History of baseball
The history of baseball can be broken down into various aspects: by era, by locale, by organizational-type, game evolution, well as by political and cultural influence. Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games being played in England by the mid-18th century; this game was brought by immigrants to North America. By the late 19th century, baseball was recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, East Asia in Japan, South Korea, Taiwan. References to baseball date back to the 1700s, in 1871 the first professional league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, was founded. Five years the National League was created; the first World Series between the champions of the two major leagues was held in 1903, by 1905 it became an annual event. Baseball early in the 20th century was characterized by low-scoring games, but the dead-ball era ended in the early 1920s with rule changes and the rise of power hitter Babe Ruth.
The major leagues had a color barrier. The major leagues began the process of expansion in 1961 and attendance increase from the mid-1970s to 1994, when a work stoppage led to the cancellation of the World Series. Professional baseball leagues featured teams from Canada as early as 1877, the sport spread to numerous countries in the 1800s and 1900s, it was played in the Olympics as a medal sport from 1992 to 2008. Other competitions between national teams include the Baseball World Cup and the World Baseball Classic, first held in 2006; the evolution of baseball from older bat-and-ball games is difficult to trace with precision. A French manuscript from 1344 contains an illustration of clerics playing a game la soule, with similarities to baseball. Other old French games such as thèque, la balle au bâton, la balle empoisonnée appear to be related. Consensus once held that today's baseball is a North American development from the older game rounders, popular in Great Britain and Ireland. Baseball Before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game, by David Block, suggests that the game originated in England.
Block argues that rounders and early baseball were regional variants of each other, that the game's most direct antecedents are the English games of stoolball and "tut-ball". It has long been believed that cricket descended from such games, though evidence uncovered in early 2009 suggests that cricket may have been imported to England from Flanders; the earliest known reference to baseball is in a 1744 British children’s publication, A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, by John Newbery. It contains a rhymed description of "base-ball" and a woodcut that shows a field set-up somewhat similar to the modern game—though in a triangular rather than diamond configuration, with posts instead of ground-level bases. Block discovered that the first recorded game of "Bass-Ball" took place in 1749 in Surrey, featured the Prince of Wales as a player. William Bray, an English lawyer, recorded a game of baseball on Easter Monday 1755 in Guildford, Surrey; this early form of the game was brought to Canada by English immigrants.
Rounders was brought to the United States by Canadians of both British and Irish ancestry. The first known American reference to baseball appears in a 1791 Pittsfield, Massachusetts town bylaw prohibiting the playing of the game near the town's new meeting house. By 1796, a version of the game was well-known enough to earn a mention in a German scholar's book on popular pastimes; as described by Johann Gutsmuths, "englische Base-ball" involved a contest between two teams, in which "the batter has three attempts to hit the ball while at the home plate." Only one out was required to retire a side. In 1828, William Clarke in London published the second edition of The Boy's Own Book, which included the rules of rounders and contained the first printed description in English of a bat and ball base-running game played on a diamond; the following year, the book was published in Massachusetts. By the early 1830s, there were reports of a variety of uncodified bat-and-ball games recognizable as early forms of baseball being played around North America.
These games were referred to locally as "town ball", though other names such as "round-ball" and "base-ball" were used. Among the earliest examples to receive a detailed description—albeit five decades after the fact, in a letter from an attendee to Sporting Life magazine—took place in Beachville, Ontario, in 1838. There were many similarities to modern baseball, some crucial differences: five bases; the once accepted story that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839 has been conclusively debunked by sports historians. The Doubleday myth appeared after a dispute arose about the origins of baseball and whether it had been invented in the United States or developed as a variation of rounders; the theory that the sport was created in the U. S. was backed by Chicago Cubs president Albert Spalding and National League president Abraham G. Mills. In 1889, Mills gave a speech declaring that baseball was American, which he said was determined through "patriotism and research".
