PASTIME IN OUR
Millions of fans eagerly await the opening of the baseball season in April each year. During the late 19th and 20th centuries, baseball was the most widely played sport in the United States, earning the title “America’s pastime.” As President Clinton said on the eve of the 1995 World Series, “Baseball is part of our common heritage.” The story of baseball and the story of our nation are intertwined. And since the records at the National Archives document our national experience, it only seems natural that stories of both baseball and American history would be discovered among these documents. But among the numerous records created by the three branches of the Federal Government and preserved at the National Archives, what stories can be found? This book showcases a small slice and tells the story of our national pastime found at the National Archives. The documents that follow provide examples of the role of baseball during the two world wars, fights for mutually agreeable contracts and equal opportunity on and off the playing field, the universal appeal of the game to players and fans (even the “highest-ranking” fans of all —U.S. Presidents), improvements to the sport, and celebrations along the way.