The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2013–2014


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About the Book

Generally acknowledged as the preeminent gathering of baseball scholars, the annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture has made significant contributions to baseball research and pedagogy. This collection of 17 new essays is selected from the approximately 100 presentations of the 2013 and the 2014 symposia, covering topics whose importance extends beyond the ballpark. Presented in six themed parts, the essays consider the congruence of culture and baseball, the importance of ballpark itself, the myths, legends and icons of the baseball imagination, international and ethnic game variations, the work of baseball museum curators and a context for the game’s rules of play and labor.

About the Author(s)

William M. Simons is professor of history at the State University of New York–Oneonta.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by William M. Simons
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 300
Bibliographic Info: tables, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2015
pISBN: 978-0-7864-9889-5
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2014-5
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Cooperstown Symposium Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments viii
Introduction (William M. Simons) 1
Part I: Baseball Poetry, Music, and Literature
Baseball, Casey, and Me  (Frank Deford) 14
“The Band Is Playing Somewhere”: Unpacking the Music of “Casey at the Bat” (Timothy A. Johnson) 20
Towards a History of the Baseball Poem (Joseph Stanton) 29
Part II: The Ballpark: Place and Atmosphere
Back to the Future: Building a Ballpark, Not a Stadium (Janet Marie Smith) 52
Ballpark Advertising ­Decade-by-Decade—and the Impact on the Fan Experience and Team Branding (Edward Mayo, John Weitzel and Dobb Mayo) 62
Food Concessions and ­Middle-Class Identification at Baseball Games, 1900–1950 (Seth S. Tannenbaum) 77
The Seven Dirty Words You Can’t Say About Baseball: How George Carlin Explains the Relative Lack of Spectator Violence in U.S. Professional Sport (Martin Lewison) 93
Part III: Myths, Legends, and Icons of the Game
Greenberg at the Bat: A ­Twenty-First Century Jewish Moonlight Graham (William M. Simons) 112
Superstition and Ritual as Strength—or “Keep brushing those teeth between innings, Turk Wendell” (Matthew R. Yeazel) 135
The Big Leagues on the Big Screen: Character, Culture, and the Mythology of the Majors in the Hollywood Baseball Film (Robert Repici) 143
Part IV: Asian and ­Asian-American Baseball
Battered but Not Broken: Baseball and Masculinity at Tule Lake, 1942–1946 (Terumi ­Rafferty-Osaki) 164
A Strategic Approach for Baseball to Flourish in Modern China (Keith Spalding Robbins) 180
Part V: Museums: Baseball Exhibits, Standards, and Preservation
Mrs. Jack—Art Collector, Muse, Mentor, and Mascot: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Boston Red Sox (Jay Hurd) 198
Preservation of Integrity or Succumbing to the Pressures of the Electronic Media: The Moral and Statistical Conundrums on the Horizon for the Baseball Hall of Fame (Wayne G. McDonnell, Jr.) 207
“One for the Books”: (Re)Constructing Baseball History, Memory, and Community (Todd F. McDorman) 225
Part VI: Contracts, Jurisprudence, and the Pastime
Pine Tar and the Infield Fly Rule: An Umpire’s Perspective on the ­Hart-Dworkin Jurisprudential Debate (William Blake) 244
The Nation’s Strongest Union: Marvin Miller, the Major League Baseball Players Association, and the Labor Movement in the 1970s (Ron Briley) 258
Index 275