Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball to 1920

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9780807849613: Never Just a Game: Players, Owners, and American Baseball to 1920

America's national pastime has been marked from its inception by bitter struggles between owners and players over profit, power, and prestige. In this book, the first installment of a highly readable, comprehensive labor history of baseball, Robert Burk describes the evolution of the ballplaying work force: its ethnocultural makeup, its economic position, and its battles for a place at the table in baseball's decision-making structure.

In the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the growing popularity of baseball as a spectator sport and the dramatic upsurge of America's urban population created conditions that led to franchise competition, the development of rival leagues, and trade wars, in turn triggering boom-and-bust cycles, franchise bankruptcies, and league mergers. According to Burk, players repeatedly tried to use these circumstances to better their economic positions by playing one team off against another. Their successes proved short-lived, however, because their own internal divisions, exploited by management, undercut attempts to create collective-bargaining institutions. By 1920, owners still held the upper hand in the labor-management battle, but as today's sports pages show, owners did not secure a long-term solution to their labor problems.



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"Burk proves that when it comes to baseball's money issues, the more things change--the more they stay the same."-- USA Today Baseball Weekly

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The first installment of a comprehensive labor history of American baseball, describing the evolution of the ballplaying work force to 1920: its ethnocultural makeup, its economic position, and its battles for a place at the table in baseball's decision-making structure.

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Book Description The University of North Carolina Press, United States, 2001. Paperback. Book Condition: New. New edition. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Baseball s early labor wars America s national pastime has been marked from its inception by bitter struggles between owners and players over profit, power, and prestige. In this labor history of baseball from its beginning to 1920, Robert Burk describes the evolution of the ballplaying world force and recounts its battles for a place in baseballs decision-making structure. Tracing the development of franchise competition, rival leagues, and trade wars - and the boom-and-bust cycles, franchise bankruptcies, and Jeague mergers they triggered in turn - he explores the off-field acrimony that characterized the sport s labor-management relations. Bookseller Inventory # APC9780807849613

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