Springtime always makes me think of the beginning of baseball season. There is nothing like going to a baseball game on a warm, sunny afternoon to sit and cheer on the home-team with while munching on peanuts and hot dogs. Baseball is, afterall, considered to be the great American past time and has a very rich, colorful history.
The origins of baseball are subject to lots of debate. Early on, Americans played a version of the 19th century English game called "rounders" or "town ball". Throughout the early 19th century, small towns formed "town ball" teams and larger cities formed baseball clubs. Alexander Cartwright is credited with setting must of the baseball code that is still used today (and he did that waaaay back in 1845!) Talk about carrying on tradition! The first organized baseball "contest" took place a year after the rules for the game had been adopted. Cartwright's team was called "The Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City" (imagine that on the front of a t-shirt!) and they lost to the "New York Base Ball Club". The game increased in popularity and players and teams got together for a convention in 1857 to discuss rules and other issues. By the following year, the first organized baseball league was formed and was called the National Association of Base Ball Players.
By 1871, amateur baseball began to fade and the best players were being groomed to play professionally. Shortly after, the National Association was formed and was comprised of 9 teams and grew to 13 teams less than four years later. The National League took over the game beginning in 1875 and took control over policies regarding ticket prices, game schedules and player contracts. It wasn't until 1901 that the American League was formed (they squired away many of the National League's best players). Welcome to professional baseball as we know it!
Hope you enjoyed a brief glimpse into the history of baseball. Trust me, this is just the tip of the baseball iceberg but at least you know know how it all started!
Enjoy your weekend and until next time, keep it clean!!