How did Major League Baseball become a legal monopoly? : The Indicator from Planet Money Since last week, the MLB has been in a lockout due to ongoing labor negotiations between players and owners. Today on the show, how a 100-year-old court case gave the MLB an 'antitrust exemption' and how that set the stage for the labor unrest we see today.

Baseball's major league monopolies

Baseball's major league monopolies

  • Download
  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
William Davis/Getty Images
circa 1925: Tiny Osborne of the Brooklyn Dodgers demonstrates his unique ability to hold five baseballs in one hand. (Photo by William Davis/General Photographic Agency/Getty Images)
William Davis/Getty Images

We're in the last inning of 2021, and things aren't looking so great for Major League Baseball (MLB).

Last week, the MLB implemented its first lockout since 1990 to turn up the heat in negotiations with the players' union. In other words, America's pastime has been shut down until further notice.

But, how did it get this way? Today on the show: a dual of two Major League monopolies. We go back a hundred years to see how the MLB got an 'antitrust exemption,' and how it set the field for baseball's current labor unrest.

Music by Drop Electric. Find us: Twitter / Facebook / Newsletter.

Subscribe to our show on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, PocketCasts and NPR One.