The End of Baseball As We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81 (Sport and Society)

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9780252027529: The End of Baseball As We Knew It: The Players Union, 1960-81 (Sport and Society)

The first book to utilize the files, letters, and correspondence of the Major League Baseball Player's Association, The End of Baseball As We Knew It replays the much-storied transformation of power from management to players that set the standard for labor relations not just in baseball but in all professional sports. Charles P. Korr also draws on interviews with ballplayers, journalists, and labor executives to construct this insider's view of the most successful sports union's formative years.

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Review:

"Korr puts labor issues and baseball in perspective with this history of the Major League Baseball Players Association from 1960-1981... Korr tells the story of these tumultuous years vividly... An insightful foreword by broadcaster Bob Costas provides additional context. An engagingly written, carefully researched study." -- Booklist "Korr carefully explores labor-management dealings involving major league players and team owners during a crucial two-decade imbalance." -- Library Journal "A sympathetic profile of the Major League Baseball Players Association. This academic book chronicles the organization as it rose from house union in the 1960s to the powerhouse that won free agency through the Andy Messersmith -- Dave McNally case in 1975." -- Washington Post Book World "Examines the rise of the players association. Korr is able to tell the story more completely than others who've tried before because the players association gave him access to archives previously unavailable to the public. From these seemingly dry documents springs up a conflict passionately waged by athletes and owners." -- USA Today Sports Weekly "An important book, probably because it goes past baseball as a game to look at baseball as a business. We fans tend to think that while we go to 'work' for a salary that's never enough, baseball players go to 'play' for outlandish sums. Korr reminds his readers of a reality we overlook: baseball players are workers, employees, just like you and me... [Korr] downplays the money and praises the players for standing up for the principle of control over their own fate -- a principle being tested this week. I can't say that I'll be cheering them on if they strike. But after reading this book, and as a fellow unionized worker, I'll be a lot less quick to scorn them." -- Harry Levins, Saint Louis Today

From Library Journal:

Korr carefully explores labor-management dealings involving major league players and team owners during a crucial two-decade imbalance. The author sketches the stark imbalance that existed in that relationship until the 1960s, when Judge Robert Cannon and Marvin Miller came to represent the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA). Cannon deferred to baseball moguls, as players like Robin Roberts and Jim Bunning courageously battled for such elementary rights as improved bullpens and toilet facilities and better lighting for night contests. Miller's appointment as the MLBPA's full-time executive director in 1966 proved crucial, but Korr (West Ham United: The Making of a Football Club) challenges many assumptions about the labor leader. Rather than manipulating the players, Miller frequently felt compelled to respond to their greater militancy. Notwithstanding embittered attacks by sportswriters and owners alike, Miller generally remained calm and thoughtful, even prescient at times. Korr discusses how first Curt Flood and then Ted Simmons, Andy Messersmith, and Dave McNally challenged the owners' contractual leverage, which eventually led to free agency. A lengthy strike in 1981 proved the union's toughest test but kept its winning streak intact. For general libraries. [With another work stoppage a strong possibility, this book may circulate well among fans. Ed.] R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chic.
- R.C. Cottrell, California State Univ., Chico
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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