The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2015–2016


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About the Book

Widely acknowledged as the preëminent gathering of baseball scholars, the annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture has made significant contributions to baseball research. This collection of 15 new essays selected from the 2015 and the 2016 symposia examines topics whose importance extend beyond the ballpark. Presented in six parts, the essays explore Biography: From Mythology to Authenticity, Gender and Generations, Race and Ethnicity on the Base Paths, Ballparks Abandoned and Envisioned, Baseball Cinema, and Business, Law and the Game.

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: 260
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2017
pISBN: 978-1-4766-7014-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2886-8
Imprint: McFarland
Series: Cooperstown Symposium Series

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vii
Introduction (William M. Simons) 1
Part I. Biography: From Mythology
to Authenticity Finding George: The Unique Challenge of Writing Sports Biography (Jane Leavy) 16
Seeking a More Authentic Jackie Robinson (Sarah Burns) 20
Part II. Gender and Generations
Skirting the Game VI: A Conversation with Jane Leavy
and Janet Marie Smith (Jean Hastings Ardell) 32
Play, Play, Gone Away, Come Again Another Day: My Father’s
Reflections on His Youth Baseball Experience… and Why It Matters
(Jay C. Kimiecik) 38
Your Father’s Field: What the National Pastime Tells Us About
Dads, Their Children and the Relationships Between Them (Rick Ginsberg) 51
“The Mo’ Things Change…”: Exceptionalism in Girls’ Baseball
in the United States (Jennifer Ring) 65
Part III. Race and Ethnicity on the Base Paths Baseball as a Bridge on the Border: Baseball as a Driving Force for Desegregation in Baltimore (Jacob R. Levin) 78
Chasing Baseball Dreams: Curating Jewish American Identity (William M. Simons) 92
Part IV. Ballparks Abandoned and Envisioned
The ­O’Malley and the City: The Connection of the Stadium
to Postwar Urban Renewal (Andrew Lang) 112
The Braves’ Plan to Desert Turner Field and Move Again:
Public Funding for a New Stadium in the Suburbs (Patricia L. Bryan) 129
The Social Construction of Baseball Stadiums as Cathedrals
of Consumption (Michael Friedman) 149
Part V. Baseball Cinema
Blown Saves: The Fate of Baseball’s Silent Cinema (Marshall G. Most) 168
“I’m a Goddamn Peach”: Feminine Force and Narrative Friction in Penny Marshall’s A League of Their Own (Robert Repici) 183
Part VI. Business, Law and the Game
Reshaping Baseball: The Positive Impact of Commissioner
Ford Frick (David A. Bohmer) 198
Major League Baseball’s Next Expansion Team: A Case Problem
for University Students (Daniel Gutch and Samuel Marshall—with faculty advisors Lawrence J. Gramling and Steven K. Wisensale) 216
Index 233