By Donald G. Kyle, Robert B. Fairbanks
Jacques Barzun famously recommended, "Whoever desires to recognize the center and brain of the United States had larger research baseball ..." much less recognized, although, is the remainder of his admonition: "... and do it by way of staring at first a few highschool and small city teams."
In this number of essays, readers might adventure the US simply as Barzun meant. Taken from this system of the 2006 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures, Baseball in the US and the USA in Baseball captures the breadth and unsuspected number of our nationwide fascination and id with America's Game.
Chapters conceal such recognized figures as Ty Cobb, and such lesser-known themes because the "invisible" baseball performed by means of jap americans through the Nineteen Thirties and Nineteen Forties. A examine of baseball in rural California from the Gold Rush to the flip of the 20 th century offers an enticing examine of the methods the sport advanced from its earliest beginnings to whatever latest observers may locate regularly occurring. Chapters at the Negro League's Baltimore Black Sox, monetary earnings of significant league groups from 1900-1956, and American aspirations to a baseball-led cultural hegemony through the first 1/2 the twentieth-century around out this wonderful choice of sport-history scholarship.
Baseball in the USA and the USA in Baseball belongs at the book-shelf of any avid scholar of the sport and its heritage. It additionally offers fascinating glimpses into the sociology of recreation in the US.
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Their very identity — their inner drive to produce, produce, produce — found expression and grati>cation on the ball >eld rather than the misery and frustration they so often experienced in their wheat >elds. There was nothing magical about the game. Baseball came along at the right time in the right place to satisfy farmers’ insatiable appetite for achievement in a world of change and chance. It may have been a source of 24 david va ught rural nostalgia for city people, but it was the sport of choice for farmers and a powerful cultural agent.
So enamored was one Davisville farmer with gambling that in 1884, he borrowed one hundred dollars to make a bet and then refused to pay it back when his horse lost the race. 35 Gambling deepened almost everyone’s fascination with baseball as well. The game provided not only an antidote to the uncertainties of modern life, but also an opportunity to bet on the uncertainties of modern life. The new rules gave people their money’s worth in more ways than one. The more ordered, rational version of the game allowed for more precise, sustained play, and thus greatly facilitated betting.
In an era of outright hostility, however, contests against mainstream whites were played with caution. “A lot of these white teams didn’t take losing very well. 14 In 1906, San Francisco experienced a devastating earthquake, which, in addition to a large toll on lives, rendered thousands of people homeless and unemployed. Though some Japanese had already migrated to other locales, the disaster drove still more to Sacramento, San Jose, and various spots in the Bay Area. Not surprisingly, the Issei baseball habit survived these moves and clubs emerged in new locales.