Diamonds in the Rough: The Untold History of Baseball

Diamonds in the Rough: The Untold History of Baseball

Diamonds in the Rough: The Untold History of Baseball

Diamonds in the Rough: The Untold History of Baseball

Synopsis

Pairing their detailed, informative research with a sophisticated anecdotal approach, Joel Zoss and John Bowman have written a fascinating, original, literate, and concise compendium of the history and issues surrounding America's national pastime. Addressed are such diverse topics as the origins of the game, the contributions of minorities and women, the evolution of umpiring, baseball's influence on literature and music, substance abuse, on- and off-field tragedy, and the game's international presence. Diamonds in the Rough is an invaluable and stimulating resource both for those who already study the game and for those who would like to learn its revealing history.

Excerpt

This book is a compendium of baseball, an anecdotal history, not of oddities, but of that side of the game that is not solely concerned with batting averages, statistics, and who won what when. It has often been said that baseball history is 40 percent statistics and 60 percent anecdote, and indeed there are many excellent books covering every conceivable baseball record; more every day, in fact. What we are concerned with is the human side of baseball, with how the game came to be embedded in our society. It has been our experience while working on this book to learn that even when statistics, the obsession of most devout fans, were the point of entry for a lifelong interest in baseball, the realization that baseball is a true reflection of the larger society has dawned with all the force of a major epiphany upon many who would never otherwise consider themselves historians.

There is no doubt that the same historical circumstances that are responsible for the shape of America are responsible for the special place baseball occupies in the hearts of Americans. The United States is a country of recent origin populated with diverse immigrant groups, and in a nation without a common religion or ethnic heritage, the game of baseball, one of America's oldest cultural artifacts, has almost by default taken on a metaphysical function and become a source of legend that exemplifies those virtues supposedly unique to the American character. Its history, like that of the American Dream, is one of pristine vision menaced by corruption and greed. As baseball's visionary deviant, Jim Bouton, has pointed out, “There's pettiness in . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.