Where were courses like this when I was in college?

April 21, 2012

My daughter attends NYU, which is where I eventually learned of this course taught by the school’s president, John Sexton, during a Parent’s Weekend last fall. “Baseball as a Road to God” is this subject of a front page story in today’s New York Times.

Wearing a Jackie Robinson Brooklyn Dodgers jersey, John Sexton led a discussion in his class, "Baseball as a Road to God." (Photo by Chang W. Lee/NY Times)

Hoping to sit in on one of the sessions, I became engaged in a brief become an e-mail correspondence with Sexton. He was kind enough to provide the course syllabus, which included a list of the books he uses featuring, among others:

The Iowa Baseball Confederacy, W.P. Kinsella

The Celebrant, Eric Rolfe Greenberg

Baseball: A Literary Anthology, Nicholas Dawidoff, editor, “God’s Country and Mine” Jacques Barzun, author

The Natural, Bernard Malamud

A Great and Glorious Game, A. Bartlett Giamatti

The Art of Fielding, Chad Harbach, author

The Universal Baseball Association, Robert Coover

Baseball: A Literary Anthology: Gay Talese’s “The Silent Season of a Hero”

Take Me Out, Richard Greenberg

Further Adventures of Slugger McBatt,” W.P. Kinsella, “Distances”

Greatest Baseball Stories Ever Told: Red Barber’s “On Jackie Robinson”

The Joy of Sports: Michael Novak’s “Sacred Space, Sacred Time”

Why Time Begins on Opening Day: Thomas Boswell’s “Why Time Begins on Opening Day”

Baseball: A Literary Anthology: Don DeLillo’s “Underworld”

The Fireside Book of Baseball: John Updike’s “Tao in the Yankee Stadium Bleachers”

 Snow in August, Pete Hamill

Wait ‘til Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin

Praying for Gil Hodges, Tom Oliphant

Still hoping to make it there one day. Since the course is offered only in the spring, I guess it’s “wait ’til next year,” as Brooklyn Dodger fans used to say.


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