April 9th, 2013
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.