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Baseball then and now essay contrasts game baseball today

Since then, the sport has worked hard to maintain that status. To do so, baseball—and especially major league baseball MLB —has tried to associate itself with the values of the American dream. It has also sought to equate itself with American masculinity and patriotism, and with U.

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The game was regularly part of U. It took its place in the globalization of the world, even if Americanization was more so the objective. In exchange for its good standing as the national pastime, has baseball trapped itself into a blind adherence to U. To beat back the challenge, must baseball re-double its flag-waving patriotism or instead pursue a new role in American society?

Should baseball remain wedded to the U. Major Characters and Questions 6To understand the present, we must revisit the past. Edgar Hoover and Madeleine Albright. Why were baseball games played in Egypt at the foot of the Great Sphinx?

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What baseball executive was nearly court-martialed for kidnapping the Kaiser Wilhelm? Which ballplayer was proposed as a peacemaker between the U. Which second-string big league catcher was really an American spy? Which Negro Leaguers played baseball at gunpoint for a Dominican dictator? Why did a major leaguer refuse to stand for the singing of God Bless America?

I explore these questions in my forthcoming book, The Empire Strikes Out: How Baseball Sold U.

This then will provide a foundation for examining contemporary America: The sport was also played during the War of 1812, including games Americans played in British prisoner-of-war camps. Baseball was spread extensively by the War, especially as soldiers returned home to the North, South and West in the late 1860s. Led by General George Custer, the Seventh Cavalry played organized games around the nation, and bats and balls were carried around with the soldiers few other supplies.

Baseball rallied to support the Korean War in 1950 as well, including prominent ballplayers such as Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman. Baseball was even used as a cover and distraction for the surprise attack the U. Against the Vietnam War, however, some ballplayer dissent arose, but it was swiftly marginalized.

Baseball was involved in the surrogate wars launched by the Reagan administration in the Caribbean and Central America during the 1980s. Remarkably, some viewed baseball in Nicaragua and Cuba as evidence of Soviet subversion. Among other things, U. Baseball has routinely tagged along, for its own promotion and as a distraction and social control during U.

Baseball vs. Softball

By the beginning of the twentieth century, Teddy Roosevelt was among those leading the forces of American expansion abroad. Roosevelt claimed the U. He insisted on delivering his Puerto Rican aid personally. He died, trying, in a plane crash—arguably a casualty of longstanding U. Militarization and Patriotism 19Baseball has also played a prominent role in war training, preparation, and enlistments.

It has promoted nationalism and patriotism, and closely associated itself with American militarism—even in the story baseball invented about its own creation. Doubleday had fought valiantly in the Mexican, Indian and Civil Wars. Baseball obliged, playing it at more and more ballgames, including every World Baseball then and now essay contrasts game baseball today since 1918.

Back in the U. As such, however, he was pressured into testifying in 1949 before the notorious House UnAmerican Activities Committee to rebut the claim made by the black communist, Paul Robeson, that African Americans would never fight as soldiers to defend the racist United States against the Soviet Union. And in the U. When they eventually changed it back, the Cincinnati GM said: Senator Eugene McCarthy observed that: But an aspiring pitching ace spurned can be a dangerous man with a long memory.

Espionage 27Baseball has even been involved in U. Right after World War I, for example, Larry MacPhail—future baseball innovator and major league general manager—led a kidnapping attempt in Holland against the Kaiser Wilhelm, violating Dutch neutrality and triggering a diplomatic crisis, while nevertheless generating much applause from the U. Was this a case of American unilateralism in the face of the norms of international diplomacy?

Where have we seen that recently? He was a genius who spoke twelve languages, practiced law, and had degrees from Princeton, Columbia, and the Sorbonne, yet he spent fifteen years playing major league baseball, which served as a cover for his real profession: Berg was an American spy. Medal of Honor and CIA tributes? When he was a ballplayer, he joined several MLB tours of Japan in the 1930s, where he conversed in Japanese, spied on the government, and filmed Japanese shipyards, industrial and military sites, and downtown Tokyo for the U.

Office of Strategic Services. Diplomacy 30The sport has been used for U. And as a national hero in Japan, through his many visits, Babe Ruth was viewed as a special ambassador. Yet, baseball diplomacy failed when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; indeed, Japan used baseball for aggression not peace, not dissimilar to how the sport had been used elsewhere by the U.

  • This choice can be crucial to success; particularly in Test cricket;
  • In baseball, although only the positions of pitcher and catcher are prescribed by the rules, fielders' positions are dictated closely by custom, and shifts in fielders' positions according to circumstance are less dramatic; the strike zone and smaller angle of fair territory limit the usefulness of some strategies which cricket makes available to batsmen;
  • The leadoff rule also differentiates the two sports;
  • In baseball, there are very specific rules about the positions of the pitcher and the catcher at the start of each play;
  • After being traded to the Yankees, the contrite Jason Giambi was put on trial by the ravenous New York media;
  • For example, a poor batter may deliberately bunt hit a low slow ball a ball towards first base so that he will be easily put out, to ensure that a runner on second base will end up safe on third.

