In the October 11th issue of New Yorker magazine, Malcolm Gladwell has written a fantastic article titled "Talent Grab" "Why do we pay our stars so much money?" Gladwell interviewed Marvin Miller and others regarding the relationship between capital and labor, and the history of how baseball players came to be paid, the way they are paid. The reserve clause, the inside stories....
After his exemplary explanation of Cust and Ellis, "Notsellingjeans" also came to mind, as someone who would relish the content of this article.
This article is not freely available on the internet...yet. Only to subscribers. But generally, after a period of time New Yorker articles do appear, free, online. If you cannot visit your library, or stand up at Barnes & Noble and read the thing (took me twenty minutes) I suggest writing down a note to yourself to review this article sometime in November via the internet.
Here is an excerpt:
"Even when Miller brought up something as seemingly straightforward as the baseball-card business, the players were oblivious of their worth. "The Topps bubble-gum company would go into the minor leagues, " Miller recalls, "and if the scouts told them someone was going to make it to the majors, they would sign those kids. You know what they would pay them? Five dollars. We're talking about 1966, 1967. Five dollars to sign. And that meant they would own them for five years, and the players got no percentage of sales, the way you would with any other kind of deal like that. If you made it to the majors, you got a hundred and twenty-five dollars per year--for the company's right to take your picture, use it in their advertising, put it on a card, use your name and your record on the back of it. I used to say to the players, 'Why'd you sign?' And they'd look sheepish and say, 'When I was a kid, I used to collect cards, and now they want to put me on one!'"."
...stuff even better, much better, than this, is within.