Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Eldon Ham  

Pen Name: None


Audience: Adult;


-- Website --
-- Eldon Ham on WorldCat --

Illinois Connection

Ham received his B. S. from the University of Illinois in 1974 and his J. D. from Chicago-Kent in 1976.

Biographical and Professional Information

Eldon Ham has taught sports law at Chicago-Kent College of Law since 1994 and was one of the first lawyers to challenge the NFL’s drug policy in court (Richard Dent v. NFL, 1988). He is the sports legal analyst for WSCR sports radio in Chicago and has appeared on dozens of radio stations coast to coast as a sports lawyer, expert, and historian. He is also the author of ''The Playmasters: From Sellouts to Lockouts—An Unauthorized History of the NBA''; ''Larceny & Old Leather: The Mischievous Legacy of Major League Baseball''; and ''Broadcasting Baseball: A History of the National Pastime on Radio and Television''. He lives near Chicago.

Published Works Expand for more information

Titles At Your Library

The 100 Greatest Sports Blunders of All Time
ISBN: 1570281599

Masters Pr. 1998

An attorney discusses various legal blunders committed by athletes and sports teams, including the selling of Babe Ruth by the Red Sox, the cancellation of the 1994 World Series, and even the O.J. Simpson case

The Playmasters: From Sellouts to Lockouts-An Unauthorized History of the Nba
ISBN: 0809226022

Contemporary Books. 2000

A in-depth and unauthorized history of the NBA describes how key figures in the league, such as David Stern, Rod Thorn, and Michael Jordan and his agent David Falk collaborated to forge the NBA into the entertainment powerhouse it is today. Original.

Larceny and Old Leather: The Mischievous Legacy of Major League
ISBN: 0897335333

Chicago Review Press. 2005

Larceny and Old Leather is baseball at its best and worst-a unique, informative and often humorous glimpse into some of the secret and not-so-secret dirty tricks, thefts, vaudeville pranks and just plain cheating that dot the long, colourful history of America's most beloved game. The storied shenanigans of baseball include many kinds of mischief in a century-old legacy of corked bats, spitballs, grease balls, hidden balls, outright spying where, it seems, almost everything can be stolen - from bases and signs to games, batting titles, court decisions and much more. Larceny and Old Leather shows how baseball fans have a considerable tolerance for the bizarre, not to say devious, behaviour of their heroes: from the nasty Ty Cobb to Roger Maris (asterisk and all) and Pete Rose's memory lapses. (Listen, nobody's perfect.) The inclination of baseball fans to cut some slack for their heroes makes them unique among sports aficionados. Here is a book for both seasoned baseball fans and neophytes who'd like to get a look at the game that evolved into an industry-one with unique perks in the world of sports or, for that matter, in any other universe of commerce.

Broadcasting Baseball: A History of the National Pastime on Radio and Television
ISBN: 0786446447

McFarland. 2011

Finalist, 2011 Book of the Year--ForeWord Reviews

There is a long-standing relationship between broadcasting and sports, and nowhere is this more evident than in the marriage of baseball and radio: a slow sport perfectly suited to the word-painting of broadcasters.

This work covers the development of the baseball broadcasting industry from the first telegraph reports of games in progress, the influence of early pioneers at Pittsburgh's KDKA and Chicago's WGN, including the first World Series broadcast, the launch of the Telstar Satellite, the Carlton Fisk homerun in the 1975 World Series, which changed how baseball is broadcast, through the latest computer graphics, HD television, and the Internet.

All the Babe's Men: Baseball's Greatest Home Run Seasons and How They Changed America
ISBN: 1597979384

Potomac Books. 2013

2014 IPPY Award Third Place Winner, Sports Category
Why are Americans obsessed with the home run in sports, business, and even life? What made the steroid era inevitable? Revisiting the great home run seasons of Babe Ruth through those of Barry Bonds, All the Babe’s Men answers these and other provocative questions. Baseball, and particularly the long-ball itself, evolved via accident, necessity, and occasional subterfuge. During the dead-ball era, pitching ruled the game, and home run totals hovered in the single digits. Then, a ban on the spitball and the compression of stadium dimensions set the stage for new sluggers to emerge, culminating in Ruth’s historic sixty-homer season in 1927. The players, owners, and fans became hooked on the homer, but our addiction took us to excess. As the home run became the ultimate goal for hitters, players went to new lengths to increase their power and ability to swing for the fences. By the time Barry Bonds set a new single-season record in 2001, Americans had to face the fact that their national pastime had become tainted from within. All the Babe’s Men features the game’s special long ball seasons from Ruth to Bonds and divulges how baseball became king, America evolved into a home run society, and the contemporary game found itself trapped in a legal nightmare.


Broadcasting Baseball

  • Finalist, Book of the Year Awards, ForeWord Magazine , 2012
  • All the Babe's Men

  • Third Place Medal, National IPPY Book Awards, Sports Category, 2014

    Speaking Engagements

    Speaking Engagement Availability (No)