David VaughtThe Farmer’s Game: Baseball in Rural America

Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013

by Dan Kilbride on June 22, 2013

David Vaught

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Contemporary baseball seems like a big city game. Major League Baseball does not have a Green Bay Packers, a small-market team that can contend with the big shots. As David Vaught reminds us in The Farmer’s Game: Baseball in Rural America (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2013), however, baseball has rural roots. Stepping back into 19th century Cooperstown and moving through Texas, California, Minnesota, and Farm Life, North Carolina (home of Gaylord Perry), Vaught documents the deep cultural resonance of baseball for country people up through the present day, with the resurgence of “vintage baseball.” This book does not deny the vitality of city ball, but it insists that recent attention to urban baseball has obscured both the rich history of its country cousin and the special place baseball holds in the hearts of America’s farmers.

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