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The History and Origin of Baseball
Baseball is truly an American sport. Some European countries had games similar to baseball, such as England's cricket and Russia's lapta, but the baseball Americans play today was created in America. The game has evolved a bit through the years and has certainly grown in popularity since its beginning in the 19th century, but the spirit and essence of the game will always stay the same.
Baseball originated from a game with a few different names: round ball, town ball, base, and goal ball. This game was first introduced in print in the late 1827, but it was being played by Americans prior to that time. This print version talked about separate teams, four bases arranged in a diamond shape, and the act of getting home and out, which are the basics of the game. Shortly after the first baseball club was formed.
The game first entered US newspapers in 1845. However, the first known written recording of a baseball game actually occurred in Canada about seven years previous to this time. The game that ended up in US newspapers was played by members of the Knickerbockers Club. It was recorded in the New York Morning News and was played in New Jersey.
Alexander Joy Cartwright, a member of the Knickerbockers, is known as the Father of Baseball. He organized the first known baseball team, the New York Knickerbockers. He also wrote the "20 Original Rules of Baseball". These rules added to the form of baseball and included the three strikes rule, three outs in an inning, the umpire, tags and force-outs, and the fair and foul sections.
The addition of the shortstop came later, around 1850, when Daniel Adams recognized the necessity of this person because the balls used were so lightweight they couldn't be thrown far. The shortstop needed to be able to run them to a person waiting by a base.
Baseball sports memorabilia is also a part of baseball history. Stephan C. Clark purchased an old baseball for five dollars that was found in the attic of a farmhouse in New York. This ball was believed to have belonged to Abner Graves, who was a playmate of Abner Doubleday.
Doubleday was at one point believed to have invented baseball, although we now know this is a myth. Clark planned to display the ball along with other baseball-related items in Cooperstown New York. This display was highly popular and eventually the Baseball hall of fame was formed from this start.
The sport of baseball has an interesting history, above and beyond its origin. Some of the most well-known American historical figures, such as Babe Ruth, have come from this sport. Hopefully baseball will continue to be a great American pastime and will have a future to match its history.