For more than a century, baseball has been a major part of the American sporting culture. Though it’s hard to trace its exact origin, it has grown to be one of the most watched games in the Unitd States. Today, millions of fans watch the game on television, and it’s now part of the American identity, with online final 4 betting at sites like mad betting contributing to its popularity.
The History of Baseball
According to legend, baseball was invented in the summer of 1839 by a man named Abner Doubleday from Cooperstown, New York. However, the story has been debunked as a myth used to promote the game back in the early 1900s when Abraham Mills was commissioned to
trace its origin. While Abner existed, he never claimed the invention of baseball or to have anything to do with the game.
Though it’s not clear the exact year that baseball was invented, historians trace its origin back to the 18th century. Nonetheless, the emergence of professional baseball in America is credited to
Alexander Cartwright, a bank clerk in New York. Alexander wrote the first constitution for the organized American baseball club, the Knickerbockers of New York in 1845.
The