The owners of major league baseball's 26 franchises asked a federal judge in Chicago yesterday for a permanent injunction against an effort by the players' union to share in monies from game telecasts.
Marvin Miller, Major League Players Association director, quickly responded that the action would be contested.
Ray Grebey, director of the owners' player relations committee, announced that the owners had sued after three hours of deliberations, deciding there "was no alternative course."
The suit seeks a "final judicial determination" that would establish that the clubs are the sole owners of all baseball television rights.
Grebey said the suit was provoked by a series of letters the union sent between May 22 and June 1 to the clubs and by most of the television licensees threatening litigation over television coverage.
Miller said that, unlike the owners, the players were not seeking to obtain full rights to televised games. "We claim these are bilateral rights and that neither party can be the sole contracting party with television stations or anybody else."
Grebey said that in the view of the current level of salaries--approaching $300,000 per player--the owners believe any claim to a share of TV revenue is "totally unreasonable" . . .
Former major league umpires Tom Gorman, Jim (You're Boog Powell) Honochik, Al Barlick and Hank Soar will be dressed in blue and handle the Old Timers Baseball Classic July 19 at RFK Stadium. Sixty former major league players will compete in a five-inning game.