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BAS 101 — Baseball: Inside America's Game

Quarter: Spring
Day(s): Mondays
Course Format: On-campus
Duration: 9 weeks
Date(s): Apr 9—Jun 11
Time: 7:00—8:50 pm
Drop Deadline: Apr 22
Unit: 1
Tuition: $420
Instructor(s): Gary Cavalli
Status: Open
Please Note: No class on May 28
7:00—8:50 pm
Apr 9—Jun 11
9 weeks
Drop By
Apr 22
1 Unit
Gary Cavalli
Please Note: No class on May 28
Back by popular demand, this course is for anyone who has ever loved, played, or been intrigued by our national pastime. As every fan knows, baseball is more than a game. The most traditional, numbersoriented, and nostalgia-inducing of our major sports, it offers a reprieve from the fast-moving digital world, a fantasyland for statisticians, an instrument for social change, heroes to admire, and memories to last a lifetime. Students in this course will spend time in the company of baseball insiders, taking an informative, in-depth, and entertaining look at America’s game. Each week, guest speakers will look at baseball from a different perspective. Topics will include the life and times of an umpire; a player’s life (during and after the career); how to build a team, a fan base, and a new ballpark; the x’s and o’s of scouting; the influence of analytics; the business of baseball; the challenges of the college game; the experiences of the beat writer and columnist; an agent’s perspective—what it’s like to represent a player and negotiate contracts with pro teams; and much more.

The Bay Area is home not only to multiple World Series Championship teams, but also to a disproportionate number of baseball experts.

Scheduled speakers and lectures include:

  • "A Player’s Life in the Big Leagues and Post-retirement" with Rich Aurilia, former San Francisco Giants infielder, 15-year MLB veteran and All-Star

  • “College Baseball: Challenges and Opportunities" with Dave Esquer, Stanford’s new head baseball coach

  • “Building a Team, a Fan Base and a New Ballpark" with Dave Kaval, president of the Oakland A’s

  • "Balls & Strikes: Experiences of a Major League Umpire" with Ed Montague, a Major League umpire for thirty-four years and crew chief in four World Series

  • “A Half Century of Bird Dogging Baseball Talent” with Gary Hughes, legendary Major League scout

  • "The Business of Baseball" with Roger Noll, Professor of Economics, Emeritus, at Stanford and an expert on sports business

  • "Baseball’s Hot Button Issues” with Bruce Jenkins, sports columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle

  • "The Baseball Beat: Covering a Major League Team and the World Series" with Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle A’s beat writer and past president of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America

  • “The Agent’s Perspective: The Care and Feeding of a Baseball Player” with Matt Sosnick, President of Sosnick, Cobbe and Karon

Grade restriction: No letter grade

Gary Cavalli, Former Stanford Sports Information Director and Associate Athletic Director; Co-Founder and Executive Director, Foster Farms Bowl (Retired)

Gary Cavalli has over forty years of experience in professional and college sports administration. In 2016, he received the inaugural Legacy Award from the Football Bowl Association for his contributions to college football. Cavalli was co-founder and CEO of the American Basketball League, a women’s professional league, and sports information director and associate athletic director at Stanford. He is the author of the book Stanford Sports, and co-executive producer of the documentary, Disposable Heroes. A diehard New York Yankees fan while growing up in New Jersey, Cavalli’s baseball career peaked in Little League. He later played twenty-four years of adult softball in Palo Alto leagues and coached youth baseball and softball for twenty-one years.

Textbooks for this course:

(Recommended) Susan Slusser, 100 Things A's Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die (ISBN 978-1629370682)