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The National Game. Three "Outs" and One "Run".

Louis Maurer1860

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Historical Society of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, United States

Baseball serves as a metaphor for the presidential election of 1860, in this cartoon, which provides a prime example of sports metaphors in politics. Successful candidate Abraham Lincoln, standing at home base, has scored a run, while unsuccessful presidential candidates John Bell, Stephen A. Douglas, and John C. Breckinridge have struck out, and Breckinridge has been sprayed by a skunk. Each of the players wears a belt emblazoned with the name of his team; instead of the names of actual baseball clubs from the 1860s, however, these are team names that reflect their political goals and personalities. Each also holds a bat labeled with a phrase that hints at their policies and tactics (instead of a baseball bat, Lincoln holds a fence rail). This pro-Lincoln cartoon implies that Lincoln's bat, labeled "Equal Rights and Free Territory," and his "team" of supporters, the "Wide Awakes," ensure his victory in the game, as well as in the election.

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