The American Dream has been luring people to the United States for centuries. A concept first described in 1931 in James Truslow Adams’ Epic of America, the phrase refers to the idea that anyone, regardless of birth or position, is able to reach their full potential with hard work. As George Carlin said “They call it the American Dream”... because you have to be asleep to believe it.”
Long referred to as America’s favorite pastime, Baseball is the quintessential reflection of the success and failures of the great “American Experiment”. While it may no longer be #1 game, baseball still promotes a romantic notion of who we are as a nation. During the biggest influx of European migration immigrants encouraged their children to play baseball in order to become Americanized. Throughout history the sport has reflected the times. At the turn of the century baseball was viewed as a game for brutes with free for alls in the stands. Then along came Babe Ruth who’s vices echoed the excess of his time. In the 30’s the game was a distraction from poverty and unemployment. During the war as women were working in factories to fill the positions vacated by soldiers, they were filling their cleats for the All American Girl Pro Baseball League. About the same time Jackie Robinson became the first black player in the MLB when he signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers mirroring the progress being made in equal rights only when it financially benefited the wealthy. In the 80’s the game saw free agency and obscene wealth; among players and owners but certainly not among bush league players who still do not make a living wage. In the 90’s while the tech industry was revolutionizing the country, so too did it revolutionize baseball with gizmos and gadgets to track player movements and ball locations. Today the game and the government wrap itself in the (perceived) glory of the past without looking at the reality of the present.
This series of work uses tools from the game of baseball to address the ills of the United States. The materials used are listed in the description of each piece.