29th Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture

Featuring Keynote Speaker: Brian Kenny, MLB Network Host

May 31 to June 2, 2017
Cooperstown, New York

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture, co-sponsored by SUNY Oneonta and the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, examines the impact of baseball on American culture from interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary perspectives.

Proposals for papers are invited from all disciplines and on all topics. Papers on baseball as baseball are not encouraged. Submission is by abstract and one-page vitae (be sure to include complete contact information). Abstracts should be narrative, limited to three type-written pages. Presentations should be designed to fit into a 20-minute panel segment. The deadline for submission is December 20, 2016. Proposals can be sent via mail or email to this address:

Jim Gates, Librarian
National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum
25 Main Street
Cooperstown, NY 13326

For further information, please contact Symposium Co-Directors:
Jim Gates or Bill Simons

The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture is a unique forum, sponsored by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the State University of New York – Oneonta, which provides academics and researchers with a platform to present and discuss a variety of topics concerning the game of baseball and how it relates to our culture and society. All opinions delivered during the program belong to the presenter, and do not represent the policies or practices of either host institution.

2017 Registration

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• General Fee ($185)
• Friends of the HOF Member ($160)
• Undergraduate/Graduate ($125 with student ID)

Registration fee includes light refreshments each day, a catered dinner in the Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery on Thursday, and a three-day pass to the Hall of Fame. Per diem rates are available for those unable to attend the entire symposium ($50 for Wednesday or Friday, and $100 for Thursday which includes dinner). A limited number of extra dinner tickets are available at $40 per.

2016 Program

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Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Keynote Address: Welcome to Cooperstown

Grandstand Theater (1:00pm to 2:00pm)

Opening Remarks
Bill Simons, Cooperstown Symposium Co-Director

Keynote Address: Finding George: The Unique Challenge of Writing a Sports Biography
Jane Leavy, author/historian

Concurrent Session 1: Toeing the Foul Line: Baseball and Culture Clash

Bullpen Theater (2:15pm to 3:30pm)
Moderator: Richard Puerzer (Hofstra University; Hempstead, New York)

1946 Montreal: Home to Two of the World’s Greatest Sports Heroes
Eileen Angelini (Canisius College; Buffalo, New York)

Two Ws and Three Ks: Charles Weeghman, William Wrigley, Jr., and the Ku Klux Klan in Jazz-Age Chicago
J.S. Moore (Radford University; Radford, Virginia)

War Protests in Baseball: Lindbergh Banned from Ebbets Field
Robert S. Brown (Mt. Ida College; Newton, Massachusetts)

Concurrent Session 2: Remembrance of Games Past: A Trip Down Memory Lane

Learning Center (2:15pm to 3:30pm)
Moderator: Michael McAvoy (State University of New York – Oneonta; Oneonta, New York)

A Phandom Story (Or, How Baseball Tends to Transcend the Model Opuses and Modus Operandi of the Ascribed Human Condition)
Robert Repici (Arizona State University; Tempe, Arizona)

Baseball and the Most Honest Moments: The People, Places and Memories of Fan Memoirs
Willie Steele (Lipscomb University; Nashville, Tennessee)

Concurrent Session 3: 2B or Not 2B: Baseball and Ethical Conundrums

Bullpen Theater (3:45pm to 5:00pm)
Moderator: David Bohmer (DePauw University; Greencastle, Indiana)

Apologia in Sports Media: The Case of Colin Cowherd and Baseball
Ian Beier (University of Kansas; Lawrence, Kansas)

Violence, Race, and Redemption: Marichal/Roseboro
Mark Altschuler (Bergen Community College; Paramus, New Jersey)
Ira Cooperman (Chautauqua Institution; Chautauqua, New York)

Was My "Purpose Pitch" Justified?: An Ethical Analysis
Barry Penn Hollar (Shenandoah University; Winchester, Virginia)

Concurrent Session 4: Jesus Saves, but not Baseball Cards: Religion in our National Pastime

