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After having provided more than 600 women an opportunity to play baseball and to entertain several million fans, the league folded in 1954.
But, even if unable to heal conflicts arising from fundamental social divisions, baseball exhibited an extraordinary capacity for fostering ties.
Teams alternate positions as batters (offense) and fielders (defense), exchanging places when three members of the batting team are “put out.” As batters, players try to hit the ball out of the reach of the fielding team and make a complete circuit around the bases for a “run.” The team that scores the most runs in nine innings (times at bat) wins the game.
Because baseball was the national game, its racial integration was of enormous symbolic importance in the United States; indeed, it preceded the U. Supreme Court’s decision ending racial segregation in the schools (in 1954 in ) and helped to usher in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s.
Moreover, in the 1980s and ’90s a huge influx of Hispanics into professional baseball reflected the country’s changing ethnic composition.women were playing baseball as early as the 1860s, their involvement in the sport was confined for the most part to the role of spectator.
The series was, said in 1911, “the very quintessence and consummation of the Most Perfect Thing in America.” Each fall it absorbed the entire nation. Bush, a baseball player during his years at Yale University, the foreign press struggled to translate the president’s routine use of baseball metaphors.
Baseball terms and phrases, such as “He threw me a curve,” “Her presentation covered all the bases,” and “He’s really out in left field,” soon became part of the national vocabulary, so entrenched is baseball in the ordinary conversation of Americans. As early as the 1850s, baseball images began to appear in periodicals, and, in the 20th century, popular illustrator Norman Rockwell often used baseball as the subject for his Take Me Out to the Ballgame” remain among the best-known poems and songs, respectively, among Americans.