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Why Baseball Matters

Why Baseball Matters

Written by Susan Jacoby

Narrated by Hillary Huber


Why Baseball Matters

Written by Susan Jacoby

Narrated by Hillary Huber

ratings:
3.5/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
Oct 9, 2018
ISBN:
9781541445604
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Baseball, first dubbed the "national pastime" in print in 1856, is the country's most tradition-bound sport. Despite remaining popular and profitable into the 21st century, the game is losing young fans. Furthermore, baseball's greatest charm — a clockless suspension of time — is also its greatest liability in a culture of digital distraction.

These paradoxes are explored by the historian and passionate baseball fan Susan Jacoby in a book that is both a love letter to the game and a tough-minded analysis of the current challenges to its special position — in reality and myth — in American culture. The concise but wide-ranging analysis moves from the Civil War — when many soldiers played ball in northern and southern prisoner-of-war camps — to interviews with top baseball officials and young men who prefer playing online "fantasy baseball" to attending real games.

Jacoby argues forcefully that the major challenge to baseball today is a shortened attention span at odds with a long game in which great hitters fail two out of three times. Without sanitizing this basic problem, Why Baseball Matters reminds us that the game has retained its grip on our hearts precisely because it has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to reinvent itself in times of immense social change.

Publisher:
Released:
Oct 9, 2018
ISBN:
9781541445604
Format:
Audiobook


About the author

Susan Jacoby is the author of five books, including Wild Justice, a Pulitzer Prize finalist. A contributor to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsday, and Vogue, she lives in New York City.

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3.4
5 ratings / 3 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Why Baseball Matters by Susan Jacoby was an enjoyable read. Susan is a longtime baseball fan who brings her history with baseball to life in this book. She discusses the problems baseball is having with attracting and retaining younger fans. She describes and breaks down various studies concerning such issues as why there are currently less African American fans and players., why current fans skew heavily towards older, white people, etc. She also discusses the actions current Major League Baseball officials, including Commissioner Rob Manfred, are taking to attract new fans. Ms. Jacoby breaks down why some of these actions are useless, detrimental, or helpful.. My favorite part of the book was her list of recommendations on how to improve the current state of the game without destroying the game itself.
  • (3/5)
    Read/skimmed. Jacoby is a huge baseball fan (White Sox, now Mets). I enjoyed reading about her love of the game and how it came about. She also analyzes the popularity of the game over the ages and the reason for ups and downs in attendance and specific fan bases such as teens in this time of digital distraction. And the allure of fantasy baseball. She ends by offering "suggestions to owners, players, and anyone else who cares" to woo back the masses.
  • (2/5)
    the book rambled, no coherent though. Had to stop it