From Shakeia Taylor at Baseball Prospectus on February 6, 2019:
For more than a century, baseball and jazz have been a duet.
“There are only three things that America will be remembered for 2000 years from now when they study this civilization: The Constitution, Jazz music, and Baseball,” once wrote essayist Gerald Early. “These are the 3 most beautiful things this culture’s ever created.”
Both uniquely American innovations, the history of jazz and baseball are intertwined. The word ‘jazz’ got its start in baseball; it was the early-20th century baseball term for ‘pep, energy’ before it became the term for the new frenetic style of music.
The origins of the word are uncertain, but “jazz” was named the “Word of the 20th Century” by the American Dialect Society. The Oxford Dictionary says that its first known appearance is in 1912, in reference to baseball’s Pacific Coast League. Ben Henderson, a pitcher for the Portland Beavers, invented a new pitch he called the jazz ball.
Read the full article here: https://www.baseballprospectus.com/news/article/46970/prospectus-feature-baseball-and-jazz/
Originally published: February 6, 2019. Last Updated: February 6, 2019.