The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity

By Lawrence Baldassaro; Richard A. Johnson | Go to book overview

10
Baseball and Racism's Traveling Eye:
The Asian Pacific American Experience

JOEL S. FRANKS

Baseball has long played an ambiguous role in the construction of racial and ethnic relations in the United States. It has furnished a sense of commonality among diverse racial and ethnic groups and even equalized, in specific contexts, otherwise hierarchical power relations among these groups. Still, while baseball can mediate profound social and cultural differences, it can also exaggerate differences and help transform them into useful arguments for discrimination, exploitation, and marginalization.

Asian Pacific Americans have, accordingly, encountered baseball as a contradictory force in the United States. Asian Pacific American baseball merits attention from historians concerned with popular culture and sports. In the first place, only a few scholars have examined this topic. Second, aside from the work of Harold Seymour, most baseball historians ignore the multiethnic, multicultural experiences of Asian Pacific Americans, who might possess Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Filipino, Asian Indian, Southeast Asian, or mixed ancestry. Instead, when such scholars look toward Asian Pacific Americans, they generally focus on Japanese Americans. Third, historians who explore Asian Pacific American baseball more closely will escape the East Coast bias of much of baseball history. This East Coast bias is admittedly understandable, but it tends to reduce race and ethnicity to white/black terms rather than consider seriously the experiences of Native Americans, Latinos, and Pacific Islanders, in

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The American Game: Baseball and Ethnicity
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Other Books in the Writing Baseball Series ii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Illustrations xi
  • Foreword xiii
  • Acknowledgments xv
  • 1: Introduction 1
  • 2: The Many Fathers of Baseball 6
  • 3: German Americans in Major League Baseball 27
  • 4: [Slide, Kelly, Slide] 55
  • 5: Unreconciled Strivings 68
  • 6: Before Joe D 92
  • 7: From Pike to Green with Greenberg in Between 116
  • 8: Diamonds Out of the Coal Mines 142
  • 9: The Latin Quarter in the Major Leagues 162
  • 10: Baseball and Racism's Traveling Eye 177
  • Contributors Index 197
  • Contributors 199
  • Index 201
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