Speakers Bureau

Talks and Living History Presentations for Your Community


Double-Talk on Doubleday: How a Dead Civil War General Invented Baseball Without His Permission

Image of Abner DoubledayWhy, how, and when did Abner Doubleday became the imagined inventor of America’s pastime? It is becoming more widely known that Doubleday had no connection to baseball, but why, and for what purposes, did baseball’s boosters construct an origin story with him at the epicenter?

Norwich University Professor Rowly Brucken will explore the founding myths of baseball’s real and fictional origins, and will consider the broader context of the age of imperialism in America, New England sports history, and Victorian scandals. The talk will conclude with an exploration of the early days of baseball in Vermont.

Rowly is a life-long Cleveland Indians fan who teaches a course on baseball history and an honors class on inter-disciplinary adventures in baseball at Norwich. He has spent two weeks in the archives at the Baseball Hall of Fame and has received two research grants to study the history of the sport. This talk connects the controversy over baseball’s alleged origins to larger themes in American cultural and social history.

Special Arrangements: projector.

Additional Costs: mileage.

About the presenter

Image of Rowly Bruckner Rowly Brucken - Rowly is a professor of history at Norwich University specializing in international human rights law and Cold War foreign policy. See full biography.

Booking a talk

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