Figure 1.-- Baseball unlike some other sports like basketball and even soccer requires a substantial field to play. Here we see American boys playing stoop ball, probably in the 1970s.
Baseball unlike some other sports like basketball and even soccer requires a substantial field to play. A few fields were available in parks, but basically there was no place to play baseball. This makes baseball a very difficult sport to play in an urban environment. There just isn't enough open space as well as the dangers of broken windows. Then there is the problem of negotiating traffic on the streets. There were forms of baseball that did develop for urban play. The best known urban form is stickball. This was played with a broom stick or other available stick and a softball like a tennis ball. I am not sure when stick ball first appeard, but it was well developed in the immigrant communities at the turn of the 20th century. An even more minimalist approach to baseball was stoop ball.
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