HOME RUN! We’ve all heard it announced over a loud speaker at a baseball game or are familiar with the phrase from popular culture, but hitting a home run wasn’t always so common in baseball. This hour on Focus, Jeff Bossert talks with author Eldon Ham about the history of the homerun and his book “All the Babe’s Men.”
“It’s a home run,” has become an expression many Americans use every day to describe success, even outside the world of baseball. But, have you ever wondered why? This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation Jeff Bossert had with Eldon Ham about America’s obsession with the home run and what sparked the development of the long ball in baseball. Ham tells us about how the home run became a fixture in the MLB by accident, and we’ll remember Babe Ruth’s historic sixty-homer season in 1927.
With several big hitters in the MLB being accused recently of more steroid use, we’ll also talk with Ham about how the homerun is connected to what he argues is an “inevitable” era of professional doping.
Doug Glanville, former major league baseball player, was the first Ivy League educated player to play in the MLB, and authored the book “Inside Baseball: The Game From Where I Stand” to shed light on some of challenges unique to playing professional baseball. This hour on Focus, we’ll listen back to a conversation Jeff Bossert had with him in 2011.
In 1974 on opening day at Comiskey Park in Chicago, several naked fans rushed the field, disrupting the game and starting a riot in the stands; in 1907, the Phillies won a game against the New Your Giants because fans threw enough snowballs onto the field to force a forfeiture. Crazier things have happened.
This hour on Focus, John Thorn, Official Historian for Major League Baseball, joins guest host Jeff Bossert to talk about baseball history. We’ll talk about what Thorn does as MLB historian and what makes opening day so iconic in American culture. Then, during the second half of the hour, Donald Spivey, a UIUC grad and a Professor of History at the University of Miami joins us to talk about pitching legend Satchel Paige. Spivey will be giving a lecture at Eastern Illinois University this evening about Paige and his legacy. Find more information here.
Do you love opening day? Why? Who are you rooting for this season? Join our conversation! Post in the comments section below or connect with us on Facebook and Twitter @Focus580.