MAJOR LEAGUE AGREEMENT
THIS AGREEMENT, entered into this 3rd day of February, 1945, by and between THE NATIONAL LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL CLUBS, and each of its Eight Constituent Clubs, on the one part, and THE AMERICAN LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL BASEBALL CLUBS, and each of its Eight Constituent Clubs, on the other part.
WHEREAS, the parties hereto are the parties to an agreement, executed January 12, 1921, and amended December 12, 1944, known as the Major League Agreement; and
WHEREAS, the parties hereto desire further to amend the Major League Agreement as hereinafter provided;
NOW, THEREFORE, it is mutually agreed by and between the parties hereto that the Major League Agreement is hereby amended to read as follows:
Sec. 1. The Office of Commissioner created by the Major League Agreement of January 12, 1921, is hereby continued for the period of this agreement.
Sec. 2. The functions of the Commissioner shall be as follows:
(a) To investigate, either upon complaint or upon his own initiative, any act, transaction, or practice charged, alleged or suspected to be detrimental to the best interests of the national game of baseball, with authority to summon persons and to order the production of documents, and, in cases of refusal to appear or produce, to impose such penalties as are hereinafter provided.
(b) To determine, after investigation, what preventive, remedial or punitive action is appropriate in the premises, and to take such action either against Major Leagues, Major League clubs or individuals, as the case may be.
(c) To hear and determine finally any dispute between the Major Leagues which may be certified to him for determination by the President of either Major League.
(d) To hear and determine finally any dispute to which a player is a party, or any dispute concerning a player, which may be certified to him by either or any of the disputants.
(e) To formulate, and from time to time announce, the rules of procedure to be observed by the Commissioner and all other parties in connection with the discharge of his duties. Such rules shall always recognize the right of any party in interest to appear before the Commissioner and be heard and the right of the Presidents of the two Major Leagues to appear and be heard upon any matter affecting the interests of the Major Leagues, or either of them.
Sec. 3. In the case of conduct detrimental to baseball by Major Leagues, Major League clubs, officers, employees, or players, punitive action by the Commissioner may in any case take the form of a public reprimand. In the case of a Major League or club, the Commissioner may impose a fine not exceeding Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) for any one offense. In the case of a Major League club, punishment may extend to temporary deprivation of representation in joint meetings held under this agreement. In the case of any official or employee of a Major League or of any Major League club, punishment may extend to suspension or removal. For such conduct, a player may be declared by the Commissioner temporarily or permanently ineligible to play for any club which is a party to this agreement.
No Major League rule or other joint action of the two Major Leagues and no act or procedure taken in compliance with any such Major League rule or joint action of the two Major Leagues shall be considered or construed to be detrimental to baseball. If in the judgment of the Commissioner, any Major League rule or any joint action of the two Major Leagues becomes in its operation impracticable or disadvantageous to baseball, either by reason of changed circumstances or otherwise, the Commissioner shall send a notice to the President of each Major League stating his judgment and the reasons therefore, and noticing such rule or joint action for reconsideration at the next regular joint meeting of the Major Leagues, or at a special joint meeting of the Major Leagues called by the Commissioner for the purpose of such reconsideration. At such regular or special joint meeting, such rule or joint action shall be voted upon as would be done if it were being initially proposed. During such period of reconsideration, such rule or joint action of the Leagues shall be in full force and effect.
Sec. 4. In the case of conduct detrimental to baseball by organizations not parties to this agreement, or by individuals not connected with any of the parties hereto, the Commissioner may pursue appropriate legal remedies, advocate remedial legislation and take such other steps as he may deem necessary and proper in the interests of the morale of the players and the honor of the game.
Sec. 5. The Commissioner shall hold office for seven (7) years and shall be eligible to succeed himself. His compensation shall be Fifty Thousand Dollars ($50,000.00) per annum.
Sec. 6. The election of any Commissioner hereunder shall be at a joint meeting of the two Major Leagues; the vote shall be by clubs; and to elect shall require the affirmative vote of twelve (12) of the sixteen clubs signatory hereto. During any vacancy in the office of Commissioner due to the resignation, death, or incapacity of any Commissioner during his term, or due to the failure to elect a Commission upon the expiration of a Commissioner=s term, all the powers and duties of the Commissioner and the Advisory Council, as provided in the Major League Agreement, shall be conferred upon and thenceforth exercised by a Major League Advisory Council shall continue to exercise the powers and duties of the office of the Commissioner under this agreement until a new Commissioner of Baseball has been elected as herein set forth. The decision of a majority of such Major League Advisory Council shall be controlling; provided that any case involving a player=s claim against a club or League shall be decided solely by the third member of the Council.
