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Baseball in America and America in Baseball

Edited by Donald G. Kyle and Robert B. Fairbanks

Publication Year: 2008

Presenting views from a variety of sport and history experts, Baseball in America and America in Baseball captures the breadth and unsuspected variety of our national fascination and identification with America’s Game. Chapters cover such well-known figures as Ty Cobb and lesser-known topics like the “invisible” baseball played by Japanese Americans during the 1930s and 1940s. A study of baseball in rural California from the Gold Rush to the turn of the twentieth century provides an interesting glimpse at how the game evolved from its earliest beginnings to something most modern observers would find familiar. Chapters on the Negro League’s Baltimore Black Sox, financial profits of major league teams from 1900 to 1956, and American aspirations to a baseball-led cultural hegemony during the first half of the twentieth century round out this superb collection of sport history scholarship. Baseball in America and America in Baseball belongs on the bookshelf of any avid student of the game and its history. It also provides interesting glimpses into the sociology of sport in America.

Published by: Texas A&M University Press

Title Page, Copyright Page

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PREFACE

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pp. vii-xii

The annual Walter Prescott Webb Lecture Series, held on March 9, 2006, focused on the theme of “Baseball in America and America in Baseball.” The theme is especially relevant for a university in a city home to a professional baseball team and its stadium, and the series coincided with first World Baseball Classic and spring training of Major League basebal...

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INTRODUCTION

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pp. 1-7

“Baseball in America and America in Baseball” was selected as the topic for the 2006 Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures, one of the notable traditions of the academic calendar. For those of us who have been part of the growth in the field of Sport History...

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“OUR PLAYERS ARE MOSTLY FARMERS” BASEBALL IN RURALCALIFORNIA, 1850 TO 1890

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pp. 8-31

On a hot Sunday evening in June 1887, the Davisville Oletas and the Dixon Etnas played the fifth of fourteen ballgames between the two rivals that summer. Several hundred fans crowded around the diamond at “the Y,” a triangular- shaped grounds bounded...

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“INVISIBLE BASEBALL” JAPANESE AMERICANS AND THEIR GAME INTHE 1930S

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pp. 32-51

“I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me.” So said novelist Ralph Ellison in Invisible Man — his statement on the lack of black presence in the American mainstream.1 Indeed, while the perceptive Ellison spoke well and accurately...

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CHASING SHADOWS THE BALTIMORE BLACK SOX AND THE PERILS OF HISTORY

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pp. 52-87

When knowledgeable baseball fans hear the phrase “Black Sox,” they usually think of the eight members of the Chicago White Sox, most famously outfielder “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, who were implicated in the infamous 1919 World Series game- fixing scandal.1...

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THE PROFITS OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL, 1900 TO 1956

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pp. 88-142

The National League was formed in 1876 with the intention of putting baseball on a solid business basis. It achieved that goal in less than a decade.1 At the turn of the century, when baseball was the unchallenged national pastime, entrepreneurs considered...

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MAPPING AN EMPIRE OF BASEBALL AMERICAN VISIONS OF NATIONAL PASTIMES AND GLOBAL INFLUENCE,1919 TO 1941

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pp. 143-188

On an August night in 1936, a crowd estimated at as many as one hundred and twenty- five thousand people turned out “to witness America’s National Game.”1 The enormous congregation, by contemporary accounts the largest assembly ever to watch a baseball contest...

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“MATTERS INVOLVING HONOR” REGION, RACE, AND RANK IN THE VIOLENT LIFE OF TYRUS RAYMOND COBB

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pp. 189-222

On May 15, 1912, in an American League baseball game between the New York Highlanders and the Detroit Tigers, the New York fans heckled Ty Cobb unmercifully. 1 Among the loudest and most offensive of the hecklers was Claude Lueker, a fan who in a printing accident...

ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

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p. 223-223


E-ISBN-13: 9781603444354
E-ISBN-10: 1603444351
Print-ISBN-13: 9781603440233
Print-ISBN-10: 1603440232

Page Count: 252
Illustrations: 9 b&w photos. 2 maps. 16 tables.
Publication Year: 2008

Series Title: Walter Prescott Webb Memorial Lectures Series, published for the University of Texas at Arlington by Texas A&M University Press