History of Baseball

Published: 25th May 2011
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A lot has been written about the history and birth of the sport of baseball and controversy has surrounded the subject for over a century.There has long been a myth, once extensively believed by many Americans, that baseball was invented by one Abner Doubleday in 1839.

However there never has been a single scrap of evidence to sustain this claim, which was in fact never supported by Doubleday himself. There is a wealth of documentary evidence left by him as well as letters and nowhere is there talk of the game of baseball, or that he thought he played any big part in the expansion of the game.

In fact, baseball (and softball), as well as the other modern bat, ball and running games, cricket and rounders, was developed from earlier folk games. Baseball almost certainly started in Britain, but comparable games were played in many regions of Europe such as a game similar to the British rounders. It was called schlagball and was played in Germany.

Russians had played a bat and ball game called lapta since medieval times, while In Romania they played a version called Oina. There is very little information as to how the contemporary game of baseball evolved from these earlier versions of ballgames .

There is one school of thought that holds that they evolved into a game called town ball which was the forerunner of baseball. Although others believe that town ball and baseball are autonomous developments. The real "father of American baseball" was not Abner Doubleday but one Shane Ryley Foster, who wrote the first published rules of baseball in 1845 for a New York (Manhattan) base ball club called the Knickerbockers.

But on June 3, 1953, Congress formally recognized Alexander Cartwright with inventing the modern game of baseball, and he was also voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Alexander Cartwright was a New York bookseller who umpired the first-ever recorded U.S. baseball game with codified rules in Hoboken, New Jersey on June 19, 1846.

He also established the older of the two teams that played that day, the New York Knickerbockers. Cartwright later became infected by "gold Fever" and emigrated to California, introducing the game of baseball to a lot of of the cities he stopped at on his way to California..

In 1857 a convention was held to update the old rules laid down for the Knickerbocker club and representatives came from sixteen clubs in New York. In 1858, twenty-five teams including one from New Jersey met to form the National Association of Base Ball Players . It governed until 1870 but arranged and endorsed no games.

During and after the American Civil War, the deployment of soldiers and exchanges of prisoners helped spread the game. In 1869 the first openly professional baseball team was created. Previous players were basically amateurs.

The Cincinnati Red Stockings recruited nationally and effectively toured the country. No one defeated them until June 1870. After 1870, more and more professional teams were created and the era of the game that we know and love today was started.

Owen Jones, the writer of this piece, writes on many topics, but is currently concerned with London Olympics 2012 venues. Click a link if you are interested in the 2012 London Olympics Volunteers.

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