From Major League Baseball's inception in the 1880s through The second world war, team owners delighted in monopolistic control of the industry. In spite of the gamers' desire to form a viable union, every effort to do so failed. The labor awareness of baseball gamers dragged that of workers in other industries, and the public was mainly in the dark about labor practices in baseball. In the mid-1960s, star gamers Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale staged a joint holdout for multiyear agreements and much greater wages. Their holdout rapidly drew assistance from the public; for the first time, owners recognized they could ill pay for to push away fans, their primary source of income.
Baseball's Power Shiftchronicles the development and development of the union motion in Major League Baseball and the essential function of the press and popular opinion in the gamers' successes and failures in labor-management relations. Swanson concentrates on the most rough years, 1966 to 1981, which saw the birth of the Major League Baseball Players Association as well as three strikes, 2 lockouts, Curt Flood's difficulty to the reserve stipulation in the Supreme Court, and the introduction of complete free company. To defeat the owners, the gamers' union needed assistance from the press, and perhaps more notably, the public. With the public on their side, the gamers introduced a new era in professional sports when wages increased and fans began to care as much about business transactions of their favorite team as they do about wins and losses.
Swanson shows how fans and the media ended up being essential gamers in baseball's labor wars and paved the way for the explosive development in the American sports economy.