Chasing Baseball received a starred review by Library Journal in its annual “Baseball Roundup” article. It’s the hope of publishers to land a couple of title in the article, which serves as a best-of guide for librarians. A starred review comes rarely–and this year there were only three out of 22…
Mills, Dorothy Seymour. Chasing Baseball: Our Obsession with Its History, Numbers, People and Places. McFarland. Apr. 2010. c.478p. bibliog. index. ISBN 978-0-7864-4289-8. pap. $39.95.
Mills is a veteran baseball author, but much was in uncredited assistance to her husband, the late pioneering baseball scholar Harold Seymour. Now she presents her own first-person examination of the assumptions that surround baseball—e.g., its American origins and its necessary masculinity. Elegantly and calmly, she sets us straight, crediting other SABR researchers along the way. In Part 1, “A Manly Pursuit,” she casts a clear light on such trends as fantasy baseball, growing even as the watching of baseball itself has declined, with sandlot, street, and amateur baseball almost extinct. She reminds us that baseball, as our national pastime, has represented our country at its most disturbing, supporting not only segregation in the past but “faith nights” now, which impose evangelical Christianity on passively consenting fans. In Part 2, “A Womanly Pursuit,” Mills notes the women who have in fact played baseball, albeit excluded from the MLB and subject to ridicule, and the responsibility of collegiate sports and the Little League in shunting women into softball. A fascinating read that will be especially inspiring for women who love the game
Chasing Baseball – Our Obsession with Its History, Numbers, People and Places
By Dorothy Seymour Mills
Foreword by Richard C. Crepeau
Despite worries about baseball’s decline, deep interest in memorabilia, fantasy baseball, exhibits, and the games themselves indicate the sport is surviving steroid scandals, negative publicity, and the perception that the game is more nostalgia than a part of current popular culture. This book shows that while basket- ball and football might enjoy wider popularity today, no sport elicits the passion—or inspires the slightly off-kilter, obsessive behavior—that baseball does.
Writer and consultant Dorothy Seymour Mills is the author of seventeen books. The first female historian in the Society for American Baseball Research, she is a member of the Association for Women in Sports Media. She lives in Naples, Florida.
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