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.
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
Preface 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 Notes Sources
What People are Saying About This
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.
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.