Cape Cod League is Flawed

Kaleb HeffnerContributor IMarch 10, 2008

This article is in response to a recently posted article about the MLB essentially forcing the Cape Cod League into paying MLB for the rights to use MLB team names.

For those that are not familiar with collegiate summer leagues, such as the Cape Cod League, these leagues exist so that college kids can hone their skills while playing against other top players in the nation.  Many times these leagues are used to springboard players' professional careers.

Now, on to the matter at hand.

The issue is that for many years, the Cape Cod League has been using trademark names and logos that belong to MLB free of charge. Actually, MLB has been donating $100,000 every year to the Cape Cod League and rightfully so. The Cape has produced hundreds of players that have made it on to MLB teams.

The Cape Cod League is a non-profit league. Money is generated from donations and merchandise sales. Admission to games is free.

Guess what, MLB is a for-profit league. MLB has issued the CCL an ultimatum, simply pay for the use of MLB names and logos, as well as give MLB 10 percent of all merchandise sales. If the CCL does not comply, then MLB will stop donating money to the CCL. This is all reasonable. 

The merchandise being sold is using MLB trademarked names and logos.  There is a reason MLB got trademarks on those names and logos.

The argument against MLB is that the league is only concerned about its bottom line.  Oh no! Imagine a business concerned about its bottom line.

Because the CCL is a non-profit league does not mean that they should receive special treatment that is not given to the other great summer leagues across the nation. The CCL is a great league, but it is not as good as the Northwoods League or the Alaskan League.

Why? Because the CCL only takes NCAA DI players. The NWL and AL just take the best players. These players may be DII, DIII, JUCO, or NAIA players. These leagues truly get the best players in nation and would be better investments for MLB. That is unless MLB can get the CCL to pay for the use of the names and logos.

So, the CCL decides not pay MLB and MLB actually stops investing $100,000, or 10 percent of the CCL's operating budget, it's still not the end of the world.

The CCL just needs to get new names and logos and charge low admission prices. The NWL and AL are run as businesses and both leagues are flourishing. The CCL needs to follow suit.

Frankly, if the CCL wants to be an exclusive league then how can anyone blame MLB for wanting its trademarked names and logos to be exclusive?