Baseball is a sport that infiltrates your entire life. It comes early in the spring, offering hope to the fans of the down trodden teams, and offering the prospect of repeats for the good ones. It stays through the warm summer months, enduring summer vacations and heat waves and fills our free time with the escape from the every day routine. Finally, it stays until the brink of the pending winter, forcing us to forego the cold and miserable season on our own counting the days until the ritual starts all over. These are just a few of the reasons why baseball plays such a big part in our lives. Always willing to teach the fan something new every year, along with supplying them with countless new memories. But what if there was more than just the game itself? What if it is part of a bigger plan that expands beyond the sport of baseball? What if we as fans had it all wrong, what if it is really more than just a game and a much more vital part of our society than we ever imagined. Today’s book takes a look at how the world has been shaped and influenced by the game of baseball beyond the diamond.
This book really makes you stop and think. The author shows the reader the many ways that the game of baseball has shaped society. From influencing businesses, battlefield leaders, large scale government agendas and military actions around the world. It is proof that baseball has the power to manipulate the world in multiple ways. It can influence , distract, build morale and of course help create some enemies along the way as well.
Scott Rowan takes the reader on a journey mainly over the last few centuries of what baseball has done for our society. How it has played a role in the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea and Vietnam. He shows how world leaders have used the game to distract the masses and push political agendas, a very good example being Cuba. He also shows us how it has created strife in the White House among politicians and their personal feelings about the game. Some generally accepted baseball myths are busted along the way, which were generally accepted as fact at one time. Obviously, Cooperstown is another one of those baseball myths that gets busted in numerous ways.
Rowan does make the reader step back and think about what he is writing about on more than one occasion in this book. Readers can easily see how many of these facts are possible and sometimes the facts are so obvious, this could be why we never really thought about it. It proves how much more there is to the game of baseball and the influence it has on the world. It goes so much deeper than just the game on the field. The book covers big-time world leaders and events. Names such as Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Hitler, Mussolini, Castro, Nixon, Franklin Roosevelt, The Mexican Revolution, Korea, Japan, China and Nicaragua.
Baseball fans should really check this out. It is fun look that takes a look at baseballs far reaching history beyond the diamond. It is guaranteed to teach every baseball fan some new fact and will definitely make you ask more than once, how was that able to really happen?
You can get this book from the nice folks at Sherpa Multimedia
Lets face it, in its glorious past Major League Baseball has never been on the cutting edge. For certain things they may have been ahead of the curve but for most things, not so much. On this very day in 2015, we as fans all know about the Japanese league of baseball, as many of our players leave here to play over seas. Also many of their stars have done the same and crossed the ocean to pursue a career in the states. Today’s book takes a look at the very first player who was chosen to bridge the gap between the two countries and leagues and the results that followed.
Robert Fitts has undertaken a great task with this book. Not only do you have to make sure your details are accurate and spot on but he also has the cultural gap to overcome. Masahiro Murakami was the first Japanese player hand-picked to be sent to the United States to the San Francisco Giants. He originally came as a group of three players but was the only one of the three to have any sort of success on the bigger stage.
Fitts takes you through the upbringing of Murakami and the strict cultural rules he was raised by. You also get a glimpse of the way that Japanese leagues operate and personal standards that the players must maintain. The differences are staggering in both training and requirements to be on a professional team in that country. It shows what a large cultural difference that exist in both leagues and society’s.
You see Mashi’s rise through spring training camps and the minor leagues to reach the big stage in San Francisco. Success on the field was not enough to overcome Mashi’s sense of duty to his family and dedication to his league and country, which eventually were his reason’s for going back and playing in Japan. One of the most interesting things I found in this book was the business dealings and player contracts that effected Mashi’s career. I think personally in the end nobody was sure who truly owned his contract. Which again points out more of the differences between the two baseball operations.
This book also shows the reader the broader picture of how it was helping to mend relations of two bitter enemies in World War II. It showed how baseball can play a positive role in society’s problems. This event was monumental in bringing the two nations back to the table with each other and allowing a better relationship to move forward. It is a fine example of international diplomacy fostered by a kids game.
This may be a little late but the author Rob Fitts and Mashi are currently on a book signing tour in the United States, so you may want to check his website to see if they are near you. Meeting Masahiro Murakami is more than likely a once in a lifetime event for most fans. http://www.robfitts.com
You can also get this book from the nice folks at University of Nebraska Press