Shame on Elting E. Morison for pretending to write “Positively the Last Word on Baseball” (August/September issue). The interesting premise (not at all new, however) that baseball and American culture are inseparably linked is ruined by the author’s ridiculous support for the “orthodox” view that Abner Doubleday invented baseball. He accepts this version “because it feels right.” Oh, my.
In junior high school my history teacher taught me to look at the facts and draw historical understanding from them. It has long been apparent to students of baseball history that Abner Doubleday had nothing whatsoever to do with the origin of the game. The casually mentioned American Heritage article of three years ago (“The Man Who Didn’t Invent Baseball,” June/July 1983) is but one of dozens of fantasy-breakers in our research literature. The evidence is truly overwhelming. Perhaps Dr. Mor ison is actually connecting baseball to another aspect of the American character—the perpetuation of myth.
Meanwhile, as a charter subscriber to the “new” American Heritage in 1954, let me express my heartfelt thanks for more than thirty years of wonderful reading and viewing. I still have every issue, plus many supplementary books and materials. What do 1 do with it all?