Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Bowling for Democracy

Bowling for Democracy:
"This elite appropriation played into the hands of baseball entrepreneurs who actively worked to diminish cricket's popularity. A. G. Spalding, described in the Baseball Hall of Fame as the 'organizational genius of baseball's pioneer days,' was typical. 'I have declared cricket is a genteel game,' he mocked in 'America's National Game,' his 1911 best seller. 'It is. Our British cricketer, having finished his day's labor at noon, may don his negligee shirt, his white trousers, his gorgeous hosiery and his canvas shoes, and sally forth to the field of sport, with his sweetheart on one arm and his cricket bat under the other, knowing that he may engage in his national pastime without soiling his linen or neglecting his lady.'Baseball, in contrast, was sold as a rugged, fast-paced, masculine game, befitting a rugged, fast-paced economic power. Americans of all classes swallowed the chauvinistic line. It was also great business for Spalding. By inventing elaborate baseball gear and paraphernalia, he created a market for his new sporting-goods company."