James R. Devine


While the individual stories of these holdouts are interesting in their own right, the import of their totality can only be seen in an historical context. The way in which major league baseball teams handled their holdouts was largely a reflection of the management style of Albert Spalding and William Hulbert, the founders of the National League. This management style continues through all three generations of these holdouts. Further, it extends into owner's dealings with the Major League Baseball Players' Association from its inception through the most recent strike. The holdouts, then, reflect a management style that has remained consistent through the history of professional baseball. It is a management style which, if not changed, is likely to continue to produce work stoppages at every future negotiation between owners and players.