Working and Playing: Mill-sponsored Baseball in the Early Twentieth Century in the Piedmont of North Carolina Public Deposited

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  • February 26, 2019
  • Cathey, Emily
    • Affiliation: College of Arts and Sciences, Department of History
  • There is a notable lack of scholarship on mill-sponsored baseball teams in the early twentieth century in the piedmont of North Carolina. Most of the works on industrial baseball focus on textile mill baseball in South Carolina or the coal mining leagues in Appalachia. This thesis focuses on North Carolina, relying primarily on interviews conducted for the Southern Oral History Program, the memoirs of mill workers, and newspaper articles in conjunction with several secondary sources. It combines three different historiographies: North Carolina History, Labor History, and Sports history. This thesis argues that mill-sponsored baseball originated as a welfare capitalist activity. Mill owners designed the teams as part of a massive program, to placate the workers, improve labor relations, and implement some degree of social control. However, despite the money the mill owners put into their teams, their objectives were not met. Rather, baseball became a beloved pop culture activity that workers enjoyed either watching or playing during their time off. This paper deals with the spectacle of mill-sponsored baseball it focuses mostly on mill-sponsored baseball at its peak.
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  • In Copyright
  • Funding: None
  • Watson, Harry L.
  • Bachelor of Arts
Honors level
  • Honors
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • 67

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