Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, 2001

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This is an anthology of 23 papers that were presented at the Thirteenth Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, held June 6–8, 2001, and co-sponsored by the State University of New York at Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Featuring keynote remarks from George Plimpton, author of Home Run: The Best Writing About Baseball's Most Exciting Moment, this Symposium examined such topics as baseball's myths, legends and tall tales.

These essays, divided into sections titled "Mythic Heroes," "Media Mythology," "Myth and Mystery" and "Myths in Progress," go beyond the quick and easy judgments of the media and offer instead the longer, more informed views of scholars and researchers.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The papers assembled into this volume, weighty in both thought and size, were presented June 6-8, 2001, at the 13th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and Culture. Various lengthy essays explore the role of mythology in baseball and American life, beginning with a lively and personal keynote address by the inimitable George Plimpton. The essays in the first section of the book address mythical heroes, and the paper by editor Simons (SUNY at Oneonta) on legendary slugger and ethnic star Hank Greenberg is alone worth the price of the volume. The other sections are "Media Mythology," "Myth and Mystery," and "Myths in Progress." Librarians will appreciate the essay by Pamela Barron and Gail Dickinson on baseball fiction for youth. Other essays include Edward Rielly's "Baseball Haiku" and Joseph Dorinson's "Baseball's Ethnic Heroes." The volume is a veritable hodgepodge of approaches, writing styles, and points of view that often only tenuously relate to the overall subject matter of the book. With that caveat, however, true baseball aficionados will enjoy the selections. Recommended for comprehensive baseball collections. Paul Kaplan, Lake Villa Dist. Lib., IL Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
The 13th annual conference held to coincide with the Baseball Hall of Fame awards in Cooperstown, New York explore the games myths, legends, and tall tales. The 23 papers discuss mythic heros, media mythology, myth and mystery, and myths in progress. Superstition are not considered. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786413577
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/1/2002
  • Series: Cooperstown Symposium Series , #5
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 408
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

William M. Simons is professor of history at the State University of New York-Oneonta. Alvin L. Hall is director of Continuing Education and Summer Sessions at East Stroudsburg University in Pennsylvania.

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Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 3
Keynote Address 21
How Thomson's Shot Heard Round the World Changed My Life and Made Me a Hero 30
The Right Myths at the Right Time: Myth Making and Hero Worship in Post-Frontier American Society - Rube Waddell vs. Christy Mathewson 51
Baseball's Ethnic Heroes: Hank Greenberg and Joe DiMaggio 66
Searching for Hank Greenberg: Aviva Kempner's Mythic Hero and Our Fathers 83
"Your" Bears to "Our" Bears: Race, Memory, and Baseball in Newark, New Jersey 103
The House That Ruth Built, and Pop Opened: Negro League Baseball at Yankee Stadium 115
Wendell Smith's Last Crusade: The Desegregation of Spring Training 123
Baseball and Supernatural Intervention: Cinematic Reflections on the Crisis of Confidence in Post-World War II America 139
The Actor as Ballplayer, the Ballplayer as Actor 156
"The Curious Case of Sidd Finch" and For Love of the Game: The Perfect Game as Mythical Literature 167
The Symbiosis Between Baseball and Broadcasting 184
The Pitch: Baseball and Advertising in the Late Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Centuries 203
Baseball Fiction for Youth 220
For the Record and Lives That Mattered: American Baseball Autobiographies 231
Baseball Haiku: Basho, the Babe, and the Great Japanese-American Trade 246
Baseball and Freemasonry in American Culture 263
Claude Hendrix: Scapegoat or the Ninth Man Out? 276
Baseball, Transcendence, and the Return to Life 291
From Scientific Baseball to Sabermetrics: Professional Baseball as a Reflection of Engineering and Management in Society 307
Youth Select Baseball in the Midwest 322
Labor Rights and the Restructuring of Major League Baseball, 1969-1992: A Case Study of Franchise Performance and the Myth of Baseball Management 336
Establishing Women's Professional Baseball 353
Index 365
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