Learning Center (3:45pm to 5:00pm)
Moderator: Dan Austin (Nova Southeastern University; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Jesus Takes the Mound: The Rise of Evangelical Christianity in Baseball
David Moriah (Cornell University; Ithaca, New York)

Separation of Church & State?: How Baseball Fought the Religious Extremism of 9/11 with a 'Religiosity' of its Own
Darby Ratliff (Canisius College; Buffalo, New York)

The Varieties of Religious Experience: A Study of Baseball Players’ Religious Nature
Daniel Linnenberg (University of Rochester; Rochester, New York)
Ginny Skinner-Linnenberg (Nazareth College; Rochester, New York)

Plenary Session 1: Skirting the Game VI: A Conversation with Jane Leavy and Janet Marie Smith

Grandstand Theater (7:00pm to 8:00pm)
Moderator: Jean Hastings Ardell

Panelist: Jane Leavy (author, journalist, historian)
Panelist: Janet Marie Smith (architect, executive)

Throughout their careers, author Jane Leavy has transformed the art of baseball biography in her acclaimed books on Sandy Koufax and Mickey Mantle while architect Janet Marie Smith has transformed the ballpark experience through her acclaimed work on Camden Yards, Fenway, and Dodger Stadium. Moderator Jean Hastings Ardell will inquire as to how and why Leavy and Smith moved into their careers, and what keeps them coming back.

Thursday, June 2, 2015

Concurrent Session 5 - Music and Dance: Baseball and the Performance Arts

Bullpen Theater (9:00am to 10:20am)
Moderator: Tim Johnson (Ithaca College; Ithaca, New York)

“Play Ball, You All”: Baseball’s Turn Down Tin Pan Alley
Katherine Walden (University of Iowa; Iowa City, Iowa)

Name My Tune: The Psychology Behind the Walk-Up Song
Aaron Burtch (Lipscomb University; Nashville, Tennessee)

Plié Ball! Baseball Meets Dance on Stage and Screen
Jeffrey Katz (New York Public Library; New York, New York)

Concurrent Session 6 - Stories from the Pioneer Days: Players, Championships and Fans

Learning Center (9:00am to 10:20am)
Moderator: Mark Altschuler (Bergen Community College; Paramus, New Jersey)

Andy Leonard - Forgotten Pioneer
Leila Dunbar (Leila Dunbar Appraisals and Consulting; Washington, District of Columbia)

Lessons from the 1894 Temple Cup: Should Second Place be Good Enough?
Ted Curtis (Lynn University; Boca Raton, Florida)

Twain and Crane, Baseball Fans
Mark Kingwell (University of Toronto; Toronto, Ontario)

Concurrent Session 7 - Baseball: A Novel Approach

Bullpen Theater (10:40am to noon)
Moderator: Peter Rutkoff (Kenyon College; Gambier, Ohio)

Bernard Malamud’s 'The Natural' – Messiah in Uniform
Mike Cozzillio (Widener University Commonwealth Law School; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)
Ed Edmonds (University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Indiana)

“Purified into a Simple Coherence”: The Significance of the Yale Speeches to the Baseball Writings of A. Bartlett Giamatti
J.T. Scanlan (Providence College; Providence, Rhode Island)

Dick Allen – Baseball's Bartleby
Mitchell Nathanson (Villanova University; Villanova, Pennsylvania)

Concurrent Session 8 - Providing an Assist: Baseball and the Local Community

Learning Center (10:40am to noon)
Moderator: Taylor Wright (Syracuse University; Syracuse, New York)

Oriole Advocates: A Unique, Volunteer Fan Organization, and its Impact on the Community for Fifty-six Consecutive Years
Robert Harden (Oriole Advocates; Baltimore, Maryland)

The Impact of the Baseball Hall of Fame on the Village of Cooperstown
Eric Click (Park University; Kansas City, Missouri)

The Memphis Red Sox in the 1930s
Keith Wood (University of Memphis; Memphis, Tennessee)

Booksigning – Jane Leavy

Library Atrium (noon to 12:30pm)

Author Jane Leavy will be available to sign copies of her published biographies, which are on sale in the adjacent Museum Bookstore.

