Hardball & Handshakes

Why Have Professional Atheletes Formed Unions?

This instrutional unit uses the history of labor relations in major league baseball as a case study to probe this question.

The American Labor Studies Center and the Baseball Hall of Fame have joined forces to develop an original unit of study that uses the history of Baseball to teach about collective bargaining and a host of other required topics. The thematic unit entitled, “Hardball and Handshakes” relies on the Hall of Fame’s extensive collection of primary resources to bring history alive and give context to general principles and abstract ideas. The unit has been designed to meet the needs of teachers and students at the high school and college level.

Experts in both the history of baseball and the history of labor relations developed this instructional unit with an eye toward meeting dozens of required instructional standards. While the approach may be novel, the pedagogy is sound.

“Hardball and Handshakes” in your classroom. We encourage you to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame Education Department at http://baseballhall.org/education

“The American Labor Movement: Parallels and Relationships to Baseball,” Remarks of Paul F. Cole, Executive Director, American Labor Studies Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame “Baseball and Labor History Conference,” October 7, 2006 in Cooperstown, NY. Click here to read the speech.

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