FT 09-C Baseball, America, and the World
In 1903 the Boston Americans defeated the Pittsburgh Pirates, a team from under 600 miles away and claimed the title of World Champion. Last spring, Japan outlasted fifteen other national teams from around the globe to repeat as winner of the World Baseball Classic. Baseball, once called “America’s national pastime,” has been part of US culture from the earliest days of the country, and some think the sport embodies critical features of the American character. But, today, baseball is global. What happens when this “quintessentially American game” is exported to Asia and the Caribbean? What happens when the US is no longer dominant?
This tutorial will explore various aspects of the sport—its history, literature, economics, aesthetics, rules, rites and rituals—in the US and around the world. In addition to reading excellent books about baseball—such as Moneyball, Men at Work, The Natural, The Samurai Way of Baseball: The Impact of Ichiro and the New Wave from Japan, Baseball without Borders: The International Pastime—and viewing documentaries (e.g., Ken Burns’ series, Baseball) and other films (e.g., Field of Dreams), we will attend a major league game in Cincinnati on Sunday October 4.w
Butler, Melissa A.