Concurrent Session 9 - Baseball: Finding the Write Stuff

Bullpen Theater (1:15pm to 2:45pm)
Moderator: Richard Pioreck (Hofstra University; Hofstra, New York)

How To Write A Baseball Novel
Mick Cochrane (Canisius College; Buffalo, New York)

James T. Farrell: Baseball and the Literary Mind
Charles DeMotte (State University of New York-Cortland; Cortland, New York)

That Novel was the Best Hat I Ever Bought: American Fiction and the Baseball Novel as Luxury Souvenir Item
David McGimpsey (Concordia University; Montreal, Quebec)

Concurrent Session 10 - Retiring the Supply Side and Branding the Game

Learning Center (1:15pm to 2:45pm)
Moderator: Daniel Linnenberg (University of Rochester; Rochester, New York)

The Anatomy of a Nine Figure Contract for a Starting Pitcher in Major League Baseball
Wayne McDonnell (New York University; New York, New York)

The Evolution and Decline of Free Agency in Major League Baseball
Noah Goodman (Temple University; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

The Pittsburgh Pirates of the Caribbean: Branding Ball Clubs through Music
Timothy Johnson (Ithaca College; Ithaca, New York)

Concurrent Session 11 - Baseball's Bards: Well Verse-d in the Game

Bullpen Theater (3:00pm to 4:30pm)
Moderator: Terese Karmel (University of Connecticut; Storrs, Connecticut)

“Mr. Mack, the termites have got me.”: Tragic Excellence in Baseball Poetry & the Limits of Sabermetrics
Kenneth Sammond (Fairleigh Dickinson University; Madison, New Jersey)

Francis at the Bat: The Baseball Poems of Robert Francis
Joseph Stanton (University of Hawaii- Manoa; Honolulu, Hawaii)

Story Poems: Baseball Events in Verse
Thomas Porky McDonald (Queens, New York)

Concurrent Session 12 - Capturing Hearts and Minds Through Science

Learning Center (3:00pm to 4:30pm)
Moderator: Bill Simons (State University of New York – Oneonta; Oneonta, New York)

The Romantic History and the Captivating Future of the Baseball Glove
Taylor Wright (Syracuse University; Syracuse, New York)

Z-score: How a Tool in Psychology Can Help us Compare Apples to Oranges in Baseball
John Cottone (Stony Brook Psychotherapy & Wellness; Stony Brook, New York)
Jason Wirchin (Stony Brook Psychotherapy & Wellness; Stony Brook, New York)

Plenary Session 2: Town Ball Game

Cooper Park (5:30pm to 7:00pm)
Host: Tom Heitz (Leatherstocking Base Ball Club; Cooperstown, New York)

Today’s game of baseball can trace its origins back to a number of stick and ball games played in the American colonies. Weather permitting, local historian Tom Heitz will serve as host, instructor and umpire in this re-creation of a vintage town ball game, circa the 1840s.

All Symposium participants are invited to join in and play. Everyone will have the opportunity to play the field and take a turn swinging the bat. Remember, no gloves allowed. Dress casually and join in the fun. In the event of inclement weather, please use this free time to explore the museum.

Plenary Session 3: Dinner

Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery (7:00pm to 8:30pm)
Host: Jim Gates (National Baseball Hall of Fame; Cooperstown, New York)

The annual dinner will be held immediately following the Town Ball Game. We will walk over to the Hall of Fame Main Street entrance to enjoy a barbecue chicken dinner, which will include an appearance by The Mighty Casey.

A vegetarian option is available with an advance request.

