Many assume incorrectly that confrontations between baseball's players and management began in the 1960s when the Major League Baseball Players Association started showing signs of becoming a union to be reckoned with. (The tensions of the 1960s prompted the owners to form the Player Relations Committee to deal with them and in February 1968, the two groups negotiated the game's first Basic Agreement.) The struggles between players and management to gain the upper hand did not, however, start there - the two groups have had numerous clashes since baseball began (as well as since the 1968 agreement). There have been various periods of conflict and peace throughout the century and before.
This work traces the history of the relationship between players and management from baseball's early years to the new challenges and developing tensions that led to spring training lockouts instigated by the owners and to player strikes in 1972, 1981, 1985, and 1994. An important agreement in 1996 brought labor peace once again. The future of player-management relations is also covered.