Cruz: An interview with MLB historian John Thorn

From SABR member John Thorn at Our Game on November 25, 2016, with SABR member Reynaldo Cruz:

Recently Reynaldo Cruz, a photographer and journalist residing in Holguín, Cuba, interviewed me by email. He translated to Spanish for presentation at his fine site, Universo Béisbol []. Reverse translation to English via Google produces, predictably, some puzzling results, so I take the liberty of presenting our original exchange in English.

UB: What made you feel interested in the history of the game?

When I was a boy most of my pals loved science fiction and future possibilities. I always preferred re-imagining history — what might have happened if this event or that individual had been different.

UB: How big do you consider is the link between baseball and American history? Explain.

Baseball has helped to explain America in all its contradictions, especially in the years when nearly all Americans, no matter their political convictions, could agree that baseball somehow represented THEM.

UB: What event do you think better illustrates this bond?

Race is the central issue in America’s history, and in baseball’s. Baseball has generally advanced the cause of tolerance and cooperation before the nation has done so.

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Originally published: November 28, 2016. Last Updated: November 28, 2016.