Professor Nathanson received his JD from the Georgetown University Law Center and his BA from Tulane University. His scholarship focuses primarily on the intersection of sports, law and society. He has written numerous articles examining the interplay between, most notably, baseball and American culture.
His article "The Irrelevance of Baseball's Antitrust Exemption: A Historical Review" won the 2006 McFarland-SABR Award, which is presented in recognition of the best historical or biographical baseball articles of the year. His 2008 book, "The Fall of the 1977 Phillies: How a Baseball Team’s Collapse Sank a City’s Spirit" (McFarland), is a social history of 20th century Philadelphia as told through the relationship between the city and its baseball teams – the Athletics and the Phillies.
In 2009 he was the co-producer and writer of "Base Ball: The Philadelphia Game," a documentary "webisode" on the 19th century development of the game within the city that was part of a larger documentary project, "Philadelphia: The Great Experiment," to which he was a contributing scholar. In addition, he was a scholarly advisor to the 2011 HBO production, "The Curious Case of Curt Flood."
In the United States, he has lectured at, among other venues, the National Baseball Hall of Fame, and since 2011 has been a Guest Professor in the International Sports Law Program at the Instituto Superior de Derecho y Economia in Madrid, Spain.
In 2012 he published "A People’s History of Baseball" (University of Illinois Press), and in 2015 co-authored the textbook "Understanding Baseball" (McFarland). His 2013 article "Who Exempted Baseball, Anyway? The Curious Development of the Antitrust Exemption that Never Was" was published in the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law and won the 2013 McFarland-SABR award. His biography of the mercurial slugger Dick Allen, “God Almighty Hisself: The Life and Legacy of Dick Allen,” was published in March, 2016 by the University of Pennsylvania Press and was a finalist for the 2017 Seymour Medal, which honors the best baseball biographies of the year.
His most recent book, “Bouton: The Life of a Baseball Original,” was released in 2020 and was a New York Times Summer Reading selection. His op-eds have appeared in, among other outlets, The Washington Post, New York Daily News, and USA Today. He was a 2020 recipient of the Diane E. Ambler ’78 Faculty Scholarship Impact Award, presented by the law school to recognize faculty whose work has had a significant impact.