The rounders theory was supported by prominent sportswriter Henry Chadwick, a native of Britain who noted common factors between rounders and baseball in a 1903 article. In 190
Baseball is a bat-and-ball game played between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding. The game proceeds when a player on the fielding team, called the pitcher, throws a ball which a player on the batting team tries to hit with a bat; the objectives of the offensive team are to hit the ball into the field of play, to run the bases—having its runners advance counter-clockwise around four bases to score what are called "runs". The objective of the defensive team is to prevent batters from becoming runners, to prevent runners' advance around the bases. A run is scored when a runner advances around the bases in order and touches home plate; the team that scores the most runs by the end of the game is the winner. The first objective of the batting team is to have a player reach first base safely. A player on the batting team who reaches first base without being called "out" can attempt to advance to subsequent bases as a runner, either or during teammates' turns batting; the fielding team tries to prevent runs by getting batters or runners "out", which forces them out of the field of play.
Both the pitcher and fielders have methods of getting the batting team's players out. The opposing teams switch forth between batting and fielding. One turn batting for each team constitutes an inning. A game is composed of nine innings, the team with the greater number of runs at the end of the game wins. If scores are tied at the end of nine innings, extra innings are played. Baseball has no game clock. Baseball evolved from older bat-and-ball games being played in England by the mid-18th century; this game was brought by immigrants to North America. By the late 19th century, baseball was recognized as the national sport of the United States. Baseball is popular in North America and parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, East Asia in Japan and South Korea. In the United States and Canada, professional Major League Baseball teams are divided into the National League and American League, each with three divisions: East and Central; the MLB champion is determined by playoffs. The top level of play is split in Japan between the Central and Pacific Leagues and in Cuba between the West League and East League.
The World Baseball Classic, organized by the World Baseball Softball Confederation, is the major international competition of the sport and attracts the top national teams from around the world. A baseball game is played between two teams, each composed of nine players, that take turns playing offense and defense. A pair of turns, one at bat and one in the field, by each team constitutes an inning. A game consists of nine innings. One team—customarily the visiting team—bats in the top, or first half, of every inning; the other team -- customarily the home team -- bats in second half, of every inning. The goal of the game is to score more points than the other team; the players on the team at bat attempt to score runs by circling or completing a tour of the four bases set at the corners of the square-shaped baseball diamond. A player bats at home plate and must proceed counterclockwise to first base, second base, third base, back home to score a run; the team in the field attempts to prevent runs from scoring and record outs, which remove opposing players from offensive action until their turn in their team's batting order comes up again.
When three outs are recorded, the teams switch roles for the next half-inning. If the score of the game is tied after nine innings, extra innings are played to resolve the contest. Many amateur games unorganized ones, involve different numbers of players and innings; the game is played on a field whose primary boundaries, the foul lines, extend forward from home plate at 45-degree angles. The 90-degree area within the foul lines is referred to as fair territory; the part of the field enclosed by the bases and several yards beyond them is the infield. In the middle of the infield is a raised pitcher's mound, with a rectangular rubber plate at its center; the outer boundary of the outfield is demarcated by a raised fence, which may be of any material and height. The fair territory between home plate and the outfield boundary is baseball's field of play, though significant events can take place in foul territory, as well. There are three basic tools of baseball: the ball, the bat, the glove or mitt: The baseball is about the size of an adult's fist, around 9 inches in circumference.
It wound in yarn and covered in white cowhide, with red stitching. The bat is a hitting tool, traditionally made of a solid piece of wood. Other materials are now used for nonprofessional games, it is a hard round stick, about 2.5 inches in diameter at the hitting end, tapering to a narrower handle and culminating in a knob. Bats used by adults are around 34 inches long, not longer than 42 inches; the glove or mitt is a fielding tool, made of padded leather with webbing between the fingers. As an aid in catching and holding onto the ball, it takes various shapes to meet the specific needs of differ
Albert Goodwill Spalding was an American pitcher and executive in the early years of professional baseball, the co-founder of A. G. Spalding sporting goods company, he was born and raised in Byron, Illinois yet graduated from Rockford Central High School in Rockford, Illinois. He played major league baseball between 1871 and 1878. Spalding set a trend. After his retirement as a player, Spalding remained active with the Chicago White Stockings as president and part-owner. In the 1880s, he took players on the first world tour of baseball. With William Hulbert, Spalding organized the National League, he called for the commission that investigated the origins of baseball and credited Abner Doubleday with creating the game. He wrote the first set of official baseball rules. Having played baseball throughout his youth, Spalding first played competitively with the Rockford Pioneers, a youth team, which he joined in 1865. After pitching his team to a 26–2 victory over a local men's amateur team, he was approached at the age of 15 by another squad, the Forest Citys, for whom he played for two years.
