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A little big-eyed boy holding his father's hand." Because of the way in which baseball links the generations it has been a channel through which vital traits of American character are instilled.
Selections in the Library of America's volume Baseball: A Literary Anthology confirm the role of fathers.
Annie Dillard, in her memoir An American Childhood, begins a riff on baseball lingo by conjuring the following scene: "One Sunday afternoon Mother wandered through our kitchen, where Father was making a sandwich and listening to the ball game." Stephen Jay Gould's essay "The Streak of Streaks" opens this way: "My father was a court stenographer.
And unfortunately, the experience of the young Amiri Baraka is becoming all too rare.
Many commentators have noted the marked decline in the number of African-Americans watching and playing baseball.
My grandpa Earl, of the Northwood Team, is down on one knee, leaning on a massive wooden bat.
Essay Differently Abled People - Narrative Essay On A Baseball
Young Russell, meanwhile, stands beside him wearing the baseball outfit his mother sewed for him, one hand on his dad's shoulder, the other holding a slimmer bat, grinning ear to ear.The data from Major League Baseball are the most readily available: By 1975, almost three decades after Jackie Robinson arrived, the proportion of African-American players reached a high of 27%.That number then fell off for the next three decades, reaching a low of 8% in 2007.The argument runs that because baseball requires more expensive gear than basketball and more infrastructure (tended fields, leagues, and such), impoverished black youths have perforce given up on the game.This explanation doesn't wash for football, however, which is the most gear-laden of sports.Football is to baseball as heavy metal or rap is to classical or jazz.Some commentators have claimed that the disappearance of American blacks from baseball is rooted in economics.It is striking that there has been no similar decline in enthusiasm for basketball or football; the racial compositions of the NBA and NFL have held steady at 75% and 66% black, respectively. For starters, we might note that baseball is an acquired taste, whereas the other ball sports have a certain natural appeal.Jacques Barzun, in his essay "God's Country and Mine," observes that in baseball, "The ball is not the center of interest as in those vulgar predatory games like football, basketball, and polo." To put it bluntly, kids don't need fatherly guidance to appreciate "vulgar predatory games." Football, in particular, as a collision sport, is the stuff of adolescent male fantasy.Meanwhile, the percentage of white players has remained fairly level since the 1970s, with the difference being made up by the influx of Latinos and Asians.As for spectators, they are increasingly and overwhelmingly white. Before 1947, during the era of the Negro Leagues, play was segregated, but audiences crossed the color line.