Coming Home: Baseball’s America
Baseball still holds a grip on America. It serves a quasi-religious function, as shown by its central story, a journey story of hope: “safe hit,” “touching base,” “coming home.” And, more pragmatically, baseball has been a surprisingly innovative engine of social change, as shown by its recurring episodes of inclusion, an emblem of many journey stories from the Irish to Ichiro. To highlight these themes, historian William Woodward will lead a conversation using metaphors of hope, homecoming and meaning-making through baseball to trace the history of the game – and our nation. Whimsical and informative, this program will prompt us to discuss how baseball is emblematic of American culture.
About William Woodward
In research, writing and public presentations, William Woodward, a professor of history at Seattle Pacific University since 1974, explores the American experience – including the history of baseball. His 1988 essay “America as a Culture” was named best article in the Journal of American Culture. A member of the Society for American Baseball Research, Woodward has received the Pacific Northwest Historians Guild Lifetime Achievement Award and been cited by Seattle Pacific University for teaching excellence, campus leadership and meritorious scholarship. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College and master’s and doctorate from Georgetown University. Since 1997, Woodward has served as Seattle Pacific University’s Faculty Athletics Representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Woodward currently lives in Seattle.