chapter  Chapter 2
Invented and Contested Baseball Traditions
Rural Versus Urban Discourses
WithCharles Fruehling Springwood
Pages 32

Funny thing about both country music and baseball with its "village greens": they weren't really country, not since they got their new names anyway, but urban. By the late nineteenth century, baseball had reached a high level of prominence in the United States, becoming the nation's first professionalized team sport. Indeed, great writers of this time, from Walt Whitman to Mark Twain, had begun to take note of the game. Spalding largely controlled the flow of historical materials that came his way; and indeed, he seemed to draw on every possible shred of testimony, however tenuous, that might support an indigenous theory of baseball's origin. In a real sense, a process of "invented tradition" had been put into motion, and this "attempt to establish continuity with a suitable historic past" was oriented spatially, situated within the local geographic landscape of Cooperstown, New York.