Davies Baseball Research Essay Cited in New York Times

An essay written by Professor Ross Davies for The Baseball Research Journal last year was cited in a light-hearted article in The New York Times in which the author speculated as to whether Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan might be expected to share the devotion to baseball apparent in other members of the high court.

"Nothing in the law of sport matches the frequency of baseball's interaction with the institutions of the law or the tendency of lawmakers who speak of sports to talk in baseball terms," Davies wrote. Davies provided data in his essay showing that there have been more references to baseball in federal and state judicial opinions over the last century or so than to any other sport, with golf following up as a close second to baseball.

In announcing Kagan's nomination, President Barack Obama commented that Kagan's appreciation for diverse views might serve her well "as a die-hard Mets fan serving alongside her new colleague-to-be, Yankees fan Justice Sotomayor, who I believe has ordered a pinstriped robe for the occasion."

This Bench Belongs in a Dugout, The New York Times, June 1, 2010. By Adam Liptak.

"Intense devotion to the national pastime at the Supreme Court is not a new phenomenon. In 1973, while the court heard arguments during the National League Championship Series, Justice Potter Stewart passed a note to Justice Harry A. Blackmun that exhibited a nice sense of proportion.

"'V.P. Agnew just resigned!!' the note said, adding, 'Mets 2 Reds 0.'

"The justices resort to baseball analogies even in cases involving other sports. In January, when the court heard arguments in an antitrust case concerning the National Football Leagues's apparel licensing practices, Justice Breyer illustrated a point about how the marketplace for items with team logos on them really works -- by referring to two baseball teams.

"'I don't know a Red Sox fan who would take a Yankees sweatshirt if you gave it away,' Justice Breyer observed."

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