Baseball has been etched in the psyche of American mind to such an extent that we find instances of this legendary game in the everyday vocabulary of an American.
The Game like every other sport has its ups and downs mired in controversies that threatened its credibility due to various scandals that erupted in the begining of twentieth century. but the game was too strong in its perspectives to be shaken. Baseball has closely moved in sync with the american mind be it racial issues, social issues we always find the link between this legendary game and average american psyche.the game gained popularity at the end of eighteenth century after cheap papers allocated lots of space in its coverage.
This was an important step as media started taking interest in the game and followed it closely. with the advancement of technology as new mediums like radio and television evolved baseball became the part of american life. though the game has been plagued with controversies among the powerful owners of the clubs and players it is the same game which created heroes that achieved iconic status and were idiolised by every american. here is an attempt to analyse the legendary nature of game through its players who despite hailing from different cultural and social backgrounds became iconic status and led the game its immortal status.
Baseball and media have shared cordial realtionship right from the year 1860 when newspapers the only medium of communication started taking active interst in the game (William Anderson).
The interest of newspapers was beneficial to the game since the news of the game were relayed to more people then ever, initially the journalism was sketchy (william Anderson) but the fact that they succeeded in creating excitement in the psyche of the people went a long way in creating genuine interest in the game. The controversy of players and owners in 1890 (William Anderson) was widely covered by newspapers presenting the perspective of owners as well as players to the people.
Though meant for impartial reporting newspapers and their journalists became a players in the hands of both sides.
Players found an effecive medium in newspaper to voice their dissent over the attitude of owners whom they thought were more interested in making profit from the sport. Baseball needed much more than such controversies to attract people to its fold the seasons from 1900 – 1907 were boring or dead seasons (David Anderson) but the scandal of 1908 where again media played significant role despite owners efforts to suppress the facts for fear of losing integrity and trust in the minds of the consumer, hence media played much more bigger role in popularising baseball since 1890s, if it had not been media probably people would not have cared for the scandals or for the game like thet did because of the involvement of the media.
Even in 1890s baseball was telecast through telegraph poles , in 1897 the first broadcast of the game took place, each team received more then $300 in free telegrams as part of contract, even motion picture industry got into action and reportedly purchased the rights for $500 for the world series(William Anderson)
Though there are various sports like football. tennis the question is why baseball has succeeded in etching in the american mind? the answer lies in the fact that as the oldest sport in america it has been associated with historical perspective of america.
THOUGH BASEBALL was played for nearly half a century the golden era of baseball started in 1920s.
In 1919 white sox scandal erupted it sent shock waves among the baseball fraternity the scandal was covered extensively by the press, people’s curiosity heightened about the events and the game, though this scandal shook the foundations of trust and confidence from the game it gave baseball tremendous push in terms of recollectin of the game radio was another medium which helped baseball and its players more popularity, when westinghouse decided to cover world series it transformed the way baseball was viewed babseball reached the very hearts of the people who marvelled at the technology through which they could hear what was happening in the field through a single voice radio made people felt as if they were in the middle of the game it was the period with the rise of legends who were aided by media in making them look like superhuman.before the evolution of radio news papers did the job of satisfying the curiosity of the people and feeding them stories which were talked for long.
People loved it and a new baseball culture evolved throught america. media’s role and influence was such that people redily associated themselves with the game and followed the game and its proponents religiously.