History professor sees baseball as more than a sport

By Justine DiFilippo
November 9, 2000

by Justine Di Filippo
assistant photography editor

The history club is sponsoring a baseball forum in the Widener Center Lecture Hall on Saturday, Nov. 11.

One of the featured guests is William Simons. Dr. Simons is a professor of history at SUNY-Oneonta State University in New York. Simons teaches sports history, amongst many other subjects. “It’s not just about baseball,” Simons says, “It’s about the American dream.”

Simons teaches the class not to understand baseball as a sport, but to understand Americans. Baseball is a larger society, looking at American dreams and anxieties.

Dr. Hall who runs the most important Baseball Symposium in New York recommended him to Dr. Hedtke, professor of history. Simons was among the top five recommended for the forum held here.

Other than being a professor, Simons is also a writer. He often writes articles for the Daily Star, a local paper in New York. He is also an editor for a book that is being written by many authors as well as him, titled “Cooperstown Symposium”.

Simons story is called “Comparing Ethnic Standards: Joe DiMaggio and Hank Greenberg.” His story is a comparison between Joe DiMaggio and Eric Greenberg, how they were subjected to prejudice and how they came out of it.

Simons will be talking about Joe DiMaggio at the forum on Saturday. In the 1930s, people of Italian descent were seen as gangsters and the image of not being too bright.

DiMaggio was the alternate image of the common thought of Italians. He was seen as a man with class.

In a time when America was in a collision course with Italy and Mussolini, DiMaggio showed patriotism towards America. Simons said, “Joe DiMaggio was an ideal of American masculinity.”

This is not the first time Simons will be speaking. He has also spoken at the Baseball Hall of Fame, libraries and the Cooperstown Symposium many times. He is looking forward to talking here at Cabrini College.

The forum begins at 9 a.m. and runs to 4:30 p.m. You must register to go to the forum. The cost is $25 for honored guests and $15 for visiting students. Registration will take place at 8:30 a.m.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Justine DiFilippo

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Special Project

Title IX Redefined Website

Produced by Cabrini Communication
Class of 2024

Listen Up

Season 2, Episode 3: Celebrating Cabrini and Digging into its Past


Scroll to Top
Share via
Copy link
Powered by Social Snap