Baseball and the Labor Movement

Jason Ruiz, Central Connecticut Chapter + Baseball Caucus 


Join the DSLC, NPEC, DSA members and baseball fans from across the country on Sunday June 5th at 7pm Eastern / 4pm Pacific for a special night of baseball, unions, and the workers that make them happen, with special guests including stadium worker union organizers and more to be announced!

From the founding of the first-ever union for professional players in 1885 to the lockout and contract fight this year, the history of the national pastime is the history of the workers who have been fighting for fair pay and better working conditions, both on the field and in the stands. Team owners have attempted to divide workers and fans by painting players as selfish millionaires, but to quote Dodgers pitcher and union rep Walker Buehler, “This isn’t millionaires vs billionaires. This is workers vs owners.” 

The solidarity between sports workers on the field and off was demonstrated during negotiations this year when the MLB Players Association donated millions to the SEIU stadium workers lockout fund. Players and stadium workers understand that there would be no games without their labor, and that it is the bosses, not the players, who bear responsibility for low wages, poor workplace conditions and contract negotiation lockouts which impact stadium workers the most. To quote UNITE HERE stadium workers union president Diana Hussein, “But it shouldn’t be on the Players’ and MLBPA to fund the needs of ballpark stadium workers impacted by the lockout and cancelation of games. It’s the owners that decided to lockout Players. It’s the owners that decided to cancel games. It’s the owners with the power to end this.”

Join DSA’s baseball caucus, the Democratic Socialist Labor Commission and National Political Education Committee as we learn not only the history of baseball’s intersection with the labor movement, but also how socialists today can support sports workers in all their forms, from the dugouts to the concession stands, who make baseball the game that we love.