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Baseball and the Law

I love my job.

The Library of Congress’s Baseball Americana exhibit. Photo by Betty Lupinacci

Starting today, and continuing into July 2019, the Library of Congress is hosting a new exhibit, Baseball Americana. I hope you all make plans to come and see this fascinating look into baseball and our culture. The Library has lots of interesting artifacts, bolstered by items and material from the Baseball Hall of Fame, ESPN and others. I am spending my summer vacation hours as a docent, so perhaps we will meet.

For the Law Library’s part we will be blogging about baseball and the law during the entirety of the exhibition (a recurring theme in In Custodia Legis, and not just from me).

Jim Martin and I will be doing the heavy lifting for this task, but hope to have some of our colleagues join in the fun.

Jim and I have been assisted by two interns, Michael (Mookie) Goodson and Karen Sánchez, both of whom volunteered their time and energy to conduct research on the topic and have provided a lot of documentation and background information for Jim and me to pull from.

We’ll be writing about significant cases, legislation and fun topics such as you see below.

I hope you all come along with us for the ride!

Washington Nationals’ “Rushmore Four” and eagle mascot “Screech”. Photo by Betty Lupinacci.

For today’s opener, I bring you a (by no means comprehensive or exhaustive) bibliography on MLB mascots and their legal issues.

This topic entails many aspects of law such as trademark issues, criminal law, drug cases, the list goes on.

But early on in my research, I found an article in Cardozo Law Review from 2002 [Robert M. Jarvis; Phyllis Coleman, Hi-Jinks at the Ballpark: Costumed Mascots in the Major Leagues, 23 Cardozo L. Rev. 1635 (2002)].  Being a Nationals fan, I was not surprised to learn that the Phillie Phanatic “holds the dubious record as the most-sued mascot in the majors.” After reading this, I began a search for more recent material on the subject of mascots being sued by fans.

There is much published on the matter in newspapers and non-legal venues, but aside from a lot of state-level caselaw, I could not find much outside of law review articles.  So for a bit of fun, you can find below listings for matters such as: sharks “biting” fans and causing injury; mascots distracting fans who then get hit by foul balls; and fans being injured by hotdogs shot out of cannons by furry creatures.  Be warned – there are a lot of hot dog incidents:

Interview with María Daniela Jiménez, Junior Fellow at the Law Library of Congress

Today’s interview is with María Daniela Jiménez. María Daniela is a Junior Fellow in the Collection Services Division at the Law Library of Congress. Describe your background. I was born and raised in Orange County, California, and have lived in the Bay Area, Arizona, Indiana, Mexico City, and Rome. I really enjoy moving. What is your academic/professional […]

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for June 2018, Part 2

Earlier this month, Andrew provided an update on the Congress.gov enhancements, including that the date of the “Previous Meeting” on the homepage is now linked to a list of items that were on the House or Senate floor that day. The previous release also included errata, a published correction for a committee report that, if […]

Albemarle Circuit Court in Charlottesville, VA – Pic of the Week

On my recent trip to Charlottesville, Virginia—the county seat of Albemarle County—I had the opportunity to visit the historic Albemarle Circuit Court, which is part of the 16th Judicial Circuit of Virginia. The Albemarle Circuit Court is a trial court of general jurisdiction, meaning it can hear all kinds of cases which arise within its geographic area. The Circuit […]

An Interview with Amelia Shooter, Scholar-in-Residence at the Law Library of Congress

Describe your background. I am originally from Nottingham, U.K., but moved to Oxfordshire last year. I have moved several times around the country, having spent a considerable length of time both working and studying in Leeds, Yorkshire. In 2016, I started my Ph.D. studies at Birmingham City University’s Centre for Law, Science and Policy. My […]

Naaltsoos Sání and the Long Walk Home

Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Long Walk, the 450-mile journey the Diné (Navajo) took from Hwééldi (Fort Sumner) to the heart of the Navajo Nation, the area around Window Rock, Arizona. The Diné started their travels home after the signing of the Naaltsoos Sání–also known as the Treaty of Bosque Redondo and the […]

James Madison’s Montpelier: Pic of the Week

On this day in 1789, James Madison—the fourth President of the United States—introduced amendments to the Constitution in the House of Representatives, which are now known as the Bill of Rights. Even though he was initially skeptical of the usefulness of a bill of rights, he eventually embraced the idea as it seemed that the […]

Caribbean American Heritage Month and Caribbean Law

This year marks the 13th National Caribbean American Heritage Month, which acknowledges and honors the contributions Caribbean Americans are making to American society. At the Law Library, we take the opportunity during these commemorative months to review our holdings in the related jurisdictions. The Caribbean is a term for the area that comprises nearly twenty-five […]

Congress.gov New, Tip, and Top for June 2018

Back in May, Robert provided an update on the Congress.gov enhancements including “the ability to browse legislation using subject terms on ‘all information’ bill detail pages.” One of the new features in the Congress.gov enhancements released today is that the date of the “Previous Meeting” on the homepage will now be linked to a list of […]