Dinner ticket required for this event.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Concurrent Session 13 - Baseball Across the Ethnic Spectrum

Bullpen Theater (9:00am to 10:20am)
Moderator: Ed Edmonds (University of Notre Dame; South Bend, Indiana)

“Cubans play baseball, the Soviets play soccer, Bob”: Kissinger, Cold War Suspicions, and Baseball Diplomacy
Matt Yeazel (Anne Arundel Community College; Arnold, Maryland)

The Emerald Diamond – From Lizzie Murphy to Mike "King" Kelly: How the Irish Transformed America’s Greatest Pastime to Their Culture
Millard Fisher (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Atlanta, Georgia)

When Black is White and White is Black, Or, Maybe They're All Just Hispanic: The Social Construction of Racial Segregation and Integration in Professional Baseball Since 1889
Ronald J.O. Flores (Connecticut College; New London, Connecticut)

Concurrent Session 14 - Talkin' Kin: Familial Connections and Baseball

Learning Center (9:00am to 10:20am)
Moderator: Nancy Canon (State University of New York – Oneonta; Oneonta, New York)

Aaron, Ruth and the Cairnes Connection
Jay Hurd (Concord Museum; Concord, Massachusetts)

Your Father’s Field: What the National Pastime Tells us about Dads, their Children, and the Relationships Between Them. A Study of Literature, Film, Father Narratives, and Psychological Theory
Rick Ginsberg (Ginsberg Counseling and Beacon View Consulting; Denver, Colorado)

Play Ball: Sport, Community, and Memory in Southeastern Connecticut
Rebecca Edwards (Rochester Institute of Technology; Rochester, New York)

Concurrent Session 15 - "C'mon Blue!": A Legal Review of the Rules

Bullpen Theater (10:40am to noon)
Moderator: Tom Hogle (State University of New York – Morrisville; Morrisville, New York)

Tie Goes to the Runner! (Or Does It???): One Lawyer’s Take on Baseball’s Rules and an Age-Old Argument Settler
Robert Sherwin (Texas Tech University School of Law; Lubbock, Texas)

Standards of Review in Law & Baseball: How Asymmetric Burdens Subvert Accuracy & Justice
Steve Calandrillo (University of Washington School of Law; Seattle, Washington)

Taking the Bench Behind the Plate: Umpires as Judges - How Baseball's Replay Review Compares to the Federal Courts
Daniel Chwalisz II (Barry School of Law; Orlando, Florida)

Concurrent Session 16 - Bringing out the Big Guns: Baseball and Conflict

Learning Center (10:40am to noon)
Moderator: Steve Wisensale (University of Connecticut; Storrs, Connecticut)

“9875 Miles to Shea Stadium”: Bowie Kuhn in Vietnam, 1969
Paul Hensler (Ellington, Connecticut)

Demonstration Sports of War and Peace at the 1936 Olympics, Gliding and Baseball: The First Team USA, the Original Goodwill Ambassadors
Keith Spalding Robbins (Wake Forest, North Carolina)

Ted Williams – When America Was at War (1942-45 and 1952-53)
Rick Feingold (Bergen Community College; Paramus, New Jersey)

Concurrent Session 17 - Baseball in the Archives: Digging Deep and Finding Gems

Bullpen Theater (1:00pm to 2:00pm)
Moderator: Matt Rothenberg (National Baseball Hall of Fame; Cooperstown, New York)

Around the Scorecard: Advertising in Baseball
Amy Tetlow Smith (University of Delaware; Newark, Delaware)

Henderson, Cartwright, and the 1953 U.S. Congress
Adam Berenbak (National Archives and Records Administration; Washington, District of Columbia)

Concurrent Session 18 - Transformation and Transportation: The Ballpark and the Community

Learning Center (1:00pm to 2:00pm)
Moderator: Willie Steele (Lipscomb University; Nashville, Tennessee)

“The O’Malley” and The City: The Stadium and Postwar Urban Renewal
Andrew Lang (Cooperstown Graduate Program; Cooperstown, New York)

The Unlikely Decision to Renovate Fenway Park: A Triumph of Historic Preservation
Gordon Lessersohn (Major League Baseball; New York, New York)

