History of Baseball

By: RecruitCity

Baseball is often referred to as the Great American Pastime and it is funny to think that the exact history of baseball is vastly unknown. General historians mostly believe that it is roughly based on an English game called rounders. The game grew in popular in the north east around the late 1700's and early 1800's. The precise name of the sport had adjusted several times from "base", to "roundball" to "cricket" throughout the beginnings of baseball history.

At that same timeframe of the early nineteenth century a number of cities began to form teams and leagues. The sport began to grow in popularity enough that the players and patrons of the game decided that they really needed to formalize the specifics of the game. So in 1845 Alexander Cartwright began formulating a list of rules that all teams are to follow by and ironically enough a number of those rules are still followed today. Cartwright is believed to have been the actual founder of the game and not Abner Doubleday say baseball historians. Cartwright was a fireman that formulated the basic premise of the sport and is credited with creating the first teams that used to play in New York with other fireman. He was credited with forming the Knickerbockers Baseball Club which sculpted baseball history. He then decided to follow the riches of the California Gold Mine and began spreading the game westward. His travels helped to expand this new game throughout the country.

The very first game of record actually took place a year after Cartwright developed his team in 1846. Ironically his team the Knickerbockers lost to the Baseball Club in a game at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, NJ. As word spread of this interesting game it became more popular and began to have many more participants. So in the 1850's a number of teams in the northeast came together to discuss rules and expanding the game and in 1858 they created the National Assoc. of Baseball Players, which is recognized as the first baseball league ever created in the history of baseball.

The sport blossomed in the late 1850's as membership grew from 100 to over 400 teams and then the Civil War came about. The 1860's civil war time decimated the interest in baseball as there was obviously no time for baseball. Yet, interestingly enough baseball began to travel to other areas throughout the country. Once the war ended the sport began to blossom again. Teams grew and cities throughout the country began to take interest and began to play one another.
The NABP was initially supposed to only be comprised of amateur athletes but like any sport it became very competitive and the best players were compensated which obviously has stood the time of baseball history. The sport began to change in 1869 when the Cincinnati Red Stockings (soon to be the Cincinnati Reds) decided to become the first professional team and pay there players. The Wright brothers who owned the team decided to recruit the best talent from around the country and they challenged all comers. They were so good that they went 65 and 0. With such little competition the idea of creating a completely professional league was sparked and in 1871 the National Association was developed.
Then in 1876 the National League was created as the National Association was dissolved. The National League which is still in existence today had a stronghold on all the major cities of the time and maintained the best players. In the early 1900's the American and National league were formed which as we all know still remains. These changes in the 1900's established the two leagues, the world series and established player contracts. The history of baseball had firmly been formed and was well on its way to establishing itself as the Great American Pastime.

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