Labor History: Hardball and Handshakes

by  National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

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Even in an era of free agency and million dollar agreements, baseball is more than money. Beyond the big salaries is a complex process of finding common ground individually and institutionally. As players and management organized themselves, the transition of our National Pastime from a social sport to a professional industry provides a unique lesson in free enterprise through the evolution of contracts and commerce.

Appropriate for students in high school or college, critical thinking and decision-making skills are engaged in this fascinating look at the relationship between employer and employee. How does baseball compare to other entities that utilize collective bargaining and contract negotiation? From the boardroom to the locker room, learn the answers in this study of competition and cooperation. Throughout American history, the teamwork to earn a voice and a seat at the table has forged an important, time-tested principle: labor is not a commodity.

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About This Program


Multipoint: $150.00
Point to Point: $150.00
By Request: $150.00

Participants in the Baseball Hall of Fame Membership Program receive a $25 discount on each of their programs. Visit www.Baseballhall.org for more information on the Hall of Fame's Membership Program.


One hour

Target Audience

Education: Grade(s) 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 College

Minimum participants:


Maximum participants:

There is no maximum number of participants. However, for optimum interactivity we suggest you limit the group to no more than 30 participants. If your program must exceed this number please contact the Hall of Fame at Education@Baseballhallofame.org or (607)547-0347 to discuss your programming optio

Primary Disciplines

Character Education, Economics/Business, Social Studies/History Labor History

Program Delivery Mode

Videoconference – Webcam/desktop (Zoom, Google Meet, Cisco WebEx, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc...)

Booking Information

Book it!

Receive this program and 9 more for one low price when you purchase the CILC Virtual Expeditions package. Learn more

For more information contact CILC at (507) 388-3672

Provider's Cancellation Policy

If the program is cancelled or rescheduled at least one week prior to the date of the program, then no fee is charged. If the program is cancelled or rescheduled less than one week prior to the scheduled date of the videoconference, then a $25.00 administrative fee may be charged.

Programs cancelled without notice by the school will be charged the entire program fee.

About This Provider

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National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

Cooperstown, NY
United States

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is a not-for-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collections for a global audience, as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our National Pastime.

Education Department

Program Details


1. Introduction
2. Students work in groups to compare and contrast players contracts from different time periods.
3. Share results and discuss similiarities and differences.
4. Question and answer period.


A. Examine historical data from various perspectives, including museum and library collections, player contracts, labor agreements, organizational structures, artifacts and primary sources.

B. Compare and contrast models of resolving differences throughout the various player organizations in baseball's labor history - such as individual contracts, management philosophies, meet and confer, collective bargaining, mediation and arbitration.

C. Understand, through research, discussion and role play: human and civil rights with responsibilities; the purpose and concept of organizing a labor union; the decision-making process that defines the employer-employee relationship, including negotiation, conflict resolution and contract enforcement.

Standards Alignment

National Standards

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum proudly presents fun-filled, content-rich experiences for students from pre-K to grade 12. Our videoconferences are all aligned with Common Core State Standards, and also support other learning goals.

Contact us at Education@baseballhall.org for more information on the common core standards to which this program is aligned.