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Opening Day 2016

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 31, 2016

Opening Day 2016 is coming up this Sunday. And thus an opportunity for me to pursue an issue I addressed in 2014’s Opening Day post, on how baseball remains America’s true pastime. Real sports excitement and engagement rests in large part on the uncertainty of the outcome. This is why the drama of sports exceeds that of the scripted … Continue reading »

Opening day 2015

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | April 8, 2015

Baseball is back this week. Hallelujah! Actually, it was back earlier, in spring training, which has become highly popular in recent years. One fieldwork observation about spring training in the Phoenix area,where 15 MLB teams train in close proximity, 10 of them sharing stadiums: The teams’ enthusiastic fans seem to mingle in good cheer. Why … Continue reading »

Writerly baseball – opening day 2013

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | March 26, 2013

Writers – academic, commercial, and intellectual – have for generations indulged themselves writing about baseball. (This post, of course, becomes a further meta-indulgence.) There is nothing close in either American fiction or literary nonfiction about football or basketball, however much those other sports dominate the TV screen these days.[1] Much of the baseball genre now … Continue reading »

Opening day 2012 — worldwide

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | April 4, 2012

In the first game of the 1911 World Series, all of the 18 starters were born in the USA. Just about every one of them carried a last name suggesting that his male ancestors came from the British Isles  – except perhaps Merkle and Herzog of the N.Y. Giants. (One could be misled. The Giants’ … Continue reading »

Opening day 2011

Claude Fischer, professor of sociology | April 1, 2011

March 31 brings Opening Day with your — well, at least my — World Champion San Francisco Giants facing the team that used to be called ‘Da Bums (before they became Hollywoodized). The come-from-behind-the-pack saga of a team of undervalued position players was capped by a tremendous victory parade last November along Market Street that … Continue reading »