Baseball and American Culture

April 3–30, 2006


Baseball is neither a metaphor for life nor the quintessential emblem of American culture. And while film has often been employed to place baseball in the larger context of American character, it too cannot be the last word in interpreting the sport for America and the world. But the marriage of baseball and film has produced some wonderful moments. This retrospective attempts to explore the baseball movie and how it has defined the way Americans view the game and their own relationship—in terms of class, race, and gender in particular—to the great American pastime. In addition, as much of the currency of cinema lies in mythmaking, this series presents some truly fantastic characters, from the real-life Babe Ruth to a figment of Bernard Malamud’s imagination.

Organized by Dr. Carl E. Prince, former chairman of the History Department at New York University and author of Brooklyn’s Dodgers: The Bums, The Borough, and the Best of Baseball; and Charles Silver, Associate Curator, Department of Film and Media. Thanks to Sony Pictures Entertainment, MCA/ Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros., Spike TV, and Dr. Andrew Cooper.


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA’s Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to