In the autumn of 1867 he accepted a $40 per week contract, nominally as a clerk, but to play professionally for the Chicago Excelsiors, not an uncommon arrangement used to circumvent the rules of the time, which forbade the hiring of professional players. Following the formation of baseball's first professional organization, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1871, Spalding joined the Boston Red Stockings and was successful. William Hulbert, principal owner of the Chicago White Stockings, did not like the loose organization of the National Association and the gambling element that influenced it, so he decided to create a new organization, which he dubbed the National League of Baseball Clubs. To aid him in this venture, Hulbert enlisted the help of Spalding. Playing to the pitcher's desire to return to his Midwestern roots and challenging Spalding's integrity, Hulbert convinced Spalding to sign a contract to play for the White Stockings in 1876. Spalding coaxed teammates Deacon White, Ross Barnes and Cal McVey, as well as Philadelphia Athletics players Cap Anson and Bob Addy, to sign with Chicago.
This was all done under complete secrecy during the playing season because players were all free agents in those days and they did not want their current club and the fans to know they were leaving to play elsewhere the next year. News of the signings by the Boston and Philadelphia players leaked to the press before the season ended and all of them faced verbal abuse and physical threats from the fans of those cities, he was "the premier pitcher of the 1870s", leading the league in victories for each of his six full seasons as a professional. During each of those years he was his team's only pitcher. In 1876, Spalding won 47 games as the prime pitcher for the White Stockings and led them to win the first-ever National League pennant by a wide margin. In 1877, Spalding began to use a glove to protect his catching hand. People had used gloves but they were not popular, Spalding himself was skeptical of wearing one at first. However, once he began donning gloves, he influenced other players to do so.
Spalding retired from playing baseball in 1878 at the age of 27, although he continued as president and part owner of the White Stockings and a major influence on the National League. Spalding's.796 career winning percentage is the highest by a baseball pitcher, far exceeding the second-best.690. In the months after signing for Chicago and Spalding organized the National League by enlisting the two major teams in the East and the four other top teams in what was considered to be the West known as the jungle. Joining Chicago were the leading teams from Cincinnati, St. Louis; the owners of these western clubs accompanied Hulbert and Spalding to New York where they secretly met with owners from New York City, Philadelphia and Boston. Each signed the league's constitution, the National League was born. "Spalding was thus involved in the transformation of baseball from a game of gentlemen athletes into a business and a professional sport." Although the National Association held on for a few more seasons, it was no longer recognized as the premier organization for professional baseball.
It faded out of existence and was replaced by myriad minor leagues and associations around the country. In 1886, with Spalding as President of the franchise, the Chicago White Stockings, began holding spring training in Hot Springs, which subsequently has been called the "birthplace" of spring training baseball; the location and the training concept was the brainchild of Spalding and his player/manager Cap Anson, who saw that the city and the natural springs created positives for their players. They first played in an area called the Hot Springs Baseball Grounds. Many other teams began training in Hot Springs and other locations. In 1905, after Henry Chadwick wrote an article saying that baseball grew from the British sports of cricket and rounders, Spalding called for a commission to find out the real source of baseball; the commission called for citizens who knew anything about the founding of baseball to send in letters. After three years of searching, on December 30, 1907, Spalding rece
Henry Chadwick (writer)
Henry Chadwick was an English-born American sportswriter, baseball statistician and historian called the "Father of Baseball" for his early reporting on and contributions to the development of the game. He edited the first baseball guide, sold to the public, he is credited with creating box scores, as well as creating the abbreviation "K" that designates a strikeout. He earned run average, he was posthumously inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Chadwick was born in England, his grandfather, Andrew Chadwick, had been a close friend of theologian John Wesley. His father, James Chadwick, was a supporter of the French Revolution who tutored John Dalton in music and botany. James Chadwick had served as editor of a publication known as the Western Times. Edwin Chadwick's mother had made James Chadwick a widower shortly after Edwin's birth. Chadwick was the younger half brother of Sir Edwin Chadwick, England's sanitary philosopher who developed environmental measures and laws designed to counteract the effects of the Industrial Revolution.
