Note: This is the second part of the paper I presented at the 2012 Rhetoric Society of America conference in Philadelphia.
Looking at the obituaries for Ted Williams, in relation to other baseball players who lost parts of their careers to military service, we can see that the focus, as of 2002, rested on his military service as well as his baseball accomplishments. For example, obituaries and statements about Larry Doby, who passed away almost one year after Williams, June 18, 2003, understandably focused on the fact that he became the second African American player in Major League Baseball, and the first in the American League. The New York Times gives one small paragraph to Doby’s military service, only saying, “He often spoke of how stunned and embarrassed he was when he arrived for training upon induction into the Navy in 1944 only to be segregated from whites he had played with and even served as captain for on teams while growing up.”
Note: I presented this paper at the 2012 Rhetoric Society of America conference in Philadelphia.
“The country lost a great American today.” This statement from the USA Today‘s obituary of Ted Williams, who died on July 5, 2002, almost one year after September 11 and the beginning of the “War on Terror,” serves as a reminder that sports plays an integral role rhetorically in our national lives. One need to only recall he cancellation of sporting events and the debates about when and how sports, specifically baseball, should resume after the events of September 11, 2001. When baseball did return, on September 17, in presented an arena for national identity during a time of crisis. Baseball has always had a strong connection to democracy and national identity. Connie Mack called it “democracy in action,” and Tom Brokaw sad, “Baseball has an enduring connection to the idea of America because it really is an extension of democracy.” George W. Bush, when welcoming the 2004 Boston Red Sox to the White House after their first World Series win in 86 years, pointed out the democracy apparent in baseball when he said, “This is a heck of a team. This is a team that came together from South Korea and the Dominican Republic, from Anchorage, Alaska, Fort Riley, Kansas, and incredibly enough, Midland, Texas.”
Today, I’m going to wrap up my discussion of identity in G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona’s Ms. Marvel: No Normal by looking at some panels from the issues #3 and #4 of the volume. Specifically, I want to look at the scene with Kamala in the girls’ locker room at her school and the scene when the police arrive at the Circle Q. Each of these scenes continue to show Kamala struggling with her identity and the perceptions that others place upon her.