Happy Fourth of July, nothing like celebrating the anniversary of American independence with the national pastime. Enjoy the day and here’s an blog post written by John Thorn, on the place of the game in American Society during the formative years of baseball.
Originally posted on Our Game:
Baseball is the American game,” I wrote in a 1988 book, The Game for All America. “ This is how I continued: “It has given our people rest and recreation, myths and memories, heroes and history and hope. It has mirrored our society, sometimes propelling it with models for democracy, community, commerce, and common humanity, sometimes lagging behind with equally instructive models of futility and resistance to change. And as our national game, baseball in no small measure defines us as Americans, connecting us with our countrymen across all barriers of generation, class, race, and creed.”
That essay was published again in 1995 as Our Game, which supplies the title for this blog. It remains in print as an ebook; you can look it up. But as we near our great national holiday, let’s look back a century ago, to May 17, 1913, when H. Addington Bruce published, in Outlook Magazine, a neglected tribute to baseball and America. Its title is “Baseball and the National Life.” Serendiptously, it opens with reference to baseball’s first all-star game, played 75 years before the major-league version debuted in 1933. I will have more to say about that next week, as we near the midsummer classic at Citi Field, a mere 1.5 miles from its forebear of 1858.