Rice University logo
Top blue bar image
Kinesiology Department

Book Celebration for the late Dr Patrick K. Thornton


Book Celebration:  September 27, 2012 at Trauber Suite

“Legal Decisions That Shaped Modern Baseball”

By Dr Patrick K. Thornton, J.D., L.LM

On Thursday, September 27, 2012, a Book Celebration was held to honor the late Dr Patrick K. Thornton, J.D., L.LM and to celebrate the release his new book entitled “Legal Decisions That Shaped Modern Baseball”.  Dr. Thornton’s wife, Alison, and his former colleague, Dr. James Disch, organized the celebration, which included a touching champagne toast and a display of the book for sale.  Attendance included family, friends, colleagues, former students, and the Kinesiology faculty and staff. 

In addition to his private law practice, Dr. Thornton was considered one of the prominent sports law authorities in the United States and the world. He authored two previous books, “Sports Law” and “Sports Ethics for Sports Management Professionals”, and was working on two other books at the time of his death. Dr Thornton was a respected professor and lecturer at Rice University, the University of Houston, the South Texas College of Law, and Houston Baptist University. Before his death, he was selected as the Academic Director for the Masters of Law program in International Sports Law for the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia in Madrid, Spain. Dr. Thornton taught sports law and intellectual property law all over the world, including Russia, Australia, and Vietnam, and was greatly admired and loved by his literally thousands of students.

Dr. Thornton was a lecturer in the Kinesiology Department, teaching courses for the Sport Management Program since 2003.  After graduating from Southwest Texas State University, he earned his J.D. from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Lansing, Michigan, his LL.M. from the University of Houston Law Center, and a Master's Degree from Rice University.

Thornton’s book “Legal Decisions That Shaped Modern Baseball” was completed shortly before his passing.  The book takes a look at the cases that have had a significant influence on the game of baseball, such as Flood v. Kuhn and Garvey v. MLB, which either made it to the Supreme Court or brought up major issues in baseball.  It has now been published and is available for purchase.

For more information on how to order a copy of this book, click here

Dr. Thornton passed away this past January 2012 after a battle with cancer, and he is greatly missed by the Kinesiology Department.  Rice University newspaper, the “Thresher” wrote an article about his passing.  To view this article, click here

 Allison and Sport ManaToastMom-Jimmy