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He's a Good Sport


By Roger Jewell

Gary L. Davidson is a sports lawyer who had founded several sports leagues, including the World Hockey Association (WHA) which merged with the National Hockey League (NHL), American Basketball Association (ABA) which merged with the National Basketball Association (NBA), World Team Tennis (WTT), and World Football League (WFL)).

While still attending law school, I wrote a thesis about the Major League Baseball’s unique status which exempted that league from anti-trust laws (other professional sports leagues are subject to anti-trust laws). It was this status that deterred Mr. Davidson from forming a professional baseball league to compete with Major League Baseball (MLB). However, I was not deterred. So, in 1985, I contacted Mr. Davidson and made an appointment to meet with him to discuss my proposal for an international professional baseball league called the World Baseball League (WBL).

Gary is a very personable guy. The meeting lasted about one hour and we discussed his prior sports involvement; successes and failures (such as the WHA and ABA, and the World Football League, respectively). My proposal included financing and franchise information. The teams would be located in Tokyo, New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, Mexico City, among others with one of the teams being named the “Rats”.

Gary was quick to warm up to the proposal, however, he said that I would need to pay him $200,000 in order for him to set up the league and seek investors.

“Come back when you get the $200,000 and it’s a go, Roger,” he told me. He and I are both still waiting on the $200,000.

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