American Innings: History Through the Eyes of Baseball
Welcome to American Innings, an extensive collection of baseball history, interviews, stories and more, created to engage and educate adults and youth through a unique perspective on American history.
Marty Lurie, beloved and respected baseball historian and sports radio personality, brings history to life through the game of baseball. Marty’s unparalleled knowledge of the game, and his rapport with the entire baseball community, allow him to delve into the deep cultural connection between America’s pastime and America’s history. American Innings will curate Marty’s thousands of hours of recorded interviews with baseball greats and place it in the context of American history for all to learn from and enjoy.
Respected throughout baseball—from players to executives, umpires, ushers and everyday enthusiasts—Marty’s accessible, patient and passionate approach to baseball captivates fans of all ages. Please join American Innings on our journey through history through the eyes of baseball.
Baseball and Barbed Wire
World War II’s forced relocation of 120,000 law abiding Japanese American citizens into concentration camps remains a blot on American history. Although stripped of their possessions, livelihoods, and civil rights, these Americans refused to give up their pride, their culture, their commitment to family and their dignity. And, they refused to give up baseball.
The Japanese American prisoners brought a love of the game and a long tradition of baseball with them to the camps. Some knew how to build and irrigate the baseball fields. Others were experienced semi-pro managers or players. Women and men, boys and girls alike played baseball or softball. Teams and leagues were formed. With great ingenuity, even uniforms and equipment were cobbled together. And everybody was a fan.
Crime of the Big Leagues: Lester Rodney
A mini-doc about Lester Rodney, the unsung hero who helped desegregate Major League Baseball Narrated by baseball legends Vida Blue and Marty Lurie
We know a lot about how major league baseball was strictly segregated before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947. But strangely, few of us know much about the decade-long, fierce, organized efforts to bring that about. Lester Rodney, sports editor and writer for New York’s Communist Party newspaper The Daily Worker, made it his crusade beginning in 1936. This riveting 10-minute film, much of it in Lester Rodney’s own words, tells about the man, his passion for baseball, why he fought for equal treatment of “Negro” ball players, and his perspective on the far reaching impact of baseball’s desegregation.
Enjoy this eye-opening mini-documentary about Lester Rodney (1911-2009), the unsung hero who helped desegregate Major League Baseball, narrated by baseball legends Vida Blue and Marty Lurie.
Baseball Stories, Trivia and History
With over 4,000 hours of interviews conducted over two decades, and more being done each season, Marty has amassed a wealth of fascinating stories, trivia and baseball history to share with the world.
Events on the baseball field mirror major events in American culture and history. On deck is our educational curriculum, designed to engage youth in a study of American history from the viewpoint of home plate.
A sought-after speaker, Marty takes history on the road and entertains and educates audiences of all ages with his deep knowledge of the game, combined with his extraordinary storytelling skill.
Special thanks to our Founding Partners, the San Francisco Giants.
The generosity of the Giants organization has enabled American Innings to share Marty Lurie’s extensive library with educators and the public. This unique partnership also supports the development of new programs connecting baseball with American history and delighting audiences across the country and around the world.
"In our 60 years in San Francisco, bottom line is, nothing really happened until Marty. We didn’t win a Game 7 in the World Series, we didn’t do any of that until Marty showed up in 2010, so thanks for showing up. Thanks for all the great work you do."
Larry Baer, CEO, San Francisco Giants
American Innings promotes awareness of the connection between baseball and American society, using Marty Lurie’s extensive array of oral histories to illustrate how every facet of U.S. history is reflected in America’s game.
Listen to Ken Korach, Oakland A’s Broadcaster