Minor League Baseball : Community Building Through Hometown Sports book cover
1st Edition

Minor League Baseball
Community Building Through Hometown Sports

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ISBN 9780789017567
Published January 30, 2003 by Routledge
220 Pages

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Book Description

Examine the big-league benefits of minor league baseball!

The Minor League Baseball: Community Building Through Hometown Sports examines the role played by minor league baseball in hundreds of cities and towns across the United States. Written from the unique perspective of a sociologist who also happens to be an avid baseball fan, the book looks at the contributions minor league teams make to the quality of life in their communities, creating focal points for spirit and cohesiveness while providing opportunities for interaction and entertainment. The book links theory and experience to present a “sociology of baseball” that explains the symbiotic relationship which brings people together for a common purpose—to root, root, root for the home team.

From the author:

Minor league baseball is played across the country in more than 100 very different communities. These communities seem to share a special bond with their teams. As with all sports teams, there is a symbiotic relationship between the team and the city or town that it represents. In the case of major league professional sports, the relationship is often fueled by economic outcomes. On the minor league level, the relationship appears to go beyond mere money and prestige. Minor league teams occupy a special place in our hearts. We are more forgiving when they lose, and extremely proud of them when they win.

Minor League Baseball: Community Building Through Hometown Sports is a detailed look at the connection between town and team, including:

  • economic benefits (development strategies, community growth)
  • intangible benefits (ballpark camaraderie, hometown pride)
  • fan attachment and attendance (demographic variables, stadium accessibility, “home court advantage”)
  • case studies of two Maryland minor-league franchises--the Class AA Bowie Baysox and the Class A Hagerstown Suns
Minor League Baseball: Community Building Through Hometown Sports also includes an introduction to the organizational structure of the minor leagues, a history of each current league, and charts and tables on attendance figures and franchise relocations. This book is essential reading for sociologists, sport sociologists/historians, academics and/or practitioners in the fields of community sociology and psychology, and of course, baseball fans.

Table of Contents

  • Acknowledgments
  • Chapter 1. Introduction
  • Safe at Home
  • Minor League Baseball Through Time
  • Minor League Basics
  • Minor League Reviews
  • Play Ball!
  • Chapter 2. Baseball Coast to Coast
  • National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL)
  • Independent Leagues
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 3. The Lure of Minor League Baseball
  • The National Awakens
  • Academics Take Notice
  • Sociology of Minor League Communities
  • Chapter 4. The Evolution of Minor League Baseball
  • Historical Overview
  • Minor League Baseball As a Different Kind of Business
  • Franchise Relocation and Name Changes
  • Corporate Sponsorship
  • Conclusion
  • Chapter 5. A Tale of Two Minor League Cities
  • Baseball As a Maryland Tradition
  • Hagerstown, Maryland
  • Bowie, Maryland
  • Chapter 6. The Impact of Minor League Baseball
  • Theory Revisited
  • Minor League History
  • Hagerstown and Bowie: Theory in Action
  • Conclusions
  • Epilogue: A Shelter in the Storm
  • Appendix A: Minor League Attendance and Number of Teams, by Year and Era, 1947 to 1990
  • Appendix B: Development of the Data Set
  • Hypotheses
  • Construction of the Data Set
  • Data Used
  • Statistical Methods and Models
  • Notes
  • Index
  • Reference Notes Included

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