Baseball is America’s favorite game, played and loved by adults and kids alike. The game is not only tied to the people, but also the history of the country. Often known as America’s National Pastime, the game has played a critical role in shaping the United States. Baseball is believed to have originated from England as a game known as “rounders” and later gained popularity among Americans in the 1900s, which made the game become one of the most popular sports of all time. It is one of the sports that many people spend time to watch, bet and also support the sport in other means. It is now one of the favorite sports not only in US but globally.
The History of Baseball
During the early 19th century, towns in America formed teams, and in 1845, Alexander Cartwright came up with the formal rules that guide all the teams. In 1846, the first baseball was played in Hoboken at the Elysian Fields, and Knickerbockers, Cartwright’s team, was defeated by the New York Club. Subsequent games became more frequent and popular. In 1857, the amateur teams met in a convention, which was attended delegates representing 25 teams to discuss the issues affecting the baseball game. The convention was followed by the formation of the National Association of Baseball Players, promising a brighter future for the baseball league.
During the 1860s, when the US was facing great turmoil because of the Civil War, the number of teams participating in baseball dropped dramatically. But Union soldiers took an interest in the game and carried it to other regions. Once the war was over, many people gained interest in playing baseball than before, with over 100 clubs participating in the annual convention held in 1868. The following year saw new dawn when the Cincinnati Red Stockings became a professional team, winning 65 games. In turn, amateur teams fade away as their best players joined professional teams.
Professional Baseball in the Making
The existence of the National Baseball Association was short-lived due to gambling. In 1875, the Association was replaced by the National League, which established policies on game schedules, ticket prices, and player contracts. However, the National league faced several challenges in the subsequent years, including the American League, which kicked off in 1901 and the Federal League that established itself in 1914.
In 1919, America’s baseball saw the rise of a new legend, George “Babe” Ruth, who became a tremendous hitter for the New York team. Jackie Robinson, another legend, joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947, breaking racial segregation in the games. And over time, major league owners agreed to expand, which meant more teams and stiffer baseball competitions.
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