Former minor leaguer George Gmelch talks about baseball’s changing culture May 13

‘Take me out to the ballgame’ has new meaning today, according to cultural anthropologist

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George Gmelch, professor of anthropology at Union College and University of San Francisco and a former minor league baseball player, will talk about the changing culture of the game during a talk at RIT May 13.

It’s long been the national pastime. But, without a doubt, baseball has changed over the years with the achievements of legends like Hank Aaron and Babe Ruth overshadowed by performance-enhancing drugs, player strikes and outrageous salary negotiations.

George Gmelch, professor of anthropology at Union College and University of San Francisco, will present “The Changing Culture of Baseball,” 4–5:30 p.m. May 13 in Eastman Hall, room 2000, Rochester Institute of Technology. Gmelch is the author of Inside Pitch: Life Inside Professional Baseball, In The Ball Park: The Working Lives of Baseball People, and editor of a volume called Baseball without Borders: The International Pastime.

“Baseball fans talk about the timelessness of their sport and its respect for tradition,” said Michael Laver, associate professor of history at RIT. “While the rules of the game remain constant, not so for its culture, as anthropologist George Gmelch discovered in returning to baseball 50 years after he first signed a minor league contract with the Detroit Tigers. In this talk, Gmelch will describe the transformation of our national pastime, of the men who play, and the game’s internationalization.”

The free talk is co-sponsored by RIT’s history department, International and Global Studies program, College of Liberal Arts, and the Conable Endowment for International Studies in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology.

For more information, contact Laver at