Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts
Wheaton College
First-Year Seminar


FYS Section A12. Curses, Cornfields and Called Shots: Baseball as the Stuff of Myth and Legend

Baseball and theatre: live spectacles both, practiced/rehearsed and yet spontaneous in their presentations, played out on their beloved fields/stages by big names and small, in front of audiences with great expectations. Sometimes these expectations are rewarded, and sometimes they are dashed, but we keep coming back for more because we love the gamesmanship of it all. “Anything can happen”, says Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia: glory that will last in the memory for a lifetime or bitter disappointment that will most assuredly do the same. It’s a high-wire act, and we know it, but where else could we get such thrills?

This course will focus on the inherent theatricality of baseball. It will do so through a variety of lenses: a novel, a biography, a play, essays, films, and — most importantly — the tales we tell each other about our relationships to the game. Why has the sport spawned such eloquent literature? Why do its moments — both ecstatic and agonizing — remain so much with us? What’s at the root of its intellectual and emotional pull?

David M. FoxDavid M. Fox
Professor of Theatre