Baseball/Literature/Culture

Essays, 2004–2005

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About the Book

The Indiana State University Conference on Baseball in Literature and American Culture has consistently produced a strong body of scholarship since its inception in 1995. Eighteen essays presented at the 2004 and 2005 ISU conferences are published in this work. In “Baseball is a Place: Reflections On Building a Baseball Novel,” novelist Mick Cochrane discusses writing a baseball novel, using his 2002 novel Sport to exemplify the process. Tracy Collins, in “Women, American Society, and Baseball Literature in the High Cannon,” examines the ways in which canonical baseball novels are obliged to exclude women. In “‘A Grim Harvest’: Baseball’s Changing of the Guard, 1931,” Steve Gietschier shows baseball progressing from the tenuous agreements of the early modern era to become a stable urban business ready to take on the challenges of the mid-century. Joan Thomas’s “Baseball and America, a Timeless Love Story” muses on the ways in which fans’ relationship with baseball is like that of the lover to the beloved, irrational, forgiving, even maddening but always total. Fourteen other essays on the literature and culture of the game take on topics that include Josh Gibson and Satchel Paige, August Wilson’s Fences, baseball’s long connection with presidents, its even longer connection with tobacco, and the virtue of cheering Chicago’s Cubs.

About the Author(s)

Peter Carino is an English professor at Indiana State University and is the editor of Baseball/Literature/Culture: Essays, 2002–2003 (2004) and Baseball/Literature/Culture: Essays, 1995–2001 (2003). He lives in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Peter Carino

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 208
Bibliographic Info: bibliographies, index
Copyright Date: 2006
pISBN: 978-0-7864-2618-8
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8319-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Baseball in Literature and American Culture Conference Series

Table of Contents

Introduction PETER CARINO      1

Part I: Baseball in Literature
1. Baseball Is a Place: Reflections on Building a Baseball Novel      9
MICK COCHRANE
2. In the Tradition of Chip, Horatio, and the Hardy Boys: Lessons for Life in Old Baseball Cards-Dan Gutman’s … & Me Novels      16
ANDREW ANDERSON
3. “They’re all alike, they’re all the same, and all poison”: Women, American Society, and Baseball Literature in the High Canon      26
TRACY J.R. COLLINS
4. It’s Only Natural: Sex and Baseball in Bernard Malamud’s The Natural      35
JOHN W. PETTY
5. “I done seen a hundred niggers play baseball better than Jackie Robinson”: Troy Maxson’s Plea in August Wilson’s Fences      46
JAMES ROBERT SAUNDERS
6. “I just might be able to steal second”: Fences’ Baseball Metaphor as August Wilson’s Commentary on African American Life      53
RENAE NADINE SHACKELFORD
7. Fear Strikes Out at the Father: Jimmy Piersall on Film      61
ROBERT E. MEYER
8. Fathers and Sons, and the Rhythms of Baseball in Non-Fiction Literature      74
GARY LAND
9. Sudden Hands      84
JOE RICE

Part II. Baseball in American Culture
10. “A grim harvest”: Baseball’s Changing of the Guard, 1931      95
STEVE GIETSCHIER
11. Historic Futility as Civic Virtue: The Singular Case of the Chicago Cubs      108
ANDREW W. HAZUCHA
12. Josh vs. Satchel: Legends, Their Leveling Effect and Their Cultural Longevity      117
DAVID C. OGDEN
13. A Short History of Baseball and Tobacco      128
KEVIN GRACE
14. Parks, Stadiums, and Fields: The Channel That Shapes the Message of Baseball      139
SCOTT JENSEN
15. Out of Their League: Council Bluffs’ Brief Participation in Organized Baseball      152
JOHN SHOREY
16. Reconstructing the Doubleday Myth Through the Creation of Little League Baseball      164
RON B. REMBERT
17. American Presidents and Baseball      171
GERALD BAZER
18. Baseball and America, a Timeless Love Story      182
JOAN M. THOMAS

Contributors      189
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

“A rich and varied illustration of the breadth and depth of baseball’s connection to American culture. … There is something here for everyone, from the ardent student of the game to the occasional fan who wants to see who’s on first.”—Sport Literature Association