Baseball has been a central part of American culture for more than a century. It is probably the most complicated sport in the world, with an elaborate rule book and even lifelong fans may not fully understand. This lecture argues that baseball creates a legal or constitutional system, and teaches American citizenship and a respect for the rule of law, even as it entrains us and leads to endless arguments of who was “the best,” or whether the umpire got the call right. At the same time, baseball was a key force in ending segregation and leading to some other aspects of social progress in nation.
Finkelman was the expert witness in the lawsuit over the ownership of Barry Bonds’ 73rd Home run ball, and has written on this subject in scholarly journals and public media, such as The Atlantic and The New York Times.