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Maps101 and America's Pastime: BASEBALL

Posted on June 20 2021

Maps101 and America's Pastime: BASEBALL

Dear Educators,

For many, the summer months mean a return to baseball, a sport often referred to as America’s pastime. The COVID pandemic greatly changed last year’s Major League Baseball (MLB) season—with opening day delayed for months and the schedule of games reduced from 162 to only 60 total games played. Although the pandemic is not over, players and fans will experience more normalcy this year. The season will be back to 162 games, and opening day began on schedule on April 1st. The season runs through October 3rd. No wonder it is associated with summer—the season lasts throughout the warm months! 

At Maps101, you and your students can get inside baseball this summer and continue learning. Let’s take a peek into the Maps101 vaults with a focus on America’s pastime.

Geography News Network

While numerous baseball players stand out and are known to the general public, few had as much impact on the sport and the culture as Jackie Robinson did. Like other institutions in America before the civil rights movement, baseball too was segregated. There were teams that were in leagues for African Americans and there was Major League Baseball—the ultimate in professional baseball and sponsor of the World Series. 

In 1947, Robinson made his MLB debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers, playing at home at Ebbets Field. With his debut, he began the integration of baseball, where today, people from all over the world vie to become star players in the Major Leagues. Read more about Jackie Robinson in this week’s highlighted GNN article. 

Map of the Week

While Major League Baseball is slowly returning after COVID, not all stadiums will be full of fans this season. This map shows the percentage of fans allowed in the stands for the 2021 season. On the plus side, at least the season will run the normal length, giving excited fans a good opportunity to see their home team play. 



Discussing After reading this week’s GNN article, discuss how segregation affected individuals and professional sports. How successful has integration been and why? You can also use the questions at the end of the article for more discussion prompts. 

Researching to Create Biographies Have students choose a player from a sport of their choice who broke stereotypes and helped integrate the sport. Examples include Tiger Woods in golf, Serena Williams in tennis, and so on. Ask students to research to create a biography of their sportsperson and explain how they were groundbreaking.

Explaining Ask students to explain why baseball is associated with summer and why it is considered America’s pastime. What is the connection between summer and the sport’s enduring popularity?

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