The Baseball History

The history backdrop of baseball can be traced in the 18th century when people played a game somewhat similar to baseball by their own established informal rules with the help of improvised equipment. The sport gained more popularity in the 1860s which resulted into the establishment of many national baseball clubs. Baseball was first mentioned in United Sates in Pittsfield, Massachusetts in 1971. A British sportswriter by the name of Henry Chadwick would then publish an article in 1903 speculating that the sport was derived from the British game known as rounders, which he had played while still a young boy in Britain. Albert Spalding, the baseball executive disagreed and claimed that the sport was founded in America. A commission was set up to settle the matter and after three years, it was concluded that Abner Doubleday invented the sport. Doubleday was declared the father of baseball fifteen years after his death.

New York Knickerbockers was the initial club to play baseball using modern rules. The baseball team was started in 1845 in New York City as a social group for upper middle classes. The club formulated the Knickerbockers Rules which provided the foundation rules under which the game is played. One significant rule introduced which feature in modern baseball is: nine inning games; nine-man teams; elimination of the bound; bases 90 feet apart rule. According to Knickerbockers Rules, fielders should tag the runner, as is done in modern baseball, which helped to avoid fistfights and arguments that occurred using the earlier practice.

The first competitive baseball game was between in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1846 and it was between Knickerbockers and New York Nine. Knickerbockers lost to New York Nine by an aggregate score of 23 to 1. However, Knickerbockers Rules were adopted by several teams in New York area and that version of baseball was commonly known as New York Game as opposed to Massachusetts Game, which was used to refer to baseball version played in Boston area. In 1857, Knickerbockers together with other sixteen clubs from New York area established the National Association of Base Ball Players - the 1st association to oversee the growth of the sport and to organize a championship. Soldiers from different parts of United States played baseball during the Civil War which led to the adoption of a more unified version of the sport. The most prominent and popular professional club during the NABBP era was Cincinnati Red Stockings in Ohio. The club lasted for two years before Boston Red Stockings and Boston Base Ball Club were founded in 1871.

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