This guide was created to complement the American Baseball History class of Belmont University. This class falls within the relatively small history program (compared to almost eight thousand total students) with an audience that can range from baseball history enthusiast to the student hoping to fulfill a requisite. To this end, a few resources on some of the more significant aspects of baseball can be found throughout. Most of the students are upperclassmen and, as the class does not require a research paper, research done for the class is to supplement response papers and understanding of the curriculum. The institution in question does not have a dedicated history research librarian, instead dividing subjects between the five librarians on staff, so this guide is intended to introduce baseball history topics to students who may then develop further research inquiries for said librarians.
Often identified as America’s National Pastime, baseball offers parallels the social issues and concerns faced by the United States on a larger scale. This guide aims to introduce some of the key subjects within baseball history with a focus on the years between 1860 and 1920. This should provide a starting point for research and writing on the topic, as well as a deeper understanding of the history covered in the class.