Bartlett Giamatti: A Brief Biography

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A. Bartlett Giamatti
A. Bartlett “Bart” Giamatti was a scholar, educator and president of Yale University who in his later years became the seventh commissioner of Major League Baseball. Angelo Bartlett Giamatti was born on April 4, 1938 in South Hadley, Massachusetts, near Mount Holyoke College, where his father, Valentine Giamatti, founded the departments of Italian and Spanish languages and literature. His paternal grandfather, Angelo Giamatti, emigrated from Italy and entered Ellis Island around 1900. His mother, Mary Claybaugh Walton, attended Andover and Harvard College. His wife, Toni Smith, taught English at the Hopkins School in New Haven. Giamatti graduated from South Hadley High School, Andover Academy and Yale University. He stayed in New Haven to receive his doctorate in 1964 and to become a professor of English. He showed his good sense of humor while serving as master of the Ezra Stiles College at
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Ironically, Pete Rose, whom Giamatti would later banish from the sport, was the leading hitter in the series, hitting .370. Giamatti later wrote that the game broke his heart, because “it was meant to foster in me again the illusion that there was something abiding, some pattern and some impulse that could come together to make a reality that would resist the corrosion; and because, after it had fostered again that most hungered-for illusion, the game was meant to stop, and betray precisely what it promised.” The theme of heartbreak was repeated in Giamatti’s essay “The Green Fields of the Mind.” “It begins in the spring,” he wrote, “when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall
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