The basic idea of modem day baseball is:
- the batter hits the ball.
- the batter wants to score runs.
- the batter runs round the three bases to score a run.
- the batter is out at the plate if the pitcher throws three strikes.
- it takes three out on each side for the inning to be over
- there are nine innings in a game.
The Origins of Baseball
The game of baseball has not always followed these rules. It is not known who started baseball, but the idea of baseball has been around since 1344. There is a French manuscript that has a drawing of a game being played by clerics similar to baseball, and it is called la solue. Also, a game called rounders had always been popular in Great Britain, and it is entirely possibly the modern day version of baseball came from rounders. The origins of baseball are English as stoolball is an early form of the game.
The First Reference to Baseball
The earliest known reference to the game was done by John Newbery in 1744 in a British publication named "A Little Pretty Pocket-Book." The game Newbery refers to is similar to the game we know today; although, there were several exceptions. The field was a triangular configuration instead of a diamond figure, and there were posts instead of bases. An English lawyer named William Bray wrote down an entire game of baseball in Guilford, Surrey. This version of the game was later brought to the United States by English immigrants.
The First American Reference
There was an American reference to the sport as early as 1791 in Pittsfield, Massachusetts because the game could not be played close to the meeting house of the players. The game became extremely popular as it was referenced in a 1976 German scholar's book on popular pastimes. The exception of this game included that you only needed only one out to retire a side, and the batter only has three chances to hit the ball.
Baseball's Evolution in the 1800s
As baseball evolved in the early 1830s, the game became known as "town ball," "round-ball" and "base-ball." As the game spread to Ontario in 1838, there were some noticeable exceptions with the way they played the game and the way we play the game today. This version of the game used five bases instead of three bases, and the batter was out if the fielders caught the ball on the first hop. It is no longer historically accurate to say that Abner Doubleday invented the sport in 1839 as the game was played well before this time period.
The game was getting closer to its modern-day form in 1845; although, you could still catch a ball on the first hop for an out. It was not until June 19, 1846 that the game was officially recorded in the United States. In this game, the New York Nine defeated the New York Knickerbockers in four innings. This was the start of the sport taking off and becoming nationally recognized. After this monumental game there have been 100+ World Series, all-star athletes who have played the game superbly, and an eager and loyal fan base who enjoy this great pastime.
If you like football, you can check out my history of football article too.
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