Our National Pastime
Baseball is more than runs, hits and errors. It's an important part of American cultureApril 5, 2012 | by Brendan Cosgrove
CHICAGO --- The grass has been mowed, the infield raked, the baselines chalked, the hot dogs are on the grill and, at least for now, every team has a shot at winning the World Series. It’s opening day in Major League Baseball.
Listen to Bill Savage -- senior lecturer in English at Northwestern University, member of the Society for American Baseball Research and die-hard Chicago Cubs fan – talk about America’s national pastime. This year, instead of talking about who will win the National League Central Division or will be the year’s most dominant pitcher, he takes a more reflective approach and looks a bit more at the cultural phenomenon that is professional baseball.
Why is baseball so much more prevalent in literature, film and other popular culture than other sports?
What are the top baseball fictional stories/novels?
- "The Natural" by Bernard Malamud
- "Shoeless Joe" (novel) / "Field of Dreams" (film) by W.P. Kinsella
- "You Know Me Al" by Ring Lardner
- "The Art of Fielding" by Chad Harbach
- "The Golem's Mighty Swing" by James Sturm
- "21: The Story of Roberto Clemente" by Wilfred Santiago
What are the top non-fiction baseball books?
- "Opening Day" by Jonathan Eig
- "Eight Men Out" by Eliot Asinof
- "Saying It's So: A Cultural History of the Black Sox Scandal" by Daniel Nathan
What are the best baseball rivalries?
- New York Yankees / Boston Red Sox
- Los Angeles Dodgers / San Francisco Giants
- Chicago Cubs / St. Louis Cardinals