Making The Majors / Edition 1

Making The Majors / Edition 1

by Eric M. Leifer
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0674543319

ISBN-13: 9780674543317

Pub. Date: 01/13/1998

Publisher: Harvard University Press

In this in-depth look at major league sports, Eric Leifer traces the growth and development of major leagues in baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, and predicts fundamental changes as the majors pursue international expansion. He shows how every past expansion of sports publics has been accompanied by significant changes in the way sporting competition is

Overview

In this in-depth look at major league sports, Eric Leifer traces the growth and development of major leagues in baseball, football, basketball, and hockey, and predicts fundamental changes as the majors pursue international expansion. He shows how every past expansion of sports publics has been accompanied by significant changes in the way sporting competition is organized. With each reorganization, the majors have created teams closer in ability, bringing repetition to competition across time, only to expand and energize the public's search for differences between teams and for events that disrupt the repetitive flow. "The phenomenal success of league sports," Leifer writes, "rests on their ability to manufacture inequalities for fans to latch on to without jeopardizing the equalities that draw fans in."

Leifer supports his theory with historical detail and statistical analysis. He examines the special concerns of league organizers in pursuing competitive balance and presents a detailed analysis of how large-city domination has been undermined in the modern era of Major League Baseball. Using games from the four major league sports, he then shows how fans can themselves affect the course of competition. In NFL football, for example, fans account for nearly all of the persisting inequality in team performance. The possibility of sustaining inequality among equals emerges from the cross-pressures that fans and leagues place on competition.

With substantial data in hand, Leifer asks the essential question facing the leagues today: how can they sustain a situation that depends entirely on simultaneous equality and contention, one in which fan involvement may evaporate as soon as one team dominates? His answer has significant implications for the future of major league sports, both nationally and internationally.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674543317
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
01/13/1998
Edition description:
REPRINT
Pages:
396
Product dimensions:
0.81(w) x 6.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Preface

Introduction

Pursuing Accomplishment

Constraints on Accomplishment

Challenges Ahead

Laying the Groundwork

The Summer Game

A Fall College Game

An Inner-City Game

A Winter Game

On the Eve of Major Leagues

Getting Established

The First Major League

Building a Viable League

Early Challenges

The Early Prototype

A Successful Challenge

The Landis Years

Overview of a Successful Prototype

Attachment Failures

Out of Canton

Into the Midwest

Across the Border

Failure Reconsidered

The Modern Prototype

Television and the NFL

Problems Facing Rival Leagues

Organizational Innovations

Persisting Performance Inequality

Modernization

Reluctant Modernization

Late Modernization

Persisting Localism

Where They Stand

Changing Ways

Deal Making in the Past

The Meaning of Deals

Structures of Deal Making

The Impact of Deal Making on Performance

Pursuing Opportunities

Publics and Performance

No Place Like Home

Game Outcomes

Publics and Performance Inequality

Publics in Perspective

The Accomplishment

Facing the Future

A Strange New World

Appendix: The Major Leagues

Appendix: Statistics Brief

Appendix: League Statistics

Notes

References

Index

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