File Size: 3254 KB
Print Length: 242 pages
Publisher: University of Chicago Press (September 15, 2008)
Publication Date: September 15, 2008
Professor Amenta is a bi-coastal university sociologist, trained at the University of Chicago. And this book is framed -- to his great credit with some subtlety -- in the century-plus scholarship of the so-called "Chicago School. " Scratch under the surface and you'll surely find that many a professor -- sociologist or otherwise -- enthralled with baseball aspired to create such a book.
This is an ethnography, written in the traditions of the participant-observer (e. g., Herbert J. Gans, or more recently, Mitchell Dunier), associated with Chicago sociology).
Professor Amenta, a failed Little League player from suburban Chicago, pursued redemption by playing in organized recreational soft-ball institutions in Manhattan. I is just not reveal the outcome. Study it for yourself!
All of us learn a great deal about the author's softball job ("Eddy ball"), academic job, and private life (the latter including a considerable amount of detail about infertility). Perhaps some will deem this overboiled, although mostly I found the whole thing attractive, insightful, and even inspired.
I especially appreciated the author's concluding observations about the real meaning of life -- professional as well as personal -- as well as his rich experiences on the field of softball dreams. Professor Amenta provides viewers with a great deal to contemplate about what happens when culture and society reach an intersection.
Professor Baseball may not be for each and every armchair baseball reader. But I certainly found it memorable and realise that many others will register to this sentiment., We loved reading Prof. Amenta's composite long summer of '05 of playing competitive softball in multiple leagues in NYC. The cast of characters ("players") could have been Anywhere U. T. A., where adult slow-pitch softball is played---personality conflicts, tough decisions, other life events intruding, winning or popularity, sabermetrics vs. traditions, etc.
I am experiencing the same angst right now, trying to play both senior slow-pitch softball as a rookie & still keep up with the "youngsters" in the cathedral league version. Prof. Amenta is able to keep it all straight somehow, in an obsessive-compulsive way. After all, how did he ever have time for his "regular job" as a sociology professor while playing in 4-5 leagues per few days for months on end?
In the ending (finally! ), it is the relationships experienced, the mano-a-mano camaraderie that linger in one's storage (which the author confirms). The game itself is simply a framework, a structure for such connection. Ahh, but what a game!, I thought this book was pretty tight. I was in Amenta class therefore it was like knowing a for real author. Amazing!
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