"Touching Base" examines the myths as well as the realities, symbols, and rituals of "America's favorite pastime." Steven Riess details the relationships among urban politics, communities, and baseball, exploring how debates over issues such as Sunday games, ballpark construction, and the promotion of the game were shaped by Progressive Era sensibilities. Focusing on Atlanta, New York, and Chicago, Riess analyzes the spectators, owners, and players to evaluate how baseball both influenced and mirrored broader society.
"Riess asks and answers fundamentally important questions about urban America as well as baseball in the early twentieth century... Touching Base, the most ambitious and exhaustive case study of urban professional baseball yet written, clearly demonstrates not only the vast potential for understanding American history through baseball, but also the value of utilizing sociological theory and municipal archives in researching baseball history."-Larry Gerlach, Journal of Sports History "This study is one of the most important to appear in sports history. It is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the history of baseball and its relationship to the larger American society. This volume takes an enormous stride beyond the usual historical treatments of baseball with their emphasis on exploits on the field and heroes of the diamond as Riess asks and seeks to answer fundamental questions about American culture and its development in the twentieth century." - Roger D. Launius, Journal of Illinois History ADVANCE PRAISE "Well-received in many quarters in its original version, Touching Base provides a massive fund of information extremely valuable to any baseball scholar. The bibliography and the opening essay on the state of baseball history alone justify this revised version."-Richard C. Crepeau, author of Baseball: America's Diamond Mine, 1919-1941 "Touching Base not only tells the story of baseball in its formative period; it explains how the game fit into a much larger pattern of social and cultural development. The original edition of Touching Base was an important work of sport history, and the new revised edition adds even more to our knowledge of how and why baseball became our national pastime. This is fine history."-Elliott J. Gorn, author of The Manly Art: Bare-Knuckle Prize Fighting in America