Baseball History

The Early

History of Baseball


A Little About Baseball History
Keith Kingston

There is evidence to suggest that in terms of baseball history,
people played games that involved a stick and a ball, right back
to the early days of civilization. Ancient cultures in Persia,
Egypt, and Greece played ball and stick games for recreation
and as part of special ceremonies where celebrations were
rituals. Ball and stick games of this type spread throughout
Europe in the Middle Ages and became even popular as different
varieties took hold. Europeans brought ball and stick games to
the American colonies as early as the 1600s. Until the late
1700s, however, they were widely considered children’s games.

By the early 1800s, a variety of ball and stick games had also
become popular in North America. Many people in northeastern
cities such as Boston, New York, and Philadelphia played
cricket, but rounders also began to take hold. Rounders most
closely resembled modern baseball as we know it now.

This early version of baseball history then known as rounders,
required a batter to strike a ball and run around bases without
being caught out. Balls that were caught on the fly, or in some
cases after one bounce, were commonly known as outs.

Varieties of rounders also involved the practice of plugging,
soaking, or stinging the batter. This was where fielders could
put runners out by throwing the ball at them as they ran
between the bases. People used various names to describe it
rounders depending on what part of the country you were in. It
was also known as town ball, one o’ cat, and base ball (hence
the now shortened version we know as baseball).

Americans began playing baseball in informal competitions in
the early 1800s. By the 1860s, the sport, was being described
as America's "national pastime." In 1845 Alexander Cartwright
and the members of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club,
devised the first rules and regulations for the modern game of
baseball. The first game was held at the Elysian Fields, in New

In 1858, the National Association of Base Ball Players, the
first organized baseball league with tournaments and
competitions between clubs was formed and in 1876 the first
major league, the National League, was formed. This allowed
states to play against other states. State teams were fed
players from local leagues where the cream of the crop was
selected to play for the states League team. Baseball is know
one of the most popular sports in the country.

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