Concurrent Session 19 - Not for Softies: A Hard Look at the Impact of Softball

Bullpen Theater (2:15pm to 3:15 pm)
Moderator: Virginia Skinner-Linnenberg (Nazareth College; Rochester, New York)

Diamond Games: Community Softball as Construction of Local Identity
Tim Good (DePauw University; Greencastle, Indiana)

Is There Life After Baseball?
Dan Austin (Nova Southeastern University; Ft. Lauderdale, Florida)

Concurrent Session 20 - Small Screen Wins and Big Screen Losses

Learning Center (2:15pm to 3:15pm)
Moderator: David Krell (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Blown Saves: The Fate of Baseball’s Silent Cinema
Marshall Most (Boise State University; Boise, Idaho)

Homer -- Doesn’t Always Refer to Just Baseball: The Simpsons and Baseball
Richard Pioreck (Hofstra University; Hempstead, New York)

Concurrent Session 21 - Going by the Book: Teaching Baseball to K-12 Students

Bullpen Theater (3:30pm to 4:30pm)
Moderator: Paul Hensler (Ellington, Connecticut)

Baseball and the Bench
Gary Mintz (PS88 The Seneca School; Ridgewood, New York)

The African American Experience, Post-Civil War: Baseball as a Microcosm of American Society
Dave Alexander (Monomoy High School; Harwich, Massachusetts)
Brian Sheehy (North Andover High School; North Andover, Massachusetts)

Plenary Session 4: Wrapping It Up With Gandhi

Bullpen Theater (4:30pm to 5:00pm)
Moderator: Bill Simons (State University of New York – Oneonta; Oneonta, New York)

Closing remarks/comments and viewing of short film Gandhi at the Bat.

Plenary Session 5: Documentary Film

Bullpen Theater (7:00pm to 8:30pm)
Moderator: Larry Foley (University of Arkansas; Fayetteville, Arkansas)

The First Boys of Spring – A Documentary Film

Veteran journalist, educator and filmmaker Larry Foley is a professor and chair of the Lemke Department of Journalism at the University of Arkansas. His productions have earned five Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, and 14 Emmy nominations in writing, journalistic enterprise, history, cultural history, special program and community service. His films have also received three Best of Festival of Media Arts awards from the International Broadcast Education Association. The First Boys of Spring is documentary which tells the story of baseball and spring training in Hot Springs, Arkansas. For parts of five decades, the immortals of baseball trained and "boiled out the alcoholic microbes" of winter in the thermal baths of Hot Springs, Arkansas. In 1886, The Chicago White Stockings were the first to trek south to Hot Springs. Other teams soon followed, including the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburg Pirates, and Brooklyn Dodgers. Hot Springs was "wide open" in those days, frequented by famous and infamous characters. And so came the greatest of the great, to play ball, for a month or so in late winter and early spring, including Babe Ruth, Rogers Hornsby, Cy Young, Honus Wagner along with the legends of the Negro Leagues. The likes of Satchel Page and Josh Gibson came to train in this southern resort town, staying in different hotels, but working just as hard to get ready for their season during the era of segregated baseball. Professor Foley will present his film and will follow with a Q&A session.

Cooperstown Symposium Registration/Information Table

The Registration/Information table for the Cooperstown Symposium is located in the Library Atrium and will be open during these hours:

Wednesday: 9:00am to 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:15am to 5:00pm
Friday: 8:15am to 5:00pm

Giamatti Research Center

The Giamatti Research Center will be closed to library patrons for the duration of the Cooperstown Symposium. This facility will serve as a break room and social center for Symposium participants.
A light breakfast will be served on Thursday and Friday, beginning at 8:15am. Please use the library entrance on Fair Street before 9:00am as the museum will not be open until that time.

Light snacks and beverages will also be available throughout the day.

The Giamatti Center will be open during these hours:
Wednesday: 2:00pm to 5:00pm
Thursday: 8:15am to 5:00pm
Friday: 8:15am to 5:00pm

Please do not bring food or beverages into the museum exhibition areas.

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