Don't Bet On It... The Representation of Gambling in Baseball Cinema

Document Type


Publication Date



This paper examines the role of baseball films in the game's ideological war on gambling. While the central purpose behind baseball's strict prohibitions against gambling by players has been to protect the economic interests of team owners, the issue of gambling has been consistently presented in the game's cultural ideology as a moral issue, rather than an economic one. This process serves as a means of disciplining the baseball worker, and as a means of enhancing the game's appeal to middle‐class audiences. Baseball films have been an important site of the construction of this ideology, consistently portraying gambling as a moral transgression against the national pastime.