Symposium

The 33rd Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture will take place June 1-3, 2022 at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. We hope you'll join us!


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.


For further information, please contact Symposium Co-Directors:
Cassidy Lent 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.

2021 Registration

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Online registration is closed. Thank you for joining us!

Please register here.

Prices:
$50 Full program (Non HOF member*)
$40 Full program (HOF Member)

*Non-members will also receive a half-year subscription (3 issues) of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum’s magazine, Memories & Dreams. They will also receive a code for 10% off at the Hall of Fame’s online store. These are both perks of a Hall of Fame membership.

Please contact Cassidy Lent at [email protected] if you have any immediate questions.

2021 Program

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Friday, June 4, 2021


Session 1: Ballpark Experience (1:00pm to 2:15pm)

The First Game as a Rite of Passage: Implications for American Culture
Mark Pelesh (Freelance Writer)

Rooftops, Monster Seats, and a Dip in the Pool
John McLaughlin (New York Giants Preservation Society)

The First Baseball Game and Other Baseball/Social History Anomalies
Fred Toulch (Freelance Writer)


Break #1: 2:15pm to 2:30pm
Session 2: Law (2:30pm to 3:45pm)

Can Baseball Be Copyrighted?
Keith Danish (Independent Lecturer)

The Myth of the Juiced Ball
Meredith Wills (2020 SABR Analytics Research Award Recipient)


Session 3: Literature 1 (3:45pm to 4:45pm)

Is There a Postmodern Baseball Novel?
Mark Kingwell (University of Toronto – Trinity College)

The ‘Lonely Game’: Baseball, Kierkegaard, and the Spiritual Life
Christopher Barnett (Villanova University)


Break #2: 4:45pm to 5:30pm
Session 4: Hall of Famer Biography (5:30pm to 6:30pm)

Walter Alston: The Making of a Hall of Fame Manager
Alan Levy (Slippery Rock University)

Tris and Lefty: An Unlikely Pair
Mark Altschuler (Bergen Community College)
Mark Weisman (Chautauqua Institution)


Session 5: Remembrance (6:30pm to 7:30pm)

A New Normal: MLB Reactions to 9/11
Willie Steele (Lipscomb University)


Saturday, June 5, 2021


Session 6: Ballpark History (11:00am to 12:15pm)

Architecture Between the Foul Lines
Richard Cleary (University of Texas)

Evolution of Major League Baseball Stadiums: Connecting with the Cultures of Their Communities and Franchise Histories
Michael Fraina (State University of New York - Farmingdale)
Ira Stolzenberg (State University of New York - Farmingdale)

Forbes Field: Camden Yards’ Overlooked Inspiration
Curt Smith (University of Rochester)


Session 7: Local History (12:15pm to 1:30pm)

Greed and the Changing Face of New England Baseball
Dan Sargeant (Lasell College)
Tom Colvell (Lasell College)

The Pardoned Ballplayer Who Stayed in Prison: The Overturned Conviction of Thomas Taylor
Jason Cannon (Texas Christian University)

Big League Baseball in a Small Town: Barnstorming Baseball in Metuchen, New Jersey in the 1930s
Richard Puerzer (Hofstra University)


Break #1: 1:30pm to 2:00pm
Session 8: Literature 2 (2:00pm to 3:00pm)

Frank Merriwell and Baseball Joe: Children’s Baseball Literature and the Criticism of College Life in the Early Twentieth Century
John Scanlan (Providence College)

From Goat to G.O.A.T.: The Rhetorical Life and Death of the Chicago Cubs “Curse”
Jeremy Shermak (Orange Coast College)


Session 9: Reflections (3:00pm to 4:00pm)

What We Can Learn From the Stories of America’s First (and so far only) Professional Women’s Baseball League and How It Can Change Again
Anika Orrock (Freelance Writer)

Pete Rose’s Play Hungry and Nostalgic Remembrance: Recalling the Good Old Days and Forgetting Nearly Everything Else
Todd McDorman (Wabash College)


Break #2: 4:00pm to 4:30pm
Session 10: Education (4:30pm to 5:30pm)

Letters from Jackie: The Private Thoughts of Jackie Robinson for Entertainment-Education Pro-Social Change
Herman Howard (Angelo State University)

Baseball’s Role in Youth Development: Beyond Baseball Skills
Ruth Morhard (Independent Historian)


