James Klagge's Reviews > Baseball in the Garden of Eden

Baseball in the Garden of Eden by John Thorn
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's review
Oct 23, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: history, sports-baseball
Read from October 23 to December 14, 2011

As with the origin of humanity itself, there is a creation versus evolution debate about baseball origins. Baseball creationists had patriotic motivations to avoid what they took to be demeaning British ancestry for "base ball". (Just like human creationists try to avoid what they take to be a demeaning primate ancestry for us.) The real story turns out to be complicated and uninspiring. Baseball's history is also mixed up with the Theosophical Society, which was a 19th Century version of what we call "new age" religion. In sum, information about the making of baseball is like information about the making of legislation and sausage--you'd probably rather not know. But, just as the value of humans is a matter of the nature of what humans are like now (not where they came from), so too, the value of baseball consists in what it IS, not what it WAS.

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10/26/2011 page 30
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