In the first chapter of his 1975 book SportsWorld, which considers the role of sports in American culture, Lipsyte points out that he did not even attend his first major league baseball game until he was thirteen years old, despite the fact that there were three major league teams in New York: the Yankees, the Giants, and the Dodgers. Lipsyte says he was "profoundly disappointed" with the experience and went to only one more game "as a paying customer." His third major league game was as a sports reporter for the New York Times. As a boy, Lipsyte did play Chinese handball against the sides of brick buildings and participated in street games such as stickball, but he felt pressured by society to be good at sports. This experience later developed into a major theme in some of Lipsyte's nonfiction works such as SportsWorld and novels like
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