THE ADVISORY COUNCIL
Sec. 1. The Advisory Council is hereby created, to be composed of the Commissioner and the President of each of the Major Leagues, or such other representatives as either of said Major Leagues shall elect by majority vote. In case of a division of opinion within the Council, the decision of a majority shall be controlling.
Sec. 2. The Advisory Council shall from time to time as deemed wise, submit to the Major Leagues additions to or amendments of the following:
(a) Rules to govern the playing of the World Series Games.
(b) Rules to regulate all other contacts between the Major Leagues, and all matters in which the Major Leagues have an interest.
(c) Rules to determine the relationships between players and clubs, and between clubs and clubs, in all cases which concern players or their contracts, a standard form of player=s contract, and such other formal documents as may from time to time be deemed desirable.
Sec. 3. The Commissioner, advisory Council, or any club, may from tie to time propose to the Major Leagues the adoption, amendment or rescission of any rule, regulation or standard form or any other joint action of the Leagues.
Sec. 4. The Advisory Council shall recommend to the Major Leagues, from time to time, the clerical and administrative expenditures necessary and proper for the discharge of the Commissioner=s duties.
Sec. 1. The Commissioner shall appoint a Secretary-Treasurer who shall hold office during the pleasure of the Advisory Council. His duties shall be such as the Council shall from time to time determine. His compensations shall be fixed by the Council, subject to the approval of the Major Leagues.
Sec. 1. Any Rules, Regulations or Standard Forms proposed as above by the Commissioner, Advisory Council, or any club, shall, upon formal acceptance by the Major Leagues, become binding upon them, and shall not thereafter be amended, except by the concurrent action of both Major Leagues. The authority of the Commissioner to determine finally a disagreement between Major Leagues shall extend to the case of a disagreement over a proposed amendment.
Sec. 2. Amendments of rules, regulations or standard forms shall, after they have become operative, be subject to further amendment only as provided in Section 1 of this Article.
Sec. 1. At all joint meetings of the two Major Leagues, and of their constituent clubs, the Commissioner shall preside.
Sec. 2. Upon all questions of an interleague nature, or in any matter coming up in a joint meeting of the two Major Leagues, the roll shall be called, and after voting by clubs in each League, if there shall be a division then the American League shall cast one vote and the National League another vote. Should these two votes be at variance, then the Commissioner shall cast the deciding vote. There shall be no appeal therefrom.
Sec. 3. Joint meetings of the Major Leagues, and of their constituent clubs, may be called by the Commissioner upon reasonable notice and shall be so called whenever he is thereunto requested in writing by the President of either of said Leagues.
Sec. 1. The expenses of the Advisory Council, including the salaries of the Commissioner and of the Secretary-Treasurer, shall be paid by the Major Leagues, except to the extent that funds sufficient for the purpose are derived from games conducted under the auspices of the Council.
Sec. 2. The Major Leagues, and each of their constituent clubs, shall upon the demand of the Council contribute, share and share alike, to meet any deficiency of revenue remaining after the application to expenses of all funds properly applicable thereto.
Submission to Jurisdiction of Commissioner
Sec. 1. The Major Leagues and their constituent clubs severally agree to be bound by the decisions of the Commissioner and the discipline imposed by him under the provisions of this agreement.
Sec. 2. The form of player=s contract to be used by the Major Leagues, and all contracts between Major Leagues or clubs and their officers and employees, shall contain a clause by which the parties agree to submit themselves to the discipline of the Commissioner, and to accept his decisions rendered in accordance with this agreement.
Duration of Agreement
Sec. 1. This agreement shall remain in force until January 1, 1970.
Limitation of Amendments
Sec. 1. Each of the parties hereto subscribes this agreement in consideration of the promises of all the others that no diminution of the compensation or powers of the present or any succeeding Commissioner shall be made during his term of office.
Source: Official Baseball 1945, pp. 219-221.