History of Baseball
America’s favorite pastime is the exhilarating game of baseball. Games using sticks and-balls were popular way back ancient Egypt. History showed that most cultures played some kind of stick and ball games with cricket being the most popular. It has a long and rich history. Up until now, baseball is still widely popular although some of the rules may have changed in time.
- For centuries, the origin of baseball was subject to debates and controversies. Baseball, as well as other modern bat, ball and running games, traced its development from earlier folk games in England.
- Most early games were undocumented for they were considered as peasant games that were banned and prohibited by either the church or state or both.
- It was November of 1749 that the earliest baseball game was documented that involved royalties. The Prince of Wales played the game indoors in London against Lord of Middlesex.
- The 19th century witnessed other baseball games. The first North American baseball game ever recorded in 1838, was in Beachville, Ontario – Canada.
From 1840s and 50s, Alexander J.Cartwright and Louis Fenn Wadsworth from the Knickerbocker Club of N.Y. worked for the standardization of many features and field dimensions of the game. Cartwright modifying rules were utilized by older clubs to codify fundamental rules for the game in 1845.
The initial recorded baseball contest took place a year later where Cartwright’s Knickerbockers was defeated by the Baseball Club of New York during the game played at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey. As amateur games were becoming more frequent and more popular, a convention of amateur teams was held in 1857, to discuss rules and other issues. During the 1857 convention, the modern standard rules that affected the number of players and innings were laid down by Wadsworth.
In 1900, the first Baseball Players National Association was formed. From hence on until today, the rules and game standards that they have established are still being used.
Baseball in the 20th Century
- Each team was divided into two: the National and American leagues..
- During each season, the teams played against each other within their league.
- The most victorious team in each league was awarded the “pennant”.
- Then the winners of two pennants play against each other at the end of the regular season in the World Series.
- The team that won around four of possibly 7 games played was declared champion for that year.
The present arrangement is still the same; however, it is the post season playoff series between winners of each division that decides the champion after each league and pennants are subdivided.
In 1920s, Babe Ruth (1895-1948) of the New York Yankees became a national hero on the strength of his home runs. Another most noteworthy player was Jackie Robinson (1919-1972). From Brooklyn Dodgers team, he became the first Afro-American playing in the major leagues in 1947. So many others today like Zack Greinke, Bryce Harper, Josh Donaldson and other baseball stars have gained fame and fortune in the diamond arena.
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the oldest of the four professional sports leagues in Canada and U.S. It boosts of 30 teams that plays 162 games each season culminating the World Series.
Americans love baseball as it reflects the spirit of democracy for it can be played by people regardless of height and weight. Whether you are a teen or an adult, you can definitely play baseball. There are various baseball teams for all ages and for women. Over the years, baseball has become a fun and a more competitive sport. Even if you are playing the sport as a recreational activity, you need to constantly workout in order to be physically fit and you have to regularly practice in order to acquire more skills and techniques. With all the benefits that you can get in playing baseball, everyone is encourage to learn and to know more about the sport. Apart from the United States, baseball is also widely played in various countries around the world like Russia, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, South Korea, among many others.