History of Baseball

History of Baseball

As America’s national sport, Baseball used to be merely an American pastime. Actually, it is a way of living for Americans and part of their culture and tradition. It is also a kind of sport that everyone can play regardless of age. Seeing how the game evolved despite all the challenges is something Americans can be proud of.

Tracing the origins: exploring the rich history of baseball.
Tracing the origins: exploring the rich history of baseball.

Origins of Baseball

Its origins go way back to 1744. In the book, A Little Pretty Pocket Book, baseball was referred to as “base-ball”. This publication by John Newbery was about a bat and a ball game that involved bases.

The book quickly gained fame in the United Kingdom. Then, its popularity spread abroad, eventually landing in the States. This game was brought to North America by immigrants coming from England.

A few years later, there were various publications containing references to similar games with bases. Yet, it was The Boy’s Own Book that fully explained a game of rounders. This is basically modern-day baseball.

However, there is a minor difference in gameplay. In rounders, when the batted ball is still infield, the fielder has to throw that ball at the runner. Other than that, every detail screams baseball.

Robin Carver, the author of The Book of Sports, gave the first American account of rounders. He also credited The Boy’s Own Book as its inspiration and reference. Thus, he named the game baseball.

Early Baseball Games

The year was 1845 when the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club created the first set of rules for the game. Spearheaded by Alexander Cartwright, they adapted the regulations for rounders except for one. You must simply tag runners instead of hitting them with the batted ball. Because of this, they shifted to the use of harder balls in games.

This generated a lot of buzz, resulting in two versions of the game during the American Civil War. Its Massachusetts version used softballs. On the other hand, the New York game utilized hard balls. The latter became more popular. Due to these changes, the club eventually revised its rules.

Since the sport was growing bigger, clubs formed the National Association of Baseball Players. As more states got interested, baseball swept the country like wildfire. It became the nation’s favourite hobby.

Professional Level Baseball

As soon as baseball took off, many business entrepreneurs saw its potential commercially, just like William Cammeyer. He built an entire baseball field and sold tickets for admission. Competitions in the industry replicated this. Thus, the beginning of professional baseball was in 1865.

Teams employed skilled players to be part of their games. Cincinnati Red Stockings became the very first all-professional team in baseball history. Amateurs of the National Association of Baseball Players began to abandon ship and accepted offers to play for other professional teams.

The formation of leagues brought the sport to new heights. Handled by different associations, this gave rise to legendary teams. This led to baseball’s golden age in the 1920s.

All those years, baseball produced larger-than-life athletes. The most iconic of them all was Babe Ruth, “The Great Bambino”. Not only did he elevate baseball’s level of sports, but he saved it from ruin.

The Future Of Baseball

Just like other sports, baseball needs to continuously evolve. It has to remain relevant and further improve its quality. To keep the interest of viewers, having pitch clocks will limit the game’s length. This is to avoid unnecessary delays and prevent games to go on for hours.

Another innovation is the utilization of technologically-assisted umpires that can fix disputes using cutting-edge cameras and computers. Lastly, companies can try to improve the overall stadium experience of the audience, even at the convenience of their own home.

With the use of virtual reality goggles, spectators will feel the intensity in the field. Fans can enjoy the game to the fullest. These companies will be selling not just tickets, but a whole new experience as well.