Baseball is much more than a game. As the American national pastime, it has reflected the political and cultural concerns of US society for over 200 years, and generates passions and loyalties unique in American society. This Companion examines baseball in culture, baseball as culture, and the game's global identity. Contributors contrast baseball's massive, big-business present with its romanticized origins and its evolution against the backdrop of American and world history. The chapters cover topics such as baseball in the movies, baseball and mass media, and baseball in Japan and Latin America. Between the chapters are vivid profiles of iconic characters including Babe Ruth, Ichiro and Walter O'Malley. Crucial moments in baseball history are revisited, ranging from the 1919 Black Sox gambling scandal to recent controversies over steroid use. A unique book for fans and scholars alike, this Companion explains the enduring importance of baseball in America and beyond.