Analyzes how the economic structure and operations side of Major League Baseball during the Depression took a beating but managed to endure, albeit changed by the societal forces of its time.
List of Tables Acknowledgments Introduction Prologue: Clash of Titans Part 1: The Financial Side of the Game 1. The American Economy and the State of Baseball Profits 2. Why Did Profits Collapse? The Revenue Side 3. Why Did Profits Collapse? Player Salaries and Other Expenses 4. Farm Systems Conclusion of Economic Side Part 2: The Game on the Field 5. Competitive Balance 6. Player Movement Part 3: Using League Rules to Aid in the Recovery 7. Helping the Indigent 8. Manipulating the Schedule to Increase Revenue Part 4: Innovations to Boost Attendance and Profits 9. Radio and Baseball 10. Baseball Under the Lights 11. Other Innovations 12. How Effective Were the Innovations? 13. The Inept and the Restless: Franchise Relocation Epilogue: The End of an Era Appendix 1: Radio and Sunday Ball's Effect on Attendance Appendix 2: Dramatis Personae Appendix of Tables Notes Bibliography Index
David George Surdam is an associate professor of economics at the University of Northern Iowa. He is the author of Run to Glory and Profits (Nebraska, 2013) and The Postwar Yankees: Baseball's Golden Age Revisited (Nebraska, 2008).
"With the American economy struggling, major-league baseball attendance falling for the fourth consecutive year and the Los Angeles Dodgers in bankruptcy, David George Surdam's Wins, Losses, and Empty Seats about the game's Depression-era troubles is certainly timely. Mr. Surdam, who teaches economics at the University of Northern Iowa, comes to his task armed with a fan's enthusiasm, an economist's tool kit and a certain dissatisfaction with previous analyses - including my own - of the evolution of the baseball business." - Henry D. Fetter, Wall Street Journal "Surdam's book represents the best and probably the only solid study of major-league baseball's economic situation during the Depression." - Dorothy Seymour Mills, New York Journal of Books