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AG James Joins Coalition Challenging Baseball Antitrust Exemption


New York Attorney General Letitia James has joined a coalition asking the US Supreme Court to challenge the antitrust exemption for baseball.

Tri-City ValleyCats, Inc. and Oneonta Athletic Corporation v. The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball came about after Major League Baseball’s 2020 decision to cut 40 affiliated minor league teams nationwide.

The 18 Attorneys General claim this has unfairly harmed communities across the country; however, due to the baseball exemption, they cannot take action against the MLB under state antitrust laws. They are therefore asking the Supreme Court to reverse prior decisions to allow them to do so.

“Baseball may be ‘America’s Pastime,’ but it should also have to play by America’s laws that govern monopolies,” said Attorney General James. “Minor league clubs are part of the fabric of hundreds of communities throughout the nation that don’t have nearby access to a Major League Baseball stadium. By calling these clubs out of the system, Major League Baseball is punishing the fans and local communities. I am proud to stand with this bipartisan coalition of attorneys general to protect these minor league teams, and to empower millions of Americans to head out to the local ballgame.”

The Auburn Doubledays, Batavia Muckdogs, Staten Island Yankees, and Tri-City ValleyCats were among the 40 teams kicked out of Minor League Baseball in 2020. The Staten Island Yankees would cease operations that year. The Doubledays and Muckdogs would join the Perfect Game Collegiate Baseball League while the ValleyCats would join the Frontier League.

James is joined by the attorneys general of Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia in submitting an Amicus Curiae Brief in support of removing the antitrust exemption.

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