From: Jordan Stein
John, I think that there is definately a connection between
baseball and mythology. First of all in baseball, as in mythology, there
are absolute good guys and bad guys, and only one side can triumph.
Because only only one team can triumph, the ideology of success through
competition gets reinforced. I also think that the appeal of baseball has
to do with the fact that baseball is seen as representing something truly
american, whose continuity is rooted in a time before we were born. I
would argue that mythology also has this function.
The value of athletic competition is also something which we have
carried over from the ancient greek culture, and that could be another
example of the tie- in to greek mythology. In a sense we also deify our
athletes, seeing them as people who somehow transcend the average. Sports,
like mythology, has heroes.
I think one reason baseball movies have been popular, is because
film itself is our mythology. Film in this culture reinforces, and has
helped to create, many of our taken for granted attitudes toward the world.
It would be interesting to compare and contrast the heroes of our films
with the heroes in mythology.
As an aside, the first episode of Star Trek DS-9 proposes the
argument that baseball reinforces the notion of linear time. Do Classical
Hollywood films do the same thing?