Chadwick moved to Brooklyn with his family at the age of 12. Biographer Andrew Schiff writes that Henry Chadwick "was not brought up to value possessions or with an understanding of commerce and trade, he began to teach piano and guitar. In 1848, Chadwick married Jane Botts from Virginia. Botts' father Alexander had been president of the Virginia State Council, she was related to politician John Botts. Chadwick edited. Chadwick and his wife had three children, Richard Westlake Chadwick, in 1849, Susan Mary Chadwick, in 1851, Rose Virginia Chadwick, 1853. Chadwick became a frequent player of cricket and similar ball games such as rounders, he began covering cricket for numerous local newspapers such as the Long Island Star. He first came across organized baseball in 1856 as a cricket reporter for The New York Times. In 1857 he focused his attention as a journalist and writer on baseball after joining the New York Clipper, was soon hired on to provide coverage for other New York papers including the Sunday Mercury.
Chadwick was one of the prime movers in the rise of baseball to its popularity at the turn of the 20th century. A keen amateur statistician and professional writer, he helped sculpt the public perception of the game, as well as providing the basis for the records of teams' and players' achievements in the form of baseball statistics, he served on baseball rules committees and influenced the game itself. He is sometimes referred to as "the father of baseball" because he facilitated the popularity of the sport in its early days. Early baseball had a provision known as the "bound rule", which held that a fielder could catch a batted ball on one bounce and that it would still be recorded as an out. Chadwick was an outspoken critic of the rule for many years, stating that fielders should have to catch a ball on the fly for it to count as an out. In 1864, the bound rule was eliminated for balls hit into fair territory; the bound rule for foul balls persisted into the 1880s. Chadwick edited The Beadle Dime Base-Ball Player, the first annual baseball guide on public sale, as well as the Spalding and Reach annual guides for a number of years and in this capacity promoted the game and influenced the infant discipline of sports journalism.
In his 1861 Beadle guide, he listed totals of games played, runs, home runs, strikeouts for hitters on prominent clubs, the first database of its kind. His goal was to provide numerical evidence to prove. In 1867 he accompanied the National Base Ball Club of Washington D. C. on their inaugural national tour, as their official scorer. The next year, Chadwick wrote The Game of Base Ball. In 1874 was instrumental in organizing a tour of England which included games of both baseball and cricket. In his role as journalist, he campaigned against the detrimental effects on the game of both alcohol and gambling. Despite a friendship with Albert Spalding, Chadwick was scornful of the attempts to have Abner Doubleday declared the inventor of baseball. "He means well", said Chadwick, "but he don't know". Chadwick willed his baseball library to Spalding. Author William Cook wrote that "Chadwick was at times a bit self-aggrandizing, but his heart was always rooted in looking after the best interest of the game."
An 1876 Chicago Tribune article attacked Chadwick's status as the father of baseball, saying in part that Chadwick "has had enough experience to have made himself a man of respect had heaven but given him a head... he proceeded to call himself the'"Father of the Game,' and to assume much on the strength of the title. But he found an unruly child, one which disinherited him with rapidity and ease." Cook writes that Chadwick may have been a victim of "Western journalism", a sensationalized style of writing. Chadwick is credited with devising the baseball box score for reporting game events; the first box score appeared in an 1859 issue of the Clipper. It was a grid with nine columns for innings; the original box scores created the puzzling abbreviation for strikeout as "K" – "K" being the last letter of "struck" in "struck out". Chadwick assigned numbers to each defensive position for scorekeeping purposes, a system that remains in modern baseball scorekeeping. Newspapers had tallied runs scored, but Chadwick's 1859 box score looked similar in structure to modern ones.