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The Big Leagues Go to WashingtonCongress and Sports Antitrust, 1951-1989$
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David George Surdam

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780252039140

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.001.0001

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An Overview of the Hearings

An Overview of the Hearings

(p.42) 3 An Overview of the Hearings
The Big Leagues Go to Washington

David George Surdam

University of Illinois Press

This chapter provides an overview of the hearings conducted by Congress in the wake of player unrest after World War II and growing demand for new baseball franchises. The Congressional hearings began in 1951, when Emanuel Celler (N.Y.), chair of the House Subcommittee on Anti-trust and Monopoly, initiated an inquiry into Major League Baseball (MLB). For the first hearings, Celler told reporters that the committee's purpose was to “help baseball against itself.” During the hearings, few of the legislators impressed with their savvy. Some did not appear to understand the testimony. On occasion a few made dubious comments. The hearings occasionally lapsed into farce. The chapter considers sports owners' reluctance to release their financial records as well as professional sports leagues' search for antitrust exemptions.

Keywords:   baseball, Congress, Congressional hearings, Emanuel Celler, Major League Baseball, sports owners, financial records, professional sports leagues, antitrust exemptions

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