This study examines the creation of Cleveland's positive civic image through the presence of the Cleveland Indians in the immediate postwar years. Each chapter suggests how baseball and the Cleveland Indians played an important role in Cleveland's transition to postwar prosperity. The postwar Cleveland Indians became a symbol of Cleveland's perceived return to glory and were an important element in reviving a positive civic image. The first chapter examines Cleveland's history from its beginning through the immediate postwar years. The chapter presents postwar Cleveland as a city determined to return to the national prominence it held prior to the Great Depression, and concludes by suggesting that the Cleveland Indians were helpful in that endeavor. Chapter Two provides a history of baseball in Cleveland and most importantly examines how the postwar success of the Cleveland Indians was instrumental in reviving a positive civic image after World War II. The third chapter analyzes Bill Veeck's immeasurable impact on the city of Cleveland during his three and a half years as owner of the Cleveland Indians, from 1946 to 1949. Through gutsy personnel decisions and whacky promotional gimmicks, Veeck created an environment at the ballpark that attracted fans in record numbers. At the same time, he put together the most successful teams in the history of the franchise, culminating in a World Series Championship in 1948. Finally, Chapter Four examines how certain changes in postwar America's media landscape increased the role that sport and baseball played in unifying Americans in the aftermath of World War II.
Van Horn, Gregory, "Baseball and American Society Following World War II: An Examination of the Cleveland Indians As a Reflection of Baseball's Larger Role in Postwar American Society" (2012). Senior Independent Study Theses. Paper 3823.
American Popular Culture | United States History
Bachelor of Arts
Senior Independent Study Thesis
© Copyright 2012 Gregory Van Horn