Baseball and American Culture

The histories of baseball and our country are inextricably linked. Are many of the changes in American culture reflected first in baseball or does baseball mirror the changes? Noted historian Jacques Barzun stated, “Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball...”

This course will cover the societal and cultural aspects of baseball, and look at the game as seen in art, movies, literature, and pop culture. Other aspects of the game to be explored include breaking the color line and the post-WWII westward movement. Discussion about the business of the game will include the anti-trust exemption, the reserve clause, the impact of free agency, and the role of the media.

Suggested Reading: Baseball and American Culture by John Rossi

  • Group Leader(s): JIM LABRAICO
  • Days: Mondays
  • Times: 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
  • Start Date: 10/7/2019
  • End Date: 11/25/2019
  • Sessions: 6
  • Exceptions: 10/14/2019, 11/11/19
  • Venue: King's Chapel Parish House
  • Teaching Style: Lecture and discussion
  • Weekly Preparation: 1 hour
  • Biography:

    Jim LaBraico is a retired physician who developed an interest in the subject while visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Jim saw a notice about an annual meeting: the Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture. In 2001 he attended the three day symposium. As member of the Harvard Institute for Leaning in Retirement (HILR), Jim enrolled in a graduate course at the Harvard Extension School, Baseball and American Society. Jim led a course at HILR called Baseball in American Society and Culture.

  • Address: 64 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02108