Duke Ellington and band members playing baseball in front of their segregated motel ("Astor Motel") while touring in Florida.
Charlotte Brooks, photographer, LOOK Magazine Photograph Collection, Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division

When you hear the word swing, do you think of baseball or jazz?  This week Wright State University will host the first national conference to explore the connections:  “The Sultans of Swing: 100 Years of Baseball, Jazz, and Short Fiction”.  In the early 20th century, African Americans took great pride in baseball’s Negro Leagues and famous jazz musicians, but they still lived with segregation.  David Seitz traces this history in our latest Culture Couch story.   

Rockyobody and Adam Dunn: Wikimedia Commons

Ken Griffey Jr. has been elected to the baseball Hall of Fame with the highest voting percentage ever, and Mike Piazza also is headed to Cooperstown.
Jeff Bagwell and Tim Raines fell short in results announced Wednesday.
A star slugger of the Steroids Era never tainted by accusations of drug use, Griffey was on 437 of 440 votes in his first appearance on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot. His 99.3 percentage topped Tom Seaver's 98.84 in 1992.
Piazza, on the ballot for the fourth time, received 365 votes.

Baseball is a sport that is obsessed with statistics. Baseball statisticians measure and quantify almost every possible aspect of how the game is played. But there are some things that cannot be measured with numbers.  In "Intangiball - the Subtle Things That Win Baseball Games" Lonnie Wheeler explores these mysterious aspects of the game and studies certain players of the past and present who seem to have possessed these unmeasurable attributes which have allowed them to excel beyond any statistician's quantifiable predictions of how the sport can be played.

John VanderHaagen / Flickr Creative Commons

Baseball's All Star Game comes to Cincinnati on Tuesday, and controversial Reds legend Pete Rose is scheduled to be on the field.  This spring, Rose applied to the commissioner of Major League Baseball for re-instatement, 26 years after he was banned from baseball for gambling. Community Voices producer Dave Barber explores baseball's complicated relationship with the man known as The Hit King.

courtesy of Mad River Theater Works

At the start of the summer of 1947, television was brand new, the sound barrier had not been broken, and baseball was a white man’s game. By the time the fall arrived, all that had changed. President Truman addressed the nation for the first time on TV, Chuck Yeager flew faster than any man ever had, and Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play major league baseball. 

Clark County is getting a new amateur minor league baseball franchise. The team will be known as the Champion City Kings and will play a 60 game schedule starting in June of 2014, with 30 home games scheduled for Springfield's Carleton Davidson Stadium.

The Champion City name comes from the 1800s, when Springfield's Glessner Company manufactured Champion brand farm equipment.

Bill Veeck was one of the most fascinating figures in baseball history. Veeck owned a number of baseball teams over his long career. He was a shameless promoter who changed the way that our American pastime is presented.

Street & Smith’s SportsBusiness Journal announced Wednesday that the Boston Bruins have been selected as Professional Sports Team of the Year.  The Dayton Dragons were one of five finalists for the award and the first minor league team ever selected as a finalist.

Paul Dickson has written a number of books about baseball. Weighing in at approximately four pounds and almost 1000 pages in length, the revised and updated Dickson Baseball Dictionary has just been re-issued in paperback.

In this interview Dickson explains why baseball continually generates a seemingly endless variety of imaginative words, descriptive phrases, and unique verbal expressions. Words like: "bopper" (a home run hitter), "foozler" (a lucky base hit), and "screwjack" (a player who is notoriously

George Vecsey has been writing about baseball for 50 years. When he was a kid Vecsey rooted for the Brooklyn Dodgers. The St. Louis Cardinals had a hitting star then, a fellow named Stan Musial. They called him "Stan the Man." Vecsey has fond memories of those Dodger/Cardinal games of the 1940's and '50's.

Vecsey's new biography of Musial reveals the story of Musial's humble origins in a steel mill town in Pennsylvania. We learn how Musial achieved fame yet never lost his sense of kinship with ordinary people.