If a picture is worth a thousand words, then these photographs of baseball stadiums tell us a lot about changes to the game, the impact of baseball on the community, and the social context and historical time in which the game is played. This is the point of visual sociology, a field that uses visual images to study culture and society.
How do these pictures make you feel? What do they say about the cities they depict? (Hint: If they give you goosebumps or the chills or make you feel good inside, you are likely a baseball fan.) For me, seeing where baseball was once played, where Jackie Robinson made his debut, and how the game fits into the local landscape, tells me a lot about the game, the fans, and the players. It makes me feel that I am part of a tradition, linked with the past, present, and future of baseball.
So take a few minutes to look at some old baseball pics – they tell a thousand stories. What do they tell you?