The State Department proposed that Ruth fly to Guam to broadcast a translated radio message urging the Japanese to surrender. But the plan was scrapped, and a few days later, Truman ordered the bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

While initially opposed by the State Department, a baseball series was held, nevertheless, in Baltimore and Havana, generating hopes for a more permanent thaw in relations. Globalization 34Organized baseball was among the earliest U. More recently, baseball has rejuvenated and dramatically stepped up its globalization efforts, in line with other leading U.

As early as the 1880s, prominent businessmen—most notably former ballplayer and baseball executive Albert Spalding—began pushing baseball as a marketable and profitable commodity, and for this he was counted among the Robber Barons of the late nineteenth century.

By the early twentieth century, his sporting goods outlets were found in dozens of American and foreign cities—and the Spalding Company still thrives today. The World Tour was a model for other U. Baseball cartoons such as one saying about China: MLB was leading the way in its own industry. As baseball commissioner Bud Selig noted: Latino and Asian workers were targeted to man the wave of new American factories abroad.


Likewise, MLB tapped cheap Haitian and Costa Rican laborers to make its baseballs and other equipment, and it harvested Latin ballplayers for only a fraction of what U. As one scout admitted: One product is to be sold, and the other is to be used in the major leagues. But as a major corporation itself, MLB has also sold itself overseas.

Comparison of baseball and cricket

Who needs the Olympics? As we know, in the last decade MLB has confronted one challenge above all else: It sought rejuvenation and new vistas after the closing of the American frontier. The emerging ballplayer, Babe Ruth, was admired not merely for being a star, and not merely for the way his phenomenal home runs were revolutionizing the game. Baseball on Steroids 41Ever since Ruth captured the U.

Comparison/Contrast Essay: Baseball v.s Football

There have been similar lulls in baseball. So compelling was their 1998 home run race that it generated tens of thousands of new fans, and became the talk of America. For awhile, rivalries seemed to recede in favor of national community. Hitting more home runs, harder and longer, held a visceral appeal.

  • Baseball rallied to support the Korean War in 1950 as well, including prominent ballplayers such as Ted Williams and Jerry Coleman;
  • Moreover, in baseball, teams play 162 games a season, not including playoffs;
  • On the Indian subcontinent, for instance, pitches tend to be dry, dusty and soft;
  • As one scout admitted:

Even sexual politics got involved. Signs at ballparks all over the country read: Of course, it begged the question: Desperate to rescue the game from disillusioned fans, however, MLB looked the other way.

Baseball Compare And Contrast

The home run barrage saved the game, but eventually the chickens would come home to roost. Widely reviled, but nevertheless prophetic, Jose Canseco first blew the whistle on his own steroid use and that of his fellow players. After being traded to the Yankees, the contrite Jason Giambi was put on trial by the ravenous New York media.

Despite his reassurances, Palmeiro later tested positive for steroids and was driven from the game. And Roger Clemens was accused by his trainer of using performance enhancers—a significant development not only because of his superstar status, but also because it posed the possibility that pitchers and not merely hitters were using steroids.

Clemens also appeared before Congress, to deny steroid use, but nobody believed a word he said. Long History of Performance Enhancers 47Yet while the focus today is on steroids, drugs are not new to the national pastime.

  1. The submarine pitch is rare, and a pitcher who throws in this way usually has a 'submariner' attached to his name or description.
  2. It takes mental toughness to a whole other level.
  3. In cricket, bowlers consider the right to hit a batsman as part of their armoury; indeed, one of the most common methods of dismissal leg before wicket requires the bowler to hit the batsman's body rather than his bat. In baseball, pitcher, batter and fielders all play far differently in the late innings of a close game e.
  4. Every new Hall employee was required to watch a video of a Bush political speech, and only a year earlier Petroskey hosted Bush White House press secretary Ari Fleischer at the Hall, to talk, not about baseball, but about Republican politics and the war on terrorism. Because the Major League playing season is 6 months long 183 days, between April and October with spring training in February and March , with 81 games played at home and 81 away 162 in all, not counting the postseason or the All-Star Game , baseball teams often find themselves playing double-headers and series games.

In 1866, Washington ballplayers were using opium to enhance their play, and before World War I, cocaine, heroin, marijuana and even natural steroids use was not uncommon. Galvin used an elixir of Brown-Sequard, which was testosterone drained from the gonads of some animal.

  • Yet, baseball diplomacy failed when Japan attacked Pearl Harbor; indeed, Japan used baseball for aggression not peace, not dissimilar to how the sport had been used elsewhere by the U;
  • In both of the sports you need skill, strength, speed, and mentally tough;
  • Another main reason for the difference in pace is that in baseball the ball reaches the batter on the full, whereas in cricket the ball is usually bounced off the pitch before reaching the batsman- which does take pace off the ball, especially on drier dustier pitches;
  • Of course, it begged the question;
  • Amazingly, in the history of the major league game, only one player has ever been killed by a pitched ball striking him in the head Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians in 1920.

Using tonics like this was widespread and not discouraged. Later, Babe Ruth used the same thing, this time extracted from sheep testes. A few bottles on the bench will quiet the nerves when the game is close. This was music to the ears of the beer barons, who were among the primary owners of major league baseball teams for many decades. Some even argued that tobacco, especially snuff tobacco, improved their games.

Several years later, Lee was asked what he thought about mandatory drug testing for ballplayers and he said: