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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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Closing the Last Vestige of a “Free Market” In Labor 1964

Closing the Last Vestige of a “Free Market” In Labor 1964

Chapter:
(p.75) 5 Closing the Last Vestige of a “Free Market” In Labor 1964
Source:
The Big Leagues Go to Washington
Author(s):

David George Surdam

Publisher:
University of Illinois Press
DOI:10.5406/illinois/9780252039140.003.0005

This chapter examines the issues surrounding player draft in professional sports leagues. During the postwar era, baseball officials and players often mentioned free agents. Unlike the free agents of our era, however, these players were talented amateur players. Indeed, high school and college players constituted the remaining vestige of a free market for baseball labor during the postwar era. The owners quickly discovered that this free market for labor was costly and made attempts to curb spending on amateur players, sparking allegations of cheating that led to distrust among them. This chapter first considers the creation of the amateur draft in Major League Baseball (MLB) before discussing the reverse-order draft in the National Football League (NFL) and the player draft in the National Basketball Association (NBA). It concludes with an assessment of the impact of the draft on owners and players.

Keywords:   player draft, professional sports leagues, baseball, free agents, free market, amateur players, Major League Baseball, reverse-order draft, National Football League, National Basketball Association

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