Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category
There is a long-standing and often bizarre connection between athletics and vice, as if smoking and drinking and the like are somehow a natural part of viewing and participating in sports. While advertising might seem like a natural source of this connection, I doubt that advertising alone accounts for this long-standing cultural connection.
But given this connection, much of LDS writing and thinking about baseball has focused on showing the problems from disobeying the word of wisdom. Non-fiction articles often cited baseball managers and stars who decried vices like smoke and drink. And even the fiction in LDS magazines that featured baseball frequently tried to persuade readers against these vices. But in doing so they often made other assumptions also, such as what happens in the following story.
With baseball very popular in the early 1900s, the editors of the Improvement Era joined many other publications in the U.S. and published stories about baseball. Often these stories were, like so many other stories in religious magazines, didactic in nature — seeking to make a point about moral choices. And while in the long run these stories could have easily turned off kids as much as taught them morality, they were, nevertheless, part of what readers of Church magazines experienced and read.
The following story is one of many published in the Improvement Era that featured baseball as an element of the story. I plan to periodically republish here some of those stories.