The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy

The Battle that Forged Modern Baseball: The Federal League Challenge and Its Legacy

by Daniel R. Levitt


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In late 1913 the newly formed Federal League declared itself a major league in competition with the established National and American Leagues. Backed by some of America’s wealthiest merchants and industrialists, the new organization posed a real challenge to baseball’s prevailing structure. For the next two years the well-established leagues fought back furiously in the press, in the courts, and on the field. The story of this fascinating and complex historical battle centers on the machinations of both the owners and the players, as the Federals struggled for profits and status, and players organized baseball’s first real union. Award winning author, Daniel R. Levitt gives us the most authoritative account yet published of the short-lived Federal League, the last professional baseball league to challenge the National League and American League monopoly.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781566638692
Publisher: Dee, Ivan R. Publisher
Publication date: 03/09/2012
Pages: 336
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Award-winning writer and researcher, Daniel R. Levitt is the author of several critically acclaimed books on baseball, including Ed Barrow: the Bulldog who Built the Yankees' First Dynasty and Paths to Glory: How Great Baseball Teams Got That Way, with Mark Armour which won the Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award. Levitt is a longtime member of the SABR, the baseball research organization, and a past president of the Minnesota chapter. He lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two children.

Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae
Chapter 1: The Opening Salvo
Chapter 2: America Meets Sports Leagues
Chapter 3: Rumblings
Chapter 4: Going Major
Chapter 5: A Real Players Union
Chapter 6: The Battle for Chicago
Chapter 7: Organized Baseball Responds
Chapter 8: The Season Opens: On the Field and in the Courts
Chapter 9: The Struggle Continues
Chapter 10: A Possible Settlement
Chapter 11: Player Reinforcements
Chapter 12: Antitrust Attack
Chapter 13: Owner Reinforcements
Chapter 14: A Long Summer
Chapter 15: The Final Countdown
Chapter 16: Aftermath

What People are Saying About This

John Thorn

If we recall the Federal League today it is for its last gasp: the Supreme Court decision of 1922 that provided Major League Baseball with an antitrust exemption that has endured to the present day. But the story of how it began, briefly flourished, frayed, and collapsed, is a fascinating and instructive tale on many fronts. No one has ever told it more compellingly than Dan Levitt; I cannot recommend his book highly enough.

Andrew Zimbalist

In this compelling narrative, Levitt uncovers the economic and legal battles between Organized Baseball and its last rival, the Federal League of 1913-15. Anyone seeking to understand how Major League Baseball (or the other U.S. sports leagues) came to be structured as the closed monopolies that they are today will benefit from reading Levitt's excellent book.

Charles C. Alexander

Daniel L. Levitt's book on the Federal League is the best work on the subject up to now. Thoroughly researched andwell-written, it is particularlyimpressive in its detailed narrative and analysis of the corporate, financial, and legal aspects of the Federal League's potent challenge to the two established major leagues—a challenge that, while ultimately unsuccessful, eventuated in the U.S. Supreme Court's landmark exemption of Organized Baseball from the federal antitrust laws.

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