Session 11: Play (5:30pm to 6:30pm)

Why the MLB Should Return to a 154 Game Regular Season
Caroline Whinney (Syracuse University)

Public Perceptions of Baseball’s Pace of Play
Robert S. Brown (Asnuntuck Community College)


Friday, June 11, 2021


Keynote Session: Ballparks (1:00pm to 2:15pm)

Introduction: Bill Simons (State University of New York - Oneonta)

Baseball: The True City Game
Paul Goldberger (Author and Architecture Historian)


Break #1: 2:15pm to 2:30pm
Session 12: Minor Leagues (2:30pm to 3:45pm)

Economics of Minor League Baseball, 1876-1900
Daniel Levitt (Freelance Writer)

MLB-Atlantic League Agreement Rules Changes: Tinker, Not Evers, No Chance!
Wayne Patterson (Howard University)

MLB v. MiLB – A Fight Over the Future of Minor League Baseball
Michael Cozzillio (Widener University Commonwealth Law School)
Ed Edmonds (Notre Dame Law School)


Session 13: Scouts (3:45pm to 4:45pm)

Joe Cambria – Saint or Scoundrel?: The Controversial Life of the Washington Senators “Super Scout”
Paul Scimonelli (Catholic University of America)

Hank DeBerry: The Wise Scout and Good Luck Charm
Mark McGee (Lipscomb University)


Break #2: 4:45pm to 5:30pm
Session 14: Birth of the Negro Leagues (5:30pm to 6:30pm)

Long Island’s Argyle Hotel and the Birth of Professional Black Baseball
John Staudt (Hofstra University)

We Are the Ship…All Else the Sea: The Black Press and the Founding of the Negro National League One Century Ago
Brian Carroll (Berry College)


Session 15: Pop Culture (6:30pm to 7:30pm)

I Got a New Attitude: The New York Mets in the 1980s as a Reflection of the Age of the Yuppie
Paul Hensler (Freelance Writer)

Hollywood and the Hall of Fame: Baseball, Catharsis, and Popular Culture
David Krell (Elysian Fields Chapter, Society for American Baseball Research)


Saturday, June 12, 2021


Session 16: New and Old (11:00am to 12:15pm)

Baseball Twitter: The Best Way to Watch a Game?
Allison Levin (Webster University)

Baseball Fans, Don’t Discard Old Baseball Scorecards
David Jepsen (University of Iowa)


Session 17: General Biography (12:15pm to 1:30pm)

From Memphis to Nashville: The Baseball Career of Charlie Pride
Charles DeMotte (State University of New York - Cortland)

Rigged Elections: The Baseball Hall of Fame’s Blacklisting of Marvin Miller
Peter Dreier (Occidental College)

Maud Nelson: The Hall of Fame’s Second Woman Inductee?
Perry Barber (Umpire)


Break #1: 1:30pm to 2:00pm
Session 18: Pitchers (2:00pm to 3:00pm)

Jim Bouton and the Butter-Yellow Box
Mitchell Nathanson (Villanova University – School of Law)

Larry Sherry: A Pitcher with the “Finishing Touch”
Ira Cooperman (Chautauqua Institution)
Bob Hopper (Chautauqua Institution)


Session 19: Catchers (3:00pm to 4:00pm)

Moe Berg and the Media: Competing Interpretations of the Enigmatic Catcher-Spy
Bill Simons (State University of New York - Oneonta)

Blackball’s “Ironman”: The Life and Times of Catcher Larry Brown
Keith Wood (Christian Brothers High School)


Break #2: 4:00pm to 4:30pm
Session 20: Chicago Cubs (4:30pm to 5:30pm)

Babe Ruth’s Called Shot: Young Fans Recall Their Experiences at Wrigley Field on October 1, 1932
Thomas Wolf (Freelance Writer)

It’s Past Time for Drawing Our National Game: (a genealogy of baseball in sequential art)
Kenneth Sammond (Fairleigh Dickinson University)


Session 21: Poetry (5:30pm to 6:00pm)

Birds on the Bat and Squirrels on the Field: A Reading of Poems about the St. Louis Cardinals in the Postseason
Joe Stanton (University of Hawaii at Manoa)


Closing Session: Casey at the Bat (6:00pm to end)

Casey at the Bat
Tim Wiles (Guilderland Public Library)

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 – 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.

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