The Indiana State University Conference on Baseball in Literature and American Culture has consistently produced a strong body of scholarship since its inception in 1995. This work is comprised of 18 essays from the ISU conferences of 1995 through 2001..""I Just Hit .300-Time to Renegotiate My Contract"" explores how major American writers such as Hemingway, Faulkner, and Ellison have challenged the pastoral idea of baseball envisioned by Whitman. ""The Durable Relic"" argues that Donald Hall, one of the foremost poets of today, uses baseball in much the same way that William Butler Yeats used Irish mythology to create ""frozen moments, unchanging and durable; ageless heroes, Oisin on the Island of Eternal Youth and Ruth pointing to centerfield."" ""Baseball, the Market and the Public"" analyzes the tension between the game as a business and the game as public trust, tracking the game to its present state of overpaid players and greedy owners. ""The Story of Toni Stone"" considers race and gender in both the game and culture by looking at one of the most remarkable but least known women in the sport, the only one to play in the Negro Leagues. These are just four of the essays, which cover a wide variety of topics.
Ronald E. Kates is an associate professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University. Warren Tormey is an assistant professor of English at Middle Tennessee State University. They are co-chairs (along with Crosby Hunt) of the Conference on Baseball in Literature and American Culture.