"Rural people identified with baseball because it was a game of skill, competitiveness and chance, just like their day-to-day reality on the farm: Skill, with regard to their ability to produce high-quality crops in large amounts; competitiveness, in terms of their insatiable appetite for achievement in a world of change and unpredictability; and chance, in that for all their skill and competitiveness, a spell of bad weather or a run of bad luck in the marketplace could bring failure, misery and frustration."
Rural culture expresses itself in baseball in other ways, such as an innate trust and sense of cooperation, Vaught adds. "Where else other than a ballpark does someone sitting in the middle of a row of 30 seats pass a $20 bill down through many different hands – black, white, brown, male, female, gay, straight – to a hot dog man with the complete expectation that they will get back not only the hot dog but every last penny of change? It happens every day at a baseball game."
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