The History of Baseball Unionization: The MLBPA before it was the MLBPA

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Major League Baseball players had few rights before the signing of the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports in 1968. They didn’t get all of their current rights all at once, either: the battle was, and is, an ongoing one. Before the Players Association, before Marvin Miller, there were other attempts to organize baseball players against the bosses. In this series, we’ll investigate each of those attempts, and suss out what went wrong. Here’s part 1part 2part 3, and part 4

You would think the formation of what we know now as the Major League Baseball Players Association would be something to celebrate without the caveats of the previous entries in this series, but that proto-MLBPA was a mess. Obviously, things improved — thanks, Marvin Miller — but that all took time. The initial version of the MLBPA formed back in 1953, and it wasn’t actually officially recognized as a union for another 13 years after that. And it wouldn’t have its first collective bargaining agreement for another two years, right before the 1968 season began.

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Red Sox look to act even more like a business with potential merger

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The Red Sox are owned by multi-billionaire John Henry, but really, they’re owned by Fenway Sports Group: Henry is just the primary money and decision maker behind that venture. Fenway Sports group owns a number of other teams in various sports, most notably Liverpool F.C. in the Premier League, and now they’re planning on getting even bigger by, per a Wall Street Journal report, merging with RedBall Acquisition Corp and then going public. RedBall’s co-chair, by the way, is Oakland A’s executive, Billy Beane.

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The History of Baseball Unionization: Where Murphy Money came from

This article is free for anyone to read, but please consider becoming a Patreon subscriber to allow me to keep writing posts like this one.

Major League Baseball players had few rights before the signing of the first collective bargaining agreement in professional sports in 1968. They didn’t get all of their current rights all at once, either: the battle was, and is, an ongoing one. Before the Players Association, before Marvin Miller, there were other attempts to organize baseball players against the bosses. In this series, we’ll investigate each of those attempts, and suss out what went wrong. Here’s part 1part 2, and part 3

It would be some time after the defeat of the Fraternity of Professional Baseball Players before any more serious unionization efforts occurred in Major League Baseball. And the next one was extremely localized, too: rather than an entire union and then league sprouting up from it, or a union that briefly benefited from the attempt of a third league to form, the American Baseball Guild’s most notable moment existed with just one (1) team: the Pittsburgh Pirates.

The year 1946 was a massive one for labor in America: post-war, with soldiers returning home from Europe and the Pacific to their old lives and old jobs, there was basically no way there would not be some kind of labor strife. Because of the sudden influx of workers from this return, wages fell — Major League Baseball was not immune to this, as they, an industry that continued on through the Second World War, had replacement players that had become regulars in the mix with players returning to their old roster spots, necessitating an expansion of rosters from 25 to 36. To keep payrolls level, teams reduced individual pay.

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WWE claiming ownership of wrestlers’ real names and their money, too

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You might recall that, about a month ago, World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) introduced a policy change for its performers, one that was exceedingly confusing and full of contradictory follow-up reports. Those wrestlers would be policed by WWE on their use of and relationships with “third-parties” like Twitch and Cameo, with the idea supposedly being that WWE was concerned about protecting their legal rights — like trademarks for wrestler names WWE owns. Basically, WWE didn’t like the idea of anyone making money on their own time if they were doing it using a name WWE owns, and decided they were going to take total control of those potential revenue-generating relationships.

The thing is, though, that WWE isn’t just doing this with the names they’ve trademarked. If a wrestler has a Twitch or a Cameo using their actual, real name, and not their WWE one, then WWE is still seeking control of those accounts and the dollars they generate. According to Wrestling Inc.’s reporting, WWE will take control of these Twitch and Cameo accounts by November.

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