Essay about Analysis on a Chapter of Zeiler

Submitted By gotasiann
Words: 1107
Pages: 5

Written by Thomas W. Zeiler, a professor of history at the University of Colorado, Boulder, the book Ambassadors in Pinstripes connects Albert Spalding’s world tour with the imperial expansion of the United States. Focusing on the first chapter titled, “Marketing: Albert Spalding’s Chicago” it is clear that Spalding, like the United States shared a similar view on expanding his empire. Zeiler’s thesis for this first chapter is simple. Albert Spalding’s wide array of intense self-promotion and marketing mixed with his understanding of business aided in the rise of baseball. According to Zeiler, this can be attributed to Spalding’s venerable reputation and demeanor, the profiteering of Chicago, and his monopolizing of the baseball industry, and his world tour. In turn, as America was developing baseball became a national pastime, the national economy was expanding, and the globalization of American commerce was imminent. By directly linking Spalding’s involvement with the sport to the circumstances of the 19th century, it is evident that he “capitalized on the process of globalization” (Zeiler, 32). In describing Spalding, Zeiler recounts his early life, successes, and endeavors. Zeiler explains that Spalding achieved his fortune and reputation from his respectable behavior. He states, “he also gained a reputation for proper conduct off the field – an oddity for a sport plagued by gamblers, drinkers, and spitting” (Zeiler, 11). This paid off. Spalding was rewarded for carrying himself in such a distinguished matter and was paid the top club’s top salary of $2,000 (Zeiler, 11). Pg2000000 It is clear that Spalding was intelligent. The way he carried himself early in his career was a step in the direction of a future in professionalism. By starting his career in Chicago, Spalding made his first business decision. In regards to factors that effected the industrialization and opportunity of Chicago, trade had exceeded $1.1 billion and the population of the city was nearing one million (Zeiler, 5). Described by Zeiler as a commercial center, “linked to the world by the modern accoutrements of transport and communications that typified the late nineteenth-century period of globalization,” Chicago was the perfect opportunity for Spalding to make something of himself (Zeiler, 4). So he did. “A year after capitalizing it in Chicago with his brother, J. Walter, Albert had made so much money that he could easily give up active work on the diamond” (Zeiler, 13). However, he did not retire, and instead went on to create a monopoly in the baseball industry. His company became the largest sporting goods commercial store in America. He created and sold the league-endorsed Spalding’s Official Baseball Guide. He manufactured baseball equipment and became its chief purveyor. He got exclusive rights to create uniforms for the league. He sold the infamous baseball cap (Zeiler, 13-14). He dominated the market; and, “established a national retail and wholesale marketing network that distributed the company’s lines in nearly three dozen American cities and six foreign ones, including Cairo, Egypt” (Zeiler, 14-15). This immense expansion of his company presented the valuable opportunities that globalization gave to him (Zeiler, 14). Nonetheless, Spalding was a businessman and continued to expand. He continued his enterprise by gaining and holding the power of gate receipts, experimenting with ways to better the game, and contributing to the “reserve” clause (Zeiler, 15-16). Eventually Spalding went on to plan and execute his world tour. His goal was to draw attention to the game, make business contacts, and further establish his standing as the spokesman for the sport (Zeiler, 20-22). Zeiler explains that public opinion was supportive of Spalding, and that he had linked business and sports with American character and customs. This link made clear that the expansion of baseball would directly influence globalization (Zeiler, 21). It