Joseph Campbell and Baseball

The definitive book on mythology is written by Joseph Campbell. It looks at what myths are, how they develop, and how they grow. Many of his ideas are applicable to baseball. As you may have noticed if you’ve managed to hang around here for very long, I have a fascination with the mythology and legend of baseball. In the future I want to do a series of comments on baseball legend and mythology. To do that I need some help.

If you looked at the Dizzy Dean post you saw some comments at the bottom. In them I asked for other people’s opinion of just who has moved from ballplayer to mythological or legendary figure. I suggested Babe Ruth (who I refer to here as BABE RUTH!!!!! when dealing with the legendary aspect of the man), Sandy Koufax, Lou Gehrig, Jackie Robinson, and of course Dean himself. Bill Miller added Satchel Paige, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Nolan Ryan. SportsPhd suggested Yogi Berra.

All of those are certainly people to explore and I will. But I’d like other people’s opinion. Who am I missing that you think has gone beyond mere ballplayer to myth? To put it into another field, who’s gone from actor to John Wayne!!!!? I promise I’ll take a look at the people. I don’t promise I’ll buy off on all of them, but I’ll check ’em out. Give me your “able to leap tall buildings at a single bound” list and I’ll study it. At some point, and it will be at least a couple of weeks, I’ll start a post, or more likely a series of posts, on the idea of legend, mythology, and baseball. Deal?

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4 Responses to “Joseph Campbell and Baseball”

  1. Kevin G Says:

    “Where have you gone Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.”

    “I think the great DiMaggio would be proud of me today.”
    The Old Man and the Sea

    Now that’s legendary.


  2. sportsphd Says:

    Reggie Jackson. He has become for many the standard for postseason greatness. Bob Gibson is a close second on the postseason legend scale.

  3. verdun2 Says:

    Thanks to both. DiMaggio certainly works. Jackson and Gibson are postseason wonders. Don’t know if I’m going to go there or not. If so, they’ll certainly make the list (along with Larsen, Baker, etc).

  4. William Miller Says:

    Sounds like a great idea. Can’t wait to see what you come up with. Bill

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