Tonight is Game One. In honor of the opening of the series I present David Zirin giving a talk at last summer’s Socialism event sponsored by the International Socialist Organization. Zirin wrote a fine book called A People’s History of Sports and that is the subject of his talk here.
Dave is a great speaker and gives us an excited and fascinating look at the history of sport and its role in our society. When I want to know what is going on in the world of sports, what is really going on, the first place I turn is to Dave Zirin. His commentary on Barry Bonds and race was by far the best from any sports writer leftist or otherwise.
Truth be told, other than baseball and the odd World Cup match my sports interest is pretty limited. I just don’t have room for more obsessions. Since most of my them center on barbarisms and the class struggle my one for baseball allows sweet banality into my life a little and for that I am grateful to the game.
I am not sure why but it seems that US Marxists (and Cuban ones as well) find something especially intriguing about the game. I’ve thought a lot about that and talked with others on the subject. I am not satisfied at all that I have figured it out. I think there is something of the game that would be recognizable to both Hegel and The Buddha. Quantity becomes quality and everywhere on the diamond the dialectic reigns. The accumulation of statistics, the relationship between the individual and the collective in the way the game is played, the deep roots the game has in mass culture all must be a part of it.
The Phils have one championship in their 125 years as a team. The Rays are coming to the dance for the first time in their 10 years as a team. I go for the Old Mole always.