BN.com Gift Guide

The Baseball Business: Pursuing Pennants and Profits in Baltimore

Overview

Major league baseball is more than pitching, defense, and three-run homers. It is a big business. In recent years at least as much fan interest has focused on the off-the-field activities of players and owners as on the games themselves. James Miller's The Baseball Business identifies the issues that have come to the fore during the commercialization of baseball since the 1950s:
*the changing relationship ...
See more details below
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (13) from $1.99   
  • New (2) from $39.33   
  • Used (11) from $1.99   
Sending request ...

Overview

Major league baseball is more than pitching, defense, and three-run homers. It is a big business. In recent years at least as much fan interest has focused on the off-the-field activities of players and owners as on the games themselves. James Miller's The Baseball Business identifies the issues that have come to the fore during the commercialization of baseball since the 1950s:
*the changing relationship between the major and minor leagues;
*the evolution of one club's management from community to single ownership;
*increasingly complex and costly labor relations, especially free agency;
*the peculiar relationship of for-profit sports teams with local governments, especially the construction of public stadiums with tax dollars;
*racial discrimination.

St. Louis Browns owner Bill Veeck's 1953 decision to move his franchise to Baltimore was one of the first significant responses by major league baseball to the difficulties it faced in the years after World War II, and the move ushered in an era of franchise shifts and expansion. The new Orioles franchise went on to build a highly successful farm system at a time when minor league baseball was undergoing a series of fundamental changes and to caputre the American League pennant four times between 1966 and 1971. In the 1970s the club lost key players as a result of the introduction of "free agency." Later, the Orioles made large and disastrous investments in free agent players in an effort to remain competitive.

The ties between the Orioles and Baltimore's political and business elites have always been close, and the effort to attract and maintain major league baseball has been a critical part of the city's effort to refurbish its image and attract new industries. The nearly twenty-year debate over replacing Memorial Stadium with a more modern facility is a case study in the thorny relationship between sports businesses and state and local governments.

The Baseball Business is a history of the Baltimore franchise, not just the team. While Miller amply recounts the on-the-field exploits and achievements that have made the Orioles one of baseball's premier clubs, his focus is what happened in the farm system and the front office to make those achievements possible. Armed with a rich historical perspective gained from extensive research in Orioles records and the sporting press, Miller provides an invaluable analysis of the issues facing the sport of baseball. The Baseball Business will be essential reading for all fans who want to understand the business of pursuing not only pennants but also profits.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
A prodigious achievement.

Sporting News

Mr. Miller has provided enthusiasts and critics alike with a solid double to left.

Louis Rukeyser, New York Times Book Review

A first-rate rundown on how major-league baseball has become a uniquely commercial enterprise as well as a sport.

Kirkus Reviews

The down-and-up fortunes of the Orioles make for a rich story and a profitable read.

Publishers Weekly

A detailed, thoughtful analysis of the Baltimore Orioles since 1953.

ALA Booklist

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The thrust of our national pastime as a business rather than merely a sport has intensified since the end of World War II, particularly during the last two decades. In this instructive study, Miller ( The United States and Italy, 1940-1950 ) looks at the marketing and economics of baseball, focusing on the Orioles of Baltimore. He examines the decline of the team's farm system, caused in part by the spread of television coverage of major league games; by the move of white city-dwellers to the suburbs with the concomitant failure of baseball to attract inner-city blacks to the ballpark; and especially by the increased power of the players as the reserve clause was ended and free agency began. The down-and-up fortunes of the Orioles make for a rich story and a profitable read. Photos. (Mar.)
Library Journal
Miller brings to this work the same careful scholarship he has applied to more traditional historical topics (e.g., his The United States and Italy, 1940-1950 , Univ. of North Carolina Pr., 1986) and produces an engrossing analysis of the effect the changing nature of baseball, the business, has had upon baseball, the game. The entire Baltimore Oriole organization, including the farm system, is examined from the early 1950s to the present. The elements are many, including marketing and television, community management versus autonomous control, labor relations, government relations, and racial issues. This well-documented, well-indexed work provides an excellent view of how baseball, and the Orioles specifically, have both gained and suffered from the changes wrought by the burgeoning profitability of our national pastime. An excellent work for fans and both business and popular culture scholars.-- Robert Aken, Univ. of Kentucky Libs., Lexington
Booknews
Miller focuses on the Baltimore Orioles to identify the issues that have emerged since the 1950s with commercialization of baseball. These include the changing relationship between the major and minor leagues; marketing, through the medium of television in particular; increasingly complex and costly labor relations, especially free agency; and racial discrimination. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780807843239
  • Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
  • Publication date: 5/23/1991
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 0.88 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 9.00 (d)

Meet the Author

James Edward Miller, a prize-winning historian, has been an Orioles fan since the age of eight.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface vii
Introduction: A Very Peculiar Business 1
Part 1 Community Baseball
1 How Veeck Was Wrecked 21
2 Trial and Error: Franchise Building 36
3 Putting the Pieces Together 58
4 Major League Frustrations 77
5 Changing the Guard 96
Part 2 The Hoffberger Years
6 Up and Down the Greasy Poll 117
7 Championship Years 136
8 A World Turned Upside Down 177
9 Mr. Hoffberger Takes Stock 192
10 Free Agency 213
11 Miracle on 33rd Street 229
Part 3 The Williams Era
12 The Strike 249
13 The Best of Times 267
14 The End of an Era 284
Epilogue: The Short Season of Edward Bennett Williams 304
Notes 321
Bibliography 359
Index 369
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)