Nineteen essays by Briley focus on major league baseball as it reflected the changing American culture from about 1945 to about 1980. He examines the era through the lens of race, gender and class - categories which have increasingly become essential analytical tools for scholars.
The accounts of Roman Mejias and Cesar Cedeno offer some disturbing insights regarding the acceptance of Latinos in baseball and American society. In one essay, Briley refers to baseball as the heart of the nation's democratic spirit, noting that the son of a rural farmer could play alongside a governor's son and both would receive only the praise that their playing merited. However, in writing about the Milwaukee Braves'move to Atlanta, the lamentations of fans - that baseball had succumbed to the age of affluence - are compared to the changing patterns of demographics and economic power in American society. Even with the increased participation of women on the field with teams like the Silver Bullets, the final essay comments on organized baseball's perception of them as primarily spectators.