Radcliffe Moment

03:39 p.m., Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Photograph by Jonathan KozowykPhotograph by Jonathan Kozowyk

One Radcliffe fellowship tradition is to organize various outings for fellows, and a Boston Red Sox game is on the itinerary each spring. This year, as a courtesy to nonfans, Julie Guthman, the 2017–2018 Frances B. Cashin Fellow at Radcliffe, organized Baseball 101, a short primer on the sport in advance of their April 29 field trip.

“Say what you will about professional sports, but baseball is idiosyncratic, asymmetrical, pastoral (so they say), and in certain respects, quite literally timeless,” wrote Guthman in an e-mail to her fellow fellows. “And we will get to enjoy it in one of America’s most iconic ballparks: Fenway Park, home of the great green wall.” 

About 10 fellows, many of them international, gathered for the session, in which Guthman explained the layout of the park and playing field, team makeup and functions, and game rules and eccentricities. “There’s a lot of nines and threes in baseball,” she said. They also viewed Abbott and Costello’s classic comedy bit “Who’s on First?” before Robert Darnton, the 2017–2018 Joy Foundation Fellow, illustrated, in less than four minutes, two social science theories—hermeneutics and narrative theory—through baseball.

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2018