A College Elective Red Sox Fans Can Cheer About


Colleges and universities across America require that their students take certain classes, standard curriculum to meet graduation requirements. In the mix of classes are electives, those courses which are supposed to make students’ college experience well rounded, Red Sox Nationgiving them the tools they need to succeed in life.

At Bates College — located in Lewiston, Maine — fifteen lucky freshmen are taking the class of their dreams: Red Sox Nation: Baseball and American Culture is a course that is being offered by history professor Margaret Creighton, who came up with the idea following the Red Sox’s loss to the hated New York Yankees in the 2003 American League Championship Series. The following year the Boston Red Sox won the World Series which led to the course first being offered in 2005.

Now being taught for just the second time, Creighton’s Red Sox Nation course was filled up one minute after it was made available for online registration this fall. Twelve men and three women take the weekly three hour class, wearing their Red Sox paraphernalia, eating popcorn and peanut snacks, and discussing the team’s exploits while in class.

Though the Boston Red Sox are at the centerpiece of the curriculum for the course, students take a look at major league baseball and its place in American culture in history. Specifically, Creighton requires that her students take a look at baseball’s role as it relates to politics, religion, race, and gender, an “American Cultural Studies” elective like none other.

Among the many topics that come up in class are:

  • The class differences between those fans who occupy the bleacher seats versus the people who can afford the more expensive seats located behind the dugout.
  • How baseball mirrors American immigration policy in light of the huge influx of players from Latin American countries.
  • Whether football and NASCAR have replaced baseball as the country’s top sport.
  • How has the Red Sox fan base transformed over the years? That is, from a mostly white, male northern New England following to one where women and minorities are some of the most passionate fans?

The students do take a field trip to see the Red Sox in action, supposedly to observe fan behavior as much as how the team is doing on the field.

Yes, students do receive credit for the course toward their graduation, an unusual area of study that is also near and dear to the hears of Bosox faithful.

As far as Professor Creighton’s allegiance goes? This one-time Yankees fan is now a passionate Red Sox follower.

Further Reading

Ask Me Another: Historian Margaret Creighton and the Rebirth of a Nation

Baseball course a hit at Maine college


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Categories: Academics