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Wed Jun 7, 2023, 03:57 PM

Mike Pence's misguided fantasy of baseball history

Mike Pence’s misguided fantasy of baseball history

Perspective by Kevin B. Blackistone
Updated June 7, 2023 at 8:20 a.m. EDT | Published June 7, 2023 at 7:00 a.m. EDT

How the 48th vice president of the United States — or, the “oleaginous Mike Pence,” as George Will once called him, “with his talent for toadyism and appetite for obsequiousness” — graduated from Hanover College with a bachelor’s degree in history, history, is difficult to imagine, given a complaint he drafted to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on Friday. For it is rife with so much ahistoric fantasy that it probably would have earned a failing grade from whoever chaired Hanover’s history department when Pence was there.

Such as, for example, the claim that Major League Baseball has an “apolitical reputation” and “once stood for American greatness” that transcended “political, social, and cultural boundaries.”

Sure, just ignore that 60-year span when baseball embraced Jim Crow by refusing to let the progeny of enslaved Africans play. Never mind that as the game slowly garnered celebration as America’s pastime, it promulgated White supremacy, as every other sport and so many corners of American life — public transportation, schools, other private employers — followed the game’s example by adopting its racist regulations or unabashedly maintaining their own. And forget, too, that during Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis’s reign from the early 1920s through World War II, the game cemented itself as one of the nation’s bulwarks against workers’ rights by denying players the freedom to organize and work for whom they desire.


By Kevin Blackistone
Kevin B. Blackistone, ESPN panelist and professor of the practice at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, writes sports commentary for The Washington Post. Twitter https://twitter.com/ProfBlackistone

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Reply Mike Pence's misguided fantasy of baseball history (Original post)
mahatmakanejeeves Jun 2023 OP
malthaussen Jun 2023 #1

Response to mahatmakanejeeves (Original post)

Wed Jun 7, 2023, 08:36 PM

1. I'd wonder what his beef is with MLB, but frankly I don't care.

He probably thinks Abner Doubleday "invented" the game.

-- Mal

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