Erik Porse Adjunct Professor School of Public and International Affairs George Mason University, Fairfax, VA
Author Contact Information: Erik Porse 2707 D S. Walter Reed Dr. Arlington, VA 22206 202.262.7371
Major League Baseball and the U.S. Congress maintain a unique relationship, dating back more than 100 years to the initial struggles over authority in professional baseball. Neither entirely adversarial nor friendly, the two organizations mutually exist in a battle to leverage power and influence within the other’s house. After the courts tasked Congress with the job of overseeing MLB, Congress became the primary authority in determining the autonomy of the league in operational matters. Over the past 15 years, however, MLB became cognizant of the need for a substantial lobbying influence within Congressional halls, and an explosion in lobbying dollars on the part of the league, its executives, and its teams has added a new dimension to the interactions. In light of the continued interest of the U.S. Congress in MLB, including the issues of steroids and the antitrust exemption, understanding the lobbying influence of the league is revealing.
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(Article originally published by SABR's Business of Baseball Committee. Used by permission)