Where is the truth about baseball to be found? In nostalgic stories of the timeless bond woven between fathers and sons on the ball field? Or in stinging exposes about manipulative owners, abusive coaches, and greedy players?<P>Extra Innings tackles the question of how writing about baseball has shaped our understanding and misunderstanding of the national pastime. In a series of astute reflections on baseball histories, biographies, personal reminiscences, and fiction, Richard Peterson explores the shifting balance of romance and fact in standard baseball histories, offers a lively discussion of baseball fiction, and assesses the realism of postmodern baseball writing. He discusses the influence of Jackie Robinson on the serious baseball novel and the reluctance of baseball fiction to treat race issues realistically. He also surveys baseball fleeting appearances in the literary canon and suggests a "top nine" reading list for the baseball aficionado.<P>Slicing away the myths and distortions of baseball's bizarre history, Extra Innings travels the course from the sport's rowdy early days to its contentious present. Somewhere between baseball as business and baseball as religion lies the truth of a game that remains, despite its tarnish, regenerative and redemptive.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -165) and index.
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