Advertisement

BASEBALL EXTRA / INTERLEAGUE PLAY

Antitrust Change Is Considered

June 18, 1997|From Associated Press

WASHINGTON — The Senate Judiciary Committee held yet another hearing Tuesday on baseball's antitrust exemption.

The difference was that this time owners and players have agreed on language that would partially eliminate the exemption, but only as it affects major league players.

Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, chairman of the committee, noted the efforts by players and baseball executives to negotiate terms of a bill and said lawmakers were interested in working with the two sides. Once he receives the proposal agreed to by the players and the owners, he would consider passing that bill rather than the one he has introduced.

"The most important impediment to passage of baseball antitrust reform has been eliminated," Hatch said. He called it "a truly momentous occasion when major league baseball owners have aligned in support of such reform."

But the panel's top Democrat, Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, was a bit more skeptical of the progress report, especially when a representative of the owners failed to show.

"Four or five years ago, they were close to having a commissioner," he said. "They're always close to something. It's like, 'The check is in the mail.' "

The Supreme Court created the exemption in 1922, ruling baseball was not a business. In the Curt Flood case, the court said it was up to Congress to remove the exemption.

In baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, players and owners pledged to lobby for repeal of the exemption, but only with respect to major league players.

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|