26th Annual Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture


May 28 – May 30, 2014
Cooperstown, New York

Featuring Keynote Speaker:

Janet Marie Smith

Senior Vice-President for Planning and Development
Los Angeles Dodgers

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

Registration Fees

$180 General Fee
$160 Friends of the Hall of Fame Members
$120 Undergraduate/Graduate Students (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).

Register Now

Stay up to date with all things Symposium by following the #HOFSymp hashtag on social media.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

1:00pm to 2:00pm

Opening Remarks and Speaker Introduction

Bill Simons, Cooperstown Symposium Co-Director
Jean Hastings Ardell, NINE Spring Training Conference Co-Chair

Keynote Address

Janet Marie Smith (Los Angeles Dodgers: Los Angeles, California)
Back to the Future: Building a Ballpark, Not a Stadium 

2:15pm to 3:30pm

Concurrent Panel 1: Developing Mythology for the National Pastime (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: David Krell (Jersey City, New Jersey)

Cinema and the Dying Ballplayer: History, Myth and Meaning
George Grella (University of Rochester: Rochester, New York)

The Big Leagues on the Big Screen: Character, Culture, and the Mythology of the Majors in the Hollywood Baseball Film
Robert Repici (Arizona State University: Tempe, Arizona)

Baseball and Lincoln’s Gold
Ted Curtis (Lynn University: Boca Raton, Florida)

Concurrent Panel 2: Stories from the Island: Baseball in Cuba (Learning Center)

Moderator: Ed Edmonds (University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, Indiana)

Beyond Politics: Cuban-American Baseball Diplomacy
Rick Feingold (Bergen County Community College: Paramus, New Jersey)

Opposite Field: Amateur Baseball and U.S.-Cuban Relations
Justin Turner (Suffolk County Community College: Selden, New York)

Fidel Castro, Béisbol Star: An Enduring Myth and Mystery
David Moriah (Cornell University: Ithaca, New York)

3:45pm to 5:15pm

Concurrent Panel 3: Seeking Out the Narrative (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: Matt Rothenberg (National Baseball Hall of Fame: Cooperstown, New York)

Creating America’s Hero of Boyhood: Gilbert Patten and the Making of Frank Merriwell
Amber Roesner (University of Tennessee: Knoxville, Tennessee)

The Anatomy of a Season: Narrative Strategies
Thomas Wolf (Chapel Hill, North Carolina)

Redefining the Spiritual Benefits of Baseball: Connectedness and Narrative
Ginny Skinner-Linnenberg (Nazareth College: Rochester, New York)
Daniel Linnenberg (University of Rochester: Rochester, New York)

Concurrent Panel 4: Putting a Brand on the Game (Learning Center)

Moderator: Lee Lowenfish (Columbia University: New York, New York)

Outfield Advertising: What Was Promoted…and How…Decade by Decade
Ed Mayo (University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, Indiana)
Dobb Mayo (Gazillion & One Advertising: Grand Haven, Michigan)
John Weitzel (Western Michigan University: Kalamazoo, Michigan)

Food Concessions and Middle Class Identification at Baseball Games, 1900-1950
Seth Tannenbaum (Temple University: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Red, White and Blue: The Baseball Iconography of 1939
Jim Gates (National Baseball Hall of Fame: Cooperstown, New York)  

7:00pm to 8:30 pm

Plenary Session A:

75 Years and Still Going (Grandstand Theater) 
Moderator: Bill Simons (State University of New York: Oneonta, New York)

The National Baseball Hall of Fame’s 1939 Induction Class and the Archetype for First Basemen
Ed Edmonds (University of Notre Dame: Notre Dame, Indiana)
Michael Cozzillio (Widener University: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania)

The Power of the Doubleday Creation Story (1920 to 1939): How Doubleday Field Led to the Founding of the National Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame
Tom Heitz (Town of Otsego Historian: Fly Creek, New York)

The 75th Anniversary of Alexander Cartwright’s Duplicate Hall of Fame Plaque: Hawaii’s Cooperstown Connection
Jon Arakaki (State University of New York: Oneonta, New York)

Special Showing: George Tillapaugh 1939 Home Movie Footage
tbd  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

9:00am to 10:15am

Concurrent Panel 5: Finding the Right Tune (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: Wayne Patterson (Howard University: Washington, District of Columbia)

Walk-Up and Entrance Music in Baseball: Identity, Motivation, and Intimidation
Timothy A. Johnson (Ithaca College: Ithaca, New York)

The Tragic and the Comic: The Songs of The Baseball Project
Mike Faloon (Zisk Magazine: Patterson, New York)

What is Art: Baseball in Performance, The Performance of Baseball
Tim Good (DePauw University: Greencastle, Indiana)

Concurrent Panel 6: A Wicked Good Place: Baseball in the Bay State (Learning Center)

Moderator: Robert Paskal (Boothbay Harbor, Maine)

Boston Red Sox I Have Known: My 75 Years Following Baseball, Man and Boy, Continued
Alex Sanders (College of Charleston: Charleston, South Carolina)

Tom Yawkey
Bill Nowlin (Society for American Baseball Research: Cambridge, Massachusetts)

Wahconah Park, Pittsfield, and the Limits of Baseball Nostalgia
Michael Sokolow (Kingsborough Community College: Brooklyn, New York)

10:30am to 11:45am

Concurrent Panel 7: Baseball, Race and Ethnicity (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: Denis Brennan (Union College: Schenectady, New York)

Baseball and Teaching Race
Iva Deutchman (Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Geneva, New York) Chris Hatch (Hobart and William Smith Colleges: Geneva, New York)

Stacking and Select Baseball: The Origin of Segregational Positioning
Dave Ogden (University of Nebraska-Omaha: Omaha, Nebraska)
Kevin Warneke (University of Nebraska-Omaha: Omaha, Nebraska)

The Dreyfus(s) Boys: Devil’s Island versus The World Series (The Jewish Experience in Europe versus America)
Kalman Kaplan (Illinois College of Medicine: Chicago, Illinois)
Matthew Schwartz (Wayne State University: Detroit, Michigan)
Paul Cantz (Illinois College of Medicine: Chicago, Illinois)
Daniel Kaplan (Chicago, Illinois)

Concurrent Panel 8: Baseball and Biography I (Learning Center)

Moderator: David Aagesen (State University of New York: Geneseo, New York)

Ford Frick’s Big Leaguer: A Commissioner’s Love Letter to His Sport
John Carvalho (Auburn University: Auburn, Alabama)
John Lofflin (Park University: Kansas City, Missouri)

The Missing Man in the Inaugural Class Photo
Richard Pioreck (Hofstra University: Hempstead, New York)

Baseball Broadcasters and Regional Identity: Chuck Thompson and the Land of Pleasant Living
Kenneth Campbell (Monmouth University: West Long Branch, New Jersey)

1:15pm to 2:30pm

Concurrent Panel 9: The Poetic Nature of Baseball (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: John Carvalho (Auburn University: Auburn, Alabama)

Rhymes for the Times: The Use of Poetry and Verse by Baseball Writers of the Black Press, 1920-1940
Brian Carroll (Berry College: Mount Berry, Georgia)

Eephus Pitch: Fathers, Sons, and the Arc of Memory in Kevin Varrone’s “box score: an autobiography”
Trey Strecker (Ball State University: Muncie, Indiana)

Baseball Poetry from 1939 to 2014
Joseph Stanton (University of Hawaii-Manoa: Honolulu, Hawaii)

Concurrent Panel 10: The Rise of Analytics (Learning Center)

Moderator: Paul Hensler (Ellington, Connecticut)

Preservation of Integrity or Succumbing to the Pressures of the Electronic Media: The Moral and Statistical Conundrums on the Horizon for the Baseball Hall of Fame
Wayne McDonnell (New York University: New York, New York)

The Next Frontier for Baseball Analytics: Studying Team Chemistry
Vince Gennaro (Society for American Baseball Research: Purchase, New York)

The Pitcher’s Guide to Eliminating the .300 Hitter, or a New Chapter for Moneyball
Wayne Patterson (Howard University: Washington, District of Columbia)

3:00pm to 4:30pm

Concurrent Panel 11: Baseball as a Tool for Teaching (Bullpen Theater)

Moderator: Bob Tufts (New York University: New York, New York)

One for the Books: (Re)Constructing Baseball History, Memory, Community
Todd McDorman (Wabash College: Crawfordsville, Indiana)

Entertainment-Education in Baseball Media: A Proposal for Implementation
Herman Howard (Benedict College: Columbia, South Carolina)

Teaching the Game: The History of the Hall of Fame’s Education Department
Bruce Markusen (National Baseball Hall of Fame: Cooperstown, New York)

Concurrent Panel 12: Baseball and Civil Rights (Learning Center)

Moderator: Alex Sanders (College of Charleston: Charleston, South Carolina)

Jackie Robinson: Cold Warrior
Ron Briley (Sandia Preparatory School: Albuquerque, New Mexico)

Monte Irvin, Bill White, and the Integration of Major League Baseball’s Office of the Commissioner
Richard Puerzer (Hofstra University: Hempstead, New York)

Baseball Leads the Way for St. Louis Integration
Lloyd Barrow (University of Missouri: Columbia, Missouri)

5:00pm to 6:45pm

Plenary Session B: Vintage Town Ball Game (Cooper Park – weather permitting) 

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.

7:00pm to 9:00pm

Plenary Session C: Barbecue Chicken Dinner (Hall of Fame Plaque Gallery) 

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 parade 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.  

Friday, May 30, 2014

9:00am to 10:15am

Concurrent Panel 13: Players as Popular Heroes (Bullpen Theater) 

Moderator: Peter Rutkoff (Kenyon College: Gambier, Ohio)

Misery as Imagery: Mickey Mantle’s 1965 LIFE Magazine Feature
Paul Hensler (Ellington, Connecticut)

The Great Babe Ruth and What Does It Mean to Care for People
Michael Palmer (Aesthetic Realism Foundation: New York, New York)

Before He was God: Roberto Clemente in the Pittsburgh Newspapers, 1955-1960
Mark Altschuler (Bergen County Community College: Paramus, New Jersey)
Jeffrey Miller (Shady Side Academy: Cheswick, Pennsylvania)

Concurrent Panel 14: Baseball Along the Pacific Rim (Learning Center) 

Moderator: Willie Steele (Oklahoma Christian University: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Albert Spalding, Mark Twain and Henry Simpson: The Godfathers of Australian Baseball
Rick Burton (Syracuse University: Syracuse, New York)

Henry Wiggins Goes to Japan: Jim Brosnan and the 1958 St. Louis Cardinals Tour of Japan
Adam Berenbak (Center for Legislative Archives: Washington, District of Columbia)

The Unknown World Travelers: The Reach All-American of 1908 Keith Spalding
Robbins (Wake Forest, North Carolina)

10:30am to 11:45am

Concurrent Panel 15: Capturing the Game on Film (Bullpen Theater) 

Moderator: Tom Hogle (State University of New York: Morrisville, New York)

Going the Distance: The Cultural Significance of Field of Dreams 25 Years Later
Willie Steele (Oklahoma Christian University: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Baseball, Movies, and Reflections of American Culture
Rob Edelman (State University of New York: Albany, New York)

Superstition and Ritual as Strength, or “Keep Brushing Your Teeth Between Innings, Turk Wendell”
Matthew Yeazel (Anne Arundel Community College: Arnold, Maryland)

Concurrent Panel 16: Skirting the Issue V: Women in Baseball (Learning Center) 

Moderator: Ira Cooperman (Chautauqua Institution: Chautauqua, New York)

Mrs. Jack – Art Collector, Muse, Mentor, and Mascot: Isabella Stewart Gardner and the Boston Red Sox
Jay Hurd (Concord Museum: Concord, Massachusetts)

The Only Girl: Athletic and Emotional Challenges for Girls Who Play Baseball on Boy’s Teams in Adolescence
Jennifer Ring (University of Nevada: Reno, Nevada)

Women in the Negro Leagues
Leslie Heaphy (Kent State University-Stark: Canton, Ohio)

1:00pm to 1:50pm

Concurrent Panel 17: Searching for the Holy Grail (Bullpen Theater) 

Moderator: Jim Gates (National Baseball Hall of Fame: Cooperstown, New York)

An Archivist Fantasy: The Finding of the Holy Grails of Black Baseball
Larry Hogan (Union County College: Fanwood, New Jersey)
Leslie Heaphy (Kent State University-Stark: Canton, Ohio)

Earliest Known: Pebble Hill Plantation Baseball
Margaret Compton (University of Georgia: Athens, Georgia)

Concurrent Panel 18: Baseball and PEDs: A Cultural Challenge (Learning Center) 

Moderator: Keith Robbins (Wake Forest, North Carolina)

Crime, Punishment, and the Hall of Fame: Public Attitudes of PED Usage in Baseball
William Blake (Indiana University, IUPUI: Indianapolis, Indiana)

Baseball’s War on Drugs
John Wolohan (Syracuse University: Syracuse, New York)

2:00pm to 3:15pm

Concurrent Panel 19: Baseball and Biography II (Bullpen Theater) 

Moderator: Mark Altschuler (Bergen County Community College: Paramus, New Jersey)

Napoleon “Nap” Lajoie: Victory in Court and on the Field
Frank Williams (Supreme Court of the State of Rhode Island: Providence, Rhode Island)

The Enduring Arrogance of Oblivious Ignorance, Starring Joe E. Brown
Marshall Most (Boise State University: Boise, Idaho)

The Kid, Bush 41, The White House, and Baseball
Curt Smith (University of Rochester: Rochester, New York)

Concurrent Panel 20: Baseball Potpourri: Many Angles to the Game (Learning Center) 

Moderator: Craig Lawson (Washington State University: Pullman, Washington)

A Tale of Two City Leagues: Ithaca and Kingston, New York
Charles DeMotte (State University of New York: Cortland, New York)
Lisa Neilson (Marist College: Poughkeepsie, New York)

The Economics of the Infield Fly Rule
Howard Wasserman (Florida International University: Miami, Florida)

Umpire Selection for the World Series
Thomas Brady (Purdue University North Central: Westville, Indiana)

3:30 to 4:00pm

Plenary Session D: Rap it Up with Gandhi (Bullpen Theater) 

Moderators: Bill Simons and Jim Gates, Cooperstown Symposium Co-Directors

Back by popular demand and now a program tradition, enjoy an 11-minute film, Gandhi at the Bat: A Baseball Fable, as we bring the 2014 Symposium to a close.

Public Notice

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 at 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.

New Exhibits

The National Baseball Hall of Fame is pleased to have several new exhibits for symposium participants to enjoy:

The New Face of Baseball: Osvaldo Salas’ American Baseball Photographs, 1950-1958.
[3rd Floor – exhibit area]

1939: Celebrating our 75th Anniversary
[2nd Floor – Cooperstown Room]

We hope you find some time to explore and enjoy our exhibit areas.