An excerpt from Rick VanderKnyff:
The nonresident tax is nothing new. The Tax Foundation, however, says it took on a new life in 1991 when the Chicago Bulls beat the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals -- and the state of California decided to go after a piece of Michael Jordan's income. The Tax Foundation report says that Illinois decided to retaliate the following year by levying a jock tax of its own, dubbed "Michael Jordan's Revenge" in the press.
The tax was applied only to players from states that taxed visiting athletes, which at the time was only California. Today, according to the report, "of the 24 states that have a professional sports team, only four do not have a jock tax." In addition, a number of cities and other localities also have a jock tax.
This is how it works. A pro athlete can be liable for taxes in two primary states, the state where the team is based and the state of residency. They can make it easier on themselves by living in a state without a personal income tax -- which is why so many pros live in Florida.
When they travel with their team, they are also liable for taxes in states with a jock tax. These states calculate the number of "duty days" a visiting athlete spends there for a road game, then send a tax bill for a prorated piece of the athlete's annual income. There is no nationwide standard for calculating what constitutes a duty day.
College Football Realignment
An intro from Wikipedia:
Corkball is a "mini-baseball" game featuring a 1.6-ounce (45 g) ball, which is stitched and resembles a baseball. The bat has a barrel that measures 1.5 inches (3.8 cm) in diameter. Originally played on the streets and alleys of St. Louis, Missouri as early as 1890, today the game has leagues formed around the country as a result of St. Louis servicemen introducing the game to their buddies during World War II and the Korean conflict. It has many of the features of baseball, yet can be played in a very small area because there is no base-running.
We used to play corkball on our not-very-busy neighborhood street when I was a kid in suburban St. Louis. The "no base-running" part can be a godsend in the often stifling summer heat there. Still, it's a fast-paced game:
Games are extremely competitive, with batters relying on keen eyesight and quick reflexes to hit a tiny ball thrown across home plate from 55 feet. Bats are 34 to 38 inches and only 1 1/2 inches wide. The corkballs are two inches in diameter and weigh 1.6 ounces.
Pitchers are allowed to throw spitballs, along with the traditional repertoire of fastballs, curveballs, changeups, knuckleballs and sliders. Hitting in corkball is no easy matter.
Hitters are allowed one swinging strike. Two called strikes constitute an out. Five called balls is a walk. Like baseball, there are three outs per inning. Unlike baseball, bases are not needed as there are no base runners. Positions of players along the bases is kept on paper.
It's like hitting a baseball the size of a golf ball with a broom stick. Anyway, it seems like St. Louis has quite the knack for inventing odd bat-and-ball games:
Indian ball is just one of the peculiar games that have made St. Louis the center of the odd-ball universe. Or as Esquire magazine noted, "St. Louis has been giddily creative in constructing games around the concept of hitting a thrown object with a bat."
The best known and oldest is the hardball variation called corkball, a game so St. Louis that it gave the city a curious reputation during World War II when local corkballers played the game on the decks of aircraft carriers or on military parade grounds. Back then, homegrown corkball was played in "cages, " most of them attached to the side of a tavern.
Other local variations are fuzz-ball, featuring a singed tennis ball that moves like a sphere possessed, and perhaps the oddest game of all, a batter-pitcher diversion called crowns or caps. In this game, usually played against the exterior wall of a saloon, the batter uses a broomstick and tries to hit a beer-bottle cap that is hurled with a vengeance, bobbing about like a crazed dragonfly.
These distinctly St. Louis games have one thing in common - kegs of beer, taverns and buckets of chili.
You can still buy corkball equipment today. From the aforementioned Esquire magazine article:
IN THE OLD DAYS, Herb Markwort used to be a hot tennis player in the parks on the city's south side. He couldn't afford to have his racket restrung, however, so he learned to do it himself. Gradually, word got around to the other players, and Herb began to make a living for himself stringing tennis rackets on his back porch. From this came the Markwort Sporting Goods Company, tucked into an old factory-warehouse district just off the interstate. Today, it is the country's--nay, the world's--leading supplier of corkball equipment.
"The cork from the barrels is what they started using in the taverns, and outside the taverns later on," explains Herb Markwort Jr., the founder's son. "Then they started putting tape around it to get it more spherical, and then some of the guys decided, Well, let's just start making little baseballs, then. So some of them were actually made in homes here in St. Louis." A man named Bill Pleitner is credited with making the first corkball with a proper cover on it, in 1936, and he kept on making them until he retired in 1995. Some leagues--most notably the South St. Louis League--refused to play with anything except a Pleitner ball.
For a while, the Rawlings Sporting Goods Company sold corkballs, most of which were made by hand in St. Louis. The Markwort company would buy its corkballs from Rawlings. In the 1960s, however, Rawlings moved out of the corkball market and the Markworts began having their own corkballs manufactured--first in Haiti and, later, in China. Today, the company markets corkballs and bats with an eye toward the nostalgic haze that surrounds everything remotely connected to baseball. Each corkball comes in a box with Smithsonian lettering that seems taken directly out of Chris Von der Ahe's saloon.
An excerpt from Don Salyards:
Hockey fans are a diverse breed. Next to a union pipe-fitter you will find a business executive who played the game while in college at Yale, but both of them will high-five each other after the home team scores. Fan use of profanity during games is common and sometimes collective. While ice hockey fans seldom turn violent, a lot of beer is sold at hockey games and some of the folks have a hard time masking their exuberance during and after games.
After last night’s game I was standing in line in the men’s room. A young man, about 12 years old, was next to me in line waiting for his turn at the almighty urinal. Meanwhile a ridiculously drunk guy, in this room with about 100 men, was loudly waxing UN-eloquent about every subject (politics, women, football, etc) on earth. The guy was so drunk and his statements so nutty that everyone in the room was giggling, as was this innocent young kid. I’m thinking I was that kid about 48 years ago, standing at the “trough” at the old AK-SAR-BEN hockey rink in Omaha, getting my first doses of real-world humanity. Like ice hockey, that kid will learn that life sometimes isn’t pretty, proper, or fair. But, sooner or later, he’ll take his own son to the big hockey stadium on Chicago’s west end.
On October 8, 1969, the St. Louis Cardinals traded center fielder Curt Flood to the Philadelphia Phillies. At the time of the trade, Flood was thirty-one years old, at the top of his game and in the prime of his life. In professional baseball, trades are not uncommon. What was different about this trade was that Curtis Charles Flood refused to recognize the "right" of the Cardinals to trade him to another team without his consent. In doing so, Flood challenged a practice that was designed and enforced by the professional baseball club owners for over eighty years- a practice frequently referred to as the "reserve system". It was the late 1960s – a decade of great racial tension and unrest; the Vietnam War was dividing the country; and now Curt Flood, a black man, was challenging the lily-white major league baseball establishment.
On January 16, 1970, Curt Flood filed suit in the Federal District Court in New York against major league baseball alleging that baseball’s reserve system violated the Sherman Antitrust Act and Flood’s rights under federal law. Flood argued that once he signed a contract (in his case, when he was eighteen years old), he was owned by "his team" for life and that the reserve system was tantamount to slavery.
Flood’s decision to challenge major league baseball cost him his baseball career and much more. Despite the U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of Flood’s claims and ruling (in 1972) that professional baseball was exempt from federal antitrust regulation, professional baseball players had "free agency" by 1975.
This is the story of Curt Flood’s case and trial against major league baseball and its aftermath.