When I think of the sport of baseball bringing people together, my mind is drawn to the Boston Bombing. I remember David Ortiz giving a speech to the crowd after the bombers had been caught, and as a resident of the state seeing how much that meant to the people of Boston. After the two readings we did this week, it seems like baseball and pride have intersected many times throughout history, with it being the thread that bonded the people together during political uncertainty. Chapter One of Raceball touched upon the influence of baseball in Cuba during and after it was a colony of Spain, giving insight into why the sport was important during this time, as well as how it intersects with race. The article Play Ball! The Gómez Dictatorship and the Development of Baseball in Venezuela, 1909–1935 explained the role of dictators and militarism in the sport of baseball as well as its origins and history. Although these two readings talk about different countries, both show similarities by showing the reader that baseball helped citizens forget about the issues their countries were facing. Both readings also make the point of conveying how powerful the sport was by conveying that leaders would ban the sport in a response to citizens acting out against their authority.

The article on Venezuela did a great job of balancing context with history. The author made it extremely easy for the reader to understand certain events throughout the history of Venezuela while still explaining how baseball fits into that narrative. As someone who does not know a lot about the sport, just from this article I could tell family or friends about the topic without feeling like I am missing blips.  Due to how the article was structured, and the way the author wrote the article, the main theme I gathered from it was how baseball and militarism intersected during the 19th and 20th centuries, and how the sport was a way for the people to forget the political climate they were facing. Although I feel as though the author’s ideas were easy to follow, I do feel like it was a bit messy in its delivery. The first two parts both introduced the reason for the article, explaining Venezuela’s economic and political history as well as the dictators who led during the 20th century. Where it feels messy to me is when the author begins to jump around the timeline and return to facts the reader was introduced to before. I think the article would have been more easy to follow for someone who doesn’t know a lot about Venezuela for it to be just chronological, but I do think this point should not overshadow how well this article connects dictators and baseball.