Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime

The Great Courses / Bruce Markusen | Duration: 12 h 02 m | Video: H264 640×360 | Audio: AAC 44,1 kHz 2ch | 6,56 GB | Language: English | 2019

Take a time machine back to the days of pre-industrial America and you’ll see youths, both in the city and in the countryside, playing informal bat-and-ball games. In many ways, these simple activities looked a bit like our modern game of baseball, but they also differed from the now familiar sport in various and significant ways. When you return to the present and head to a local ballpark, you’ll see a very formalized game, one with rigorous rules (both written and unwritten) and also played by adults. And yet the sport captivates our nation’s consciousness and reflects our rich and varied culture, long since having earned the title of "America’s Pastime."
Every spring, Americans of all ages and backgrounds watch baseball games at their local stadiums or on television. It’s a sport that has become a ritual for millions of fans and participants. Its features-from bunts and home runs to stolen bases and diving catches to popular chants and trading cards-are inextricably linked to American culture. Since the 19th century, baseball has held a celebrated and important place at the heart of the American spirit.
Every time you watch baseball, whether it’s at a youth league field or a major league stadium, you’re watching more than just a game-you’re participating in the latest chapter of a compelling story. What began as the earliest bat-and-ball games became the favorite American pastime of the first 19th-century baseball games. Knowing the history of how baseball came to be what it is today will add levels of enjoyment, respect, and appreciation to any game you watch.
The Great Courses has collaborated with the esteemed National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, to offer a baseball course to fans devoted to baseball and to the public, at large, for those who are curious about the story of American baseball. In 24 lectures that paint a portrait of the sport’s remarkable past, taking you from the decades before the Civil War to the pivotal year of 1920, Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime offers a well-rounded, historically rich look at this most distinctive slice of Americana.

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