Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime DVD Set (Great Courses)

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Every time you watch baseball, you’re watching more than just a game—you’re participating in the latest chapter of a compelling story. What began as the earliest bat-and-ball games became the favorite American pastime of the first 19th-century baseball games. Knowing how baseball came to be what it is today will add levels of enjoyment, respect, and appreciation to any game you watch.

 

In collaboration with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, The Great Courses brings you 24 lectures that paint a portrait of baseball’s remarkable past. Taking you from the decades before the Civil War to the pivotal year of 1920, Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime offers a well-rounded, historically rich look at this most distinctive slice of Americana.

 

Written by noted baseball historian Peter Morris and presented by Bruce Markusen of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, these lectures guide you through decades of experimentation, change, controversy, and triumph. You’ll encounter early baseball giants, including Albert G. Spalding, Harry Wright, and Harry M. Stevens. You’ll learn the origins of everything from catcher’s masks to batting averages. You’ll consider the true stories of how women, African Americans, and others overcame adversity on and off the diamond. And all of this with the help of remarkable artifacts, images, and footage from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast holdings.

 

Explore Baseball’s Relationship with History

 

Play Ball! charts the movement of baseball from an amateur sport to a professional enterprise. You’ll discover how larger forces at work in America played their own part in shaping how baseball was played.

 

·         Baseball and War. Initially, major league ballplayers were given a temporary reprieve from enlisting in World War I. Ultimately, baseball was classified as a “non-essential occupation” and ballplayers faced the prospect of being sent to the front lines. They put their careers on hold to work in munitions factories and shipbuilding plants.

 

·         Baseball and Business. At the start of the 20th century, Major League Baseball teams began showing an appreciation for brand identification by placing a greater emphasis on logos, team colors, and standard team nicknames. And we can’t forget the baseball concessions business, built on the shoulders of a man named “Hustling” Harry Stevens.

 

·         Baseball and the Press. In baseball’s early years, most reporters focused on pre-game and post-game festivities. Eventually, newspapers began to experiment with more compelling techniques, including using the box score as a way to encapsulate each player’s contribution without having to summarize every at-bat.

 

Unearth the Roots of America’s Pastime

 

Play Ball! is packed with trivia and insights that just might cause you to rethink what you thought you knew about nearly every aspect of the game.

 

·         The terms “infield” and “outfield” are borrowed from farming, the former described in a glossary of agrarian landscaping as “the best land … usually near the farm buildings” that received all the fertilizer and the latter described as “no man’s land.”

 

·         Ballparks in the 19th century were regarded as temporary structures built on pieces of land nobody else wanted, and groundskeepers crafted clever ways to create home field advantages such as sloping the baselines so bunts wouldn’t roll foul.

 

·         The tobacco industry took advantage of baseball’s cultural appeal by including baseball cards in packs of cigarettes; and the strategy worked, resulting in increased sales and inspiring other companies (such as CRACKER JACKÒ) to produce baseball cards.

 

Mr. Markusen presents this in-depth study of baseball and history with the knowledge of a consummate historian—and the excitement of the proudest fan.

Player Biography
Professor
Bruce Markusen, Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning
“I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that in many respects, baseball and America grew up together.”
Bruce Markusen is the Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning in the education department at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, New York, where he teaches students through virtual field trip technology. He has also worked in the Hall of Fame’s research and programming departments, and he was formerly a teacher at The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum. Mr. Markusen has extensive media experience as both a broadcaster and writer, and in addition to his educational role, he narrates many of the Hall of Fame’s video productions, including biographies of numerous Hall of Fame members. Prior to working at the Hall of Fame, Mr. Markusen hosted a nightly sports talk show for more than eight years in Utica, New York. He took calls from listeners, interviewed athletes and coaches, and contributed to prerecorded programs. Additionally, Mr. Markusen has served as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution’s online and traveling exhibits on Roberto Clemente. As a historian of baseball, Mr. Markusen has written several books about the sport, including A Baseball Dynasty: Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, which earned the Seymour Medal from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) as 1998’s best book of baseball history. He has also written biographies of Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, and Orlando Cepeda, as well as a compilation of short stories about the New York Mets. Mr. Markusen has received the Cliff Kachline Award, given out by SABR’s Utica-Cooperstown Chapter to an individual whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the achievements and qualities of SABR founding member and long-time Cooperstown resident Cliff Kachline. He has also received the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award for his article, “The First All-Black Lineup,” about the historic lineup employed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 1, 1971.

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Every time you watch baseball, you’re watching more than just a game—you’re participating in the latest chapter of a compelling story. What began as the earliest bat-and-ball games became the favorite American pastime of the first 19th-century baseball games. Knowing how baseball came to be what it is today will add levels of enjoyment, respect, and appreciation to any game you watch.

 

In collaboration with the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, The Great Courses brings you 24 lectures that paint a portrait of baseball’s remarkable past. Taking you from the decades before the Civil War to the pivotal year of 1920, Play Ball! The Rise of Baseball as America’s Pastime offers a well-rounded, historically rich look at this most distinctive slice of Americana.

 

Written by noted baseball historian Peter Morris and presented by Bruce Markusen of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, these lectures guide you through decades of experimentation, change, controversy, and triumph. You’ll encounter early baseball giants, including Albert G. Spalding, Harry Wright, and Harry M. Stevens. You’ll learn the origins of everything from catcher’s masks to batting averages. You’ll consider the true stories of how women, African Americans, and others overcame adversity on and off the diamond. And all of this with the help of remarkable artifacts, images, and footage from the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s vast holdings.

 

Explore Baseball’s Relationship with History

 

Play Ball! charts the movement of baseball from an amateur sport to a professional enterprise. You’ll discover how larger forces at work in America played their own part in shaping how baseball was played.

 

·         Baseball and War. Initially, major league ballplayers were given a temporary reprieve from enlisting in World War I. Ultimately, baseball was classified as a “non-essential occupation” and ballplayers faced the prospect of being sent to the front lines. They put their careers on hold to work in munitions factories and shipbuilding plants.

 

·         Baseball and Business. At the start of the 20th century, Major League Baseball teams began showing an appreciation for brand identification by placing a greater emphasis on logos, team colors, and standard team nicknames. And we can’t forget the baseball concessions business, built on the shoulders of a man named “Hustling” Harry Stevens.

 

·         Baseball and the Press. In baseball’s early years, most reporters focused on pre-game and post-game festivities. Eventually, newspapers began to experiment with more compelling techniques, including using the box score as a way to encapsulate each player’s contribution without having to summarize every at-bat.

 

Unearth the Roots of America’s Pastime

 

Play Ball! is packed with trivia and insights that just might cause you to rethink what you thought you knew about nearly every aspect of the game.

 

·         The terms “infield” and “outfield” are borrowed from farming, the former described in a glossary of agrarian landscaping as “the best land … usually near the farm buildings” that received all the fertilizer and the latter described as “no man’s land.”

 

·         Ballparks in the 19th century were regarded as temporary structures built on pieces of land nobody else wanted, and groundskeepers crafted clever ways to create home field advantages such as sloping the baselines so bunts wouldn’t roll foul.

 

·         The tobacco industry took advantage of baseball’s cultural appeal by including baseball cards in packs of cigarettes; and the strategy worked, resulting in increased sales and inspiring other companies (such as CRACKER JACKÒ) to produce baseball cards.

 

Mr. Markusen presents this in-depth study of baseball and history with the knowledge of a consummate historian—and the excitement of the proudest fan.

Player Biography
Professor
Bruce Markusen, Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning
“I’ve always been intrigued by the fact that in many respects, baseball and America grew up together.”
Bruce Markusen is the Manager of Digital and Outreach Learning in the education department at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cooperstown, New York, where he teaches students through virtual field trip technology. He has also worked in the Hall of Fame’s research and programming departments, and he was formerly a teacher at The Farmers’ Museum and the Fenimore Art Museum. Mr. Markusen has extensive media experience as both a broadcaster and writer, and in addition to his educational role, he narrates many of the Hall of Fame’s video productions, including biographies of numerous Hall of Fame members. Prior to working at the Hall of Fame, Mr. Markusen hosted a nightly sports talk show for more than eight years in Utica, New York. He took calls from listeners, interviewed athletes and coaches, and contributed to prerecorded programs. Additionally, Mr. Markusen has served as a consultant for the Smithsonian Institution’s online and traveling exhibits on Roberto Clemente. As a historian of baseball, Mr. Markusen has written several books about the sport, including A Baseball Dynasty: Charlie Finley’s Swingin’ A’s, which earned the Seymour Medal from the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) as 1998’s best book of baseball history. He has also written biographies of Roberto Clemente, Ted Williams, and Orlando Cepeda, as well as a compilation of short stories about the New York Mets. Mr. Markusen has received the Cliff Kachline Award, given out by SABR’s Utica-Cooperstown Chapter to an individual whose contributions to SABR and baseball reflect the achievements and qualities of SABR founding member and long-time Cooperstown resident Cliff Kachline. He has also received the McFarland-SABR Baseball Research Award for his article, “The First All-Black Lineup,” about the historic lineup employed by the Pittsburgh Pirates on September 1, 1971.

Men's Jerseys

JERSEY SIZE 40 44 48 52 56 60
Size Equivalent S M L XL 2XL 3XL 4XL
Chest 34 - 36" 38 - 40" 42 - 44" 46 - 48" 50 - 52" 54 - 56" 58 - 60"
Waist 28 - 30" 32 - 34" 36 - 38" 40 - 42" 44 - 46" 48 - 50" 52 - 54"
Hip 34 - 36" 38 - 40" 42 - 44" 46 - 48" 50 - 52" 54 - 56" 58 - 60"

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