The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2001


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About the Book

This is an anthology of 23 papers that were presented at the Thirteenth Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, held June 6–8, 2001, and co-sponsored by the State University of New York at Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Featuring keynote remarks from George Plimpton, author of Home Run: The Best Writing About Baseball’s Most Exciting Moment, this Symposium examined such topics as baseball’s myths, legends and tall tales.
These essays, divided into sections titled “Mythic Heroes,” “Media Mythology,” “Myth and Mystery” and “Myths in Progress,” go beyond the quick and easy judgments of the media and offer instead the longer, more informed views of scholars and researchers.

About the Author(s)

William M. Simons is professor of history at the State University of New York–Oneonta.
Alvin L. Hall is director of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by William M. Simons. Series Editor Alvin L. Hall
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 378
Bibliographic Info: notes, tables, index
Copyright Date: 2002
pISBN: 978-0-7864-1357-7
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Cooperstown Symposium Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Preface (Alvin L. Hall) 1
Introduction (William M. Simons) 3
Part 1: Mythic Heroes Keynote Address (George Plimpton) 21
How Thomson’s Shot Heard Round the World Changed My Life and Made Me a Hero (Oren Renick) 30
The Right Myths at the Right Time: Myth Making and Hero Worship in Post-Frontier American Society—  Rube Waddell vs. Christy Mathewson (Alan H. Levy) 51
Baseball’s Ethnic Heroes: Hank Greenberg and Joe DiMaggio (Joseph Dorinson) 66
Searching for Hank Greenberg: Aviva Kempner’s Mythic Hero and Our Fathers  (William M. Simons) 83
“Your” Bears to “Our” Bears: Race, Memory, and Baseball in Newark, New Jersey   (Robert Cvornyek) 103
The House That Ruth Built, and Pop Opened: Negro League Baseball at Yankee Stadium (Lawrence D. Hogan) 115
Wendell Smith’s Last Crusade: The Desegregation of Spring Training (Brian Carroll) 123
Part 2: Media Mythology
Baseball and Supernatural Intervention: Cinematic Reflections on the Crisis of Confidence in Post–World War II America (Ron Briley) 139
The Actor as Ballplayer, the Ballplayer as Actor (George Grella) 156
“The Curious Case of Sidd Finch” and For Love of the Game: The Perfect Game as Mythical Literature (Craig This) 167
The Symbiosis Between Baseball and Broadcasting (Paul D. Staudohar) 184
The Pitch: Baseball and Advertising in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries (Roberta Newman) 203
Baseball Fiction for Youth (Pamela Barron and Gail Dickinson) 220
For the Record and Lives That Mattered: American Baseball Autobiographies (Thomas L. Altherr) 231
Baseball Haiku: Basho, the Babe, and the Great Japanese-American Trade (Edward J. Rielly) 246
Part 3: Myth and Mystery
Baseball and Freemasonry in American Culture (Charles DeMotte) 263
Claude Hendrix: Scapegoat or the Ninth Man Out? (George M. Platt) 276
Baseball, Transcendence, and the Return to Life (Phil Oliver) 291
Part 4: Myths in Progress
From Scientific Baseball to Sabermetrics: Professional Baseball as a Reflection of Engineering and Management in Society (Richard J. Puerzer) 307
Youth Select Baseball in the Midwest (David C. Ogden) 322
Labor Rights and the Restructuring of Major League Baseball, 1969–1992: A Case Study of Franchise Performance and the Myth of Baseball Management (Robert H. Jackson) 336
Establishing Women’s Professional Baseball (Elizabeth Tempesta) 353
Index 365

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Weighty in both thought and size…recommended”—Library Journal.