So, somewhere along the line, the 1950s have come to be the consensus choice as baseball’s Golden Age.
There was Willie, Mickey, and The Duke. There was Ted Williams and Stan Musial. There was a young Willie Mays and a young Hank Aaron and a nation feeling reborn in the years following World War II.
But while many great things happened in America during the 1950s — you know, such as “Happy Days” and “Laverne and Shirley” — there’s really no justification for suggesting that baseball was one of them.
...The question, of course, is why the 1950s came to be known as baseball’s Golden Age, and the answer has two intertwining parts:
With New York teams and players dominating the sport at a time when most of the national media was based in the city, the era came to be viewed with a New York-centric myopia.
This myopia was reflected in the 1972 book “The Boys of Summer” by Roger Kahn. Rightfully regarded as one of the great sports books of all-time, “The Boys of Summer” painted the period with a golden hue.
This is understandable, but it’s also a misnomer. Now, with modern stadiums spread all over the country and players from all over the world displaying a combination of speed, power, and fielding prowess, the game of today is far more entertaining than it was 60 years ago.
Baseball might, indeed, have a timeless appeal. But its appeal right now is about as high as it’s ever been.
Posted: April 07, 2012 at 09:54 AM | 52 comment(s)
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