The city of San Jose had already swung and missed twice in its attempt to overturn Major League Baseball's exemption from federal antitrust law and clear the way for the Oakland A's to move to the South Bay.
Strike three came on Monday, when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected, without comment, the city's appeal of lower court rulings in the case.
San Jose sued MLB in June 2013, alleging team owners had violated antitrust law by refusing to agree to the A's move to the South Bay. The sticking point in that plan is that Santa Clara County part of the San Francisco Giants' territory under MLB's constitution.
Baseball has been exempt from federal antitrust law since a 1922 Supreme Court decision. That ruling, written by Associate Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., essentially found that baseball was exempt from antitrust restrictions that applied to other interstate commerce because it was a game, not a business.
That decision, Federal Baseball Club v. National League, has survived several challenges. The high court itself has termed that decision “an established aberration” in its past rulings — but has said it should be up to Congress, not the courts, to change the law.