Campus News

Book details baseball’s antitrust exemption

Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption
Nathaniel Grow
University of Illinois Press
Cloth: $95; Paperback: $35

Nathaniel Grow, an assistant professor of legal studies at the Terry College of Business, has written Baseball on Trial: The Origin of Baseball’s Antitrust Exemption.

The book is the first comprehensive account of the 1922 Supreme Court decision that gave rise to professional baseball’s antitrust exemption. The controversial 1922 Federal Baseball Supreme Court ruling held that the “business of base ball” was not subject to the Sherman Antitrust Act because it did not constitute interstate commerce. In Baseball on Trial, Grow defies conventional wisdom to explain why the unanimous Supreme Court opinion authored by Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, which gave rise to Major League Baseball’s exemption from antitrust law, was correct given the circumstances of the time.

Using recently released documents from the National Baseball Hall of Fame, Grow analyzes how the Supreme Court reached this seemingly peculiar result.