Baseball Country Trends: United States

Figure 1.--Here we see American boys playing a pickup game of baseball. Notice no one has a baseball cap. They wear knickers or knee pants and black long stockings. At the time a fashion transitiion from knee pants to knickers was taking place. The picture was taken in Scanton, Pennsylvania during 1908. One of the problems with playing baseball was finding a field. Here the boys are olaying in the street. There of course was less traffic in the 1900s. This is why breaking windows became part of geowing up in America.

Baseball was created in America from British cricket, probably through rounders. No one really knows when and where baseball forst developed. Some sports historians that rounders was being played in America during the early19th century. There was non uniform set of rules. A variety of sources reporrt Americans plasying what was variously called "townball", "base", or "baseball". Towns began to form teams. Baseball clubs were formed in the larger cities. Abner Doubleday is often credited as the father of baseball. He did not invent the sport, but rather began to formalize rules for the sport as early play was informal without standardized field dimensions and playing rules. Alexander Cartwright appears to have prepared the ealiestt set oif rules (1845). The first recorded baseball contest took place between Cartwright and his Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City lost to the New York Baseball Club in a game at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey (1846). Baseball was not at the time a national sport. It was most popular in cities and towns, partoiculasrly in the northeast. The Civil War played a major role in spreading around the country. Many Americans had not yet heard of baseball. At army camps, soldiers had a great deal of time on their hands. One diversion became baseball. Thus after the War when the soldiers went home, baseball was carried to even the most rempte part of the country. The history of baseball is largely an American story as it was there it developed and became the national passtime. But America is not the only contry where it is played.


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Created: 10:02 PM 1/14/2010
Last updated: 11:36 PM 12/29/2010