Bill’s Analysis/Book Review: The Little White Book of Baseball Law

Law can be an extremely boring subject. This may deter people from reading John Minan and Kevin
Cole’s recent work, The Little White Book of Baseball Law. If the subject matter serves as a deterrent to
some, they are missing out on a great opportunity to both learn about the laws of this country
and some very interesting stories about the game of baseball.

The book is written in 18 innings to represent a double-header and each inning chronicles a case that
involves some aspect of baseball. At the end of each inning there are snippets of smaller baseball law

Some of the cases covered in this book are as follows:

Lainer v City of Boston: In this case, an unsuspecting fan attempts to scalp tickets to an undercover
police officer.

CBC Distribution and Marketing Inc. v MLB: In this case a company attempts to press a lawsuit against
the league due to an argument over the legality of being able to use real players’ names and likenesses.

Thayer v. Spaulding: This case will take you back in time where the first two inventors of what would
come to be the catcher’s mask duke it out in court over who should have the rights to the patent.

Federal Baseball Club of Baltimore v. National League: In this case the baseball club of Baltimore sued
the National League with claims that they were a monopoly that drove the team from Maryland out of
business illegally.

Flood v. Kuhn: This may be the most famous case in baseball history as this is the decision that led to
the advent of free agency.

Donchez v. Coors Brewing Co.: In this case, a man sues a beer company for using what he felt to be his
likeness in their commercials.

Alex Popov v. Patrick Hayashi: This is a fairly well-known case in which one fan sues another over the
rights to Barry Bonds’ single season record homerun ball.

Benejam v. Detroit Tigers, Inc.: In this case, a fan’s family attempts to sue a MLB club because a member
of the family was physically harmed when parts of a broken bat flew into the stands.

Fish v. Los Angeles Dodgers Baseball Club: This case is similar to the Benejam case as it features a
spectator suing a team because of harm done at the ballpark, however, in this case, the spectator
passed away due to the injuries.

Moran v. Selig: In this case, a player sues the commissioner of MLB to try to get retirement rights that he
feels he deserves based on a recent provision put in place by the league that gives pensions to players
based on time they spent in the Negro Leagues as well as the Major Leagues.

ESPN, Inc. v. Office of the Commissioner of Baseball: This case features a lawsuit by the most powerful
sports network in the world against MLB because of contention over their mutual deal allowing ESPN to
broadcast games.

Sanchez v. Hillerich & Bradsby Co.: In this case, representatives for a pitcher who was killed by a pitch
hit by a mettle bat sue everyone they can think of including the bat making company, the school where
the pitcher played and the conference the school was in under the idea that the player who killed the
pitcher used a bat that should have never been allowed to be legal.

Major League Baseball Umpires Association v. American League of Professional Baseball Clubs: This case
features an interesting lawsuit regarding the benefits umpires should be able to receive and hinges on
the fact that many of them turned in letters of resignation in hopes of pushing a deal along and are now
out of a job because of it.

Overall, this work does a good job of taking a complicated subject and putting it in terms that the
average fan can understand without having to take a class at the local law school.

Rating: 3.25/5

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  1. Eric

    March 16, 2012 at 10:39 am

    Great review. I’d never heard of this book before, but it looks like a good read. I’ll have to add it to the list of books to read. Keep up the good work.

  2. Bill Jordan

    March 27, 2012 at 10:43 pm


    Thanks for your comment! Certainly appreciate the support from a fellow writer.


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