When Baseball Isn’t White, Straight and Male

The Media and Difference in the National Pastime


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About the Book

This book analyzes how sportswriters have discussed issues of race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual identity, age and class within professional baseball from 1998 to the present. Each chapter looks at the media representations of a specific controversy—the 1998 home-run chase, Alex Rodríguez’s historic contract signing, Barry Bonds’ home runs, Mike Piazza’s “I am not gay” press conference, Effa Manley’s Hall of Fame induction, the celebration of Jackie Robinson’s legacy, as well as the various incidents involving performance-enhancing drugs. The author puts it together and reveals what messages are being conveyed by the issues.

About the Author(s)

Lisa Doris Alexander is an assistant professor of Africana studies at Wayne State University in Detroit. Her research focuses on issues of race, class and sexual identity in sports, film and television. She lives in Warren, Michigan.

Bibliographic Details

Lisa Doris Alexander
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 200
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7113-3
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9238-1
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      5

1 Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and the Politics of Race and Nationality      11
2 “Out” on the Field: Homosexuality and Our National Pastime      31
3 The $25 Million Man: Alex Rodríguez, Objectification and Money      50
4 Effa Manley and the Politics of Passing      70
5 Barry Bonds and the Pursuit of Dap      84
6 It’s the End of the World as We Know It: Race and Forgiveness in the Era of Performance-Enhancing Drugs      117
7 Who Are We Celebrating, Anyway? Major League Baseball and the Honoring of Jackie Robinson      139

Conclusions      154
Chapter Notes      159
Suggested Reading      176
Bibliography      178
Index      193

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Finalist, SABR Analytics Research Award
  • “A valuable addition…highly recommended”—Choice
  • “Alexander makes an important argument, applying contemporary theory dealing with race, ethnicity, and gender to the world of major league baseball, and her occasionally controversial stance provides a great deal of food for thought.”—Roberta Newman, New York University