law. The best part of the book is that the author has dedicated each chapter for a particular issue and related the person who has a link to the discussion. The book is worth reading as it depicts the author’s elaborate knowledge about the sport of baseball. The primary goal of the author in writing the book is to make complex information accessible to the readers. The information presented in the books makes the readers feel that the author is a specialist in the subject of labor relations pertaining to baseball. The book provides a great deal of information on various crimes associated with baseball . For example, in the chapters where the author explains about history, the author depends upon various secondary sources available in the field. However, the major fault of the work lies in its misinterpretation of purpose.
Another interesting part of the book is the way the author examines the issues related to gambling and drug use in baseball. The author also speculates on issues, such as gender equity and intellectual property. The stories of case studies presented by Abrams illustrate the deep association of law and baseball. They explain how the sport of baseball has turned into the business of American institution. The way the author mentions about the implications of the collective bargaining agreement, which took place in the year 1996 is worth mentioning . The author also took great efforts to explain the role of labor arbitration in some of the major leagues of baseball. Explained in simple vocabulary, the book is easily understandable by those who are not even aware of typical law terms. The book truly reflects the experience of the author as a salary arbitrator of baseball. The author has taken a great care to maintain a balance while explaining his judgments.
Abrams, Roger I. Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law. Philadelphia, PA: Temple University Press, 2001.
Hylton, J. Hordon. "Book review: Legal Bases: Baseball and the Law." Marquette Sports Law Review (2001): 8(2): 455-457.