Playing for Empowerment: Mill Town Baseball During the Depression Era

During the dark days of the Depression the rural South had little to hang its hopes on: God, family, and baseball. The Prussian strategist, Carl von Clausewitz famously said, “War is the pursuit of politics by other means.” In “Hometown” North Carolina during the Depression, “Baseball was the pursuit of power/empowerment by other means.” Baseball was a game that everyone could either play or watch as they sought power/empowerment: mill owners sought enthusiastic workers and loyal mill town citizens, players sought self-esteem and personal glory, and fans pursued excitement and group identity. Mill town baseball was much more than a game; it gave real meaning to life.


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