In Rare Form
A Pictorial History of Baseball Evangelist Billy Sunday
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: University of Iowa Press
Preface and Acknowledgments
The photograph facing this page is an extraordinary image. Billy Sunday is poised to deliver a dramatic blow to the chin of Satan. Sunday used this pose and other active postures regularly in his promotional materials and sermons to illustrate the spiritual combat all individuals fight against sin. Rare among early prints, this photograph is date...
In Rare Form. The phrase seems well suited to Billy Sunday. It was, and still is in certain circles, a colloquial phrase related both to athletes and public speakers being at the top of their game, the peak of their level of performance; therefore it applies directly to Sunday’s baseball career and his expressive preaching style. The rarity of the images in this book...
1. Homespun and Cashmere
Few artifacts survive that deal either directly or indirectly with Billy Sunday’s childhood. Such a paucity is most certainly predictable considering the impoverished setting in which he was raised. The written facts surrounding his childhood tell of a long chain of broken familial bonds, and the absence of material culture representing this part of his life may...
2. Caught on the Fly
For all of the positive benefits inherent in material culture interpretations, there are also drawbacks. First, not all artifacts survive the test of time. Typically weak interpretive areas in material culture include food, everyday clothing, work methods, social interaction habits, and language patterns. One author has gone so far as to assert that spoken...
3. Revival Machine
Much of the evidence about Billy Sunday’s life that exists as material culture takes the form of books in the Sunday library. Of course, recorded accounts are artifacts in their own right, and such artifacts exist in a variety of forms. Paper items containing written or visual documentation such as ticket stubs, billing receipts, contracts, photographs, and...
4. For the Love of a Nation
To understand the unique perspective that a material culture approach offers this investigation, it is worthwhile to briefly contrast the methods of such an approach with those of a conventional historical analysis. The historical interpretation of people, places, and events has traditionally been based upon research in written documents or oral...
5. At Home in Winona Lake
The central tenet of the material culture approach is that past human behavior is directly embedded into physical objects that survive over time. An artifact carries with it the thoughts and ideas of its maker through its shape, texture, color, and composition. These characteristics are material representations of the maker’s mental constructs and, as...
Billy Sunday died of a heart attack at his brother-in-law’s home in Chicago on November 6, 1935, just two weeks short of his seventy-third birthday. His last moments were tempered with the comfort of Nell’s love, as she treated him to a bowl of Rice Krispies in milk and snuggled a hot water bottle at his feet (fig. 48). Only ten days prior to his...
Appendix A. Revivals and Appearances
Appendix B. Conversions
Appendix C. Evangelistic Team Members
Appendix D. Family Genealogy
Page Count: 168
Publication Year: 2005
OCLC Number: 181548632
MUSE Marc Record: Download for In Rare Form