What role does race play in baseball?
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As you provide a brief history of the topic and its current state in popular sports, please note that baseball an integral part of American pop culture as it is deemed as America's favorite or national sport. One article shows the sport's relevance in American pop culture:
Koprince, S. (2006). Baseball as History and Myth in August Wilson's "Fences.". African American Review, 40(2), 349-358.
The author suggests how "The game of baseball has long been regarded as a metaphor for the American dreamâ?"an expression of hope, democratic values, and the drive for individual success." The article insists how baseball in America "has become "the great repository of national ideals, the symbol of all that [is] good in American life: fair play (sportsmanship); the rule of law (objective arbitration of disputes);
equal opportunity (each side has its innings); the brotherhood of man (bleacher harmony); and more" (qtd. in Elias, "Fit"
3). Baseball's playing field itself has been viewed as archetypalâ?"a walled garden, an American Eden marked by youth and timelessness.
(There are no clocks in the game, and the runners move counter-clockwise around the bases.)"
One article traces the sport briefly:
Rubinstein, W. D. (2003). JACKIE ROBINSON AND THE INTEGRATION OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL. History Today, 53(9), 20.
Rubenstein maintains that Major League baseball began in American in "1871 with the formation of the first 'major league', the National Association. The two Major Leagues that exist today, the National League and the American League, were founded, respectively, in 1876 and 1901. There were always very few Major League teams: between 1901 and 1960 there were only sixteen, all in the north-east of the United States. New York for most of this period had three teams and Chicago had two, but many large cities had none. Most had Minor League teams, which were initially independent but gradually came to be taken over by the Majors as 'farm teams'."
The article also reiterates how baseball is seen by many social historians "as having a powerful effect on moulding the newer and marginal groups of the population into a unified nation, and assimilating American values and a common identity. The game was an significant element in reuniting the United States after the Civil War. By the 1890s newspapers in the southern states were reporting on Major League baseball with the same enthusiasm as those in the northern cities, despite the fact that all the major leagues were located in the North or in border states. Many star players of the 1880s and 1890s, such as 'King' Kelly, Ed Delahanty, and John McGraw, were second-generation Irish-Americans, products of the first wave of non-Protestant immigrants to the United States from the mid-nineteenth century."
In terms of race, the article shows that "During the interwar years, baseball stars from white 'ethnic' backgrounds played a key role in the acculturation of ...
1000 words of notes and references are supplied to give users a general overview of the history and effects of baseball in American pop culture. The connection to race is also explicated.