Baseball fans around the world rejoice: Mighty Casey will get another chance. The players and owners reached a historic collective bargaining agreement this afternoon, averting the ninth work stoppage in the sport's history.

More than a few publicly traded companies were biting their nails as the future of the 2002 season hung in the balance. Let's go over a few of these Cracker Jack stocks.

While a few companies have ownership ties with individual major league teams, they're usually large conglomerates with more going on than a 3-2 count with the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth. In short, News Corp(NYSE: NWS) has bigger fish to fry than what happens to its Los Angeles Dodgers team. But a company like Disney(NYSE: DIS) had more at stake. Beyond the fact that Disney's Anaheim Angels are a playoff contender this year, and wiping out the World Series (like eight years ago) would leave fans fuming, Disney also owns ESPN. The station would have needed to fill voids in baseball coverage and appease advertisers.

Smaller companies would have taken even bigger relative hits. After hailing the large number of paying fantasy-baseball customers earlier this year, SportsLine(Nasdaq: SPLN) would have been forced to dole out at least partial refunds. That's hardly what the company needed when it's rolling out higher-profile football fantasy leagues. Then there's Topps(Nasdaq: TOPP), knowing sticks of gum just won't sell as well without complete season trading cards.

Don't forget companies that rely on the strength of baseball's merchandising. From athletic-apparel makers to sporting-goods retailers, baseball is more than just a game. And more than just fans are welcoming the "play ball" cry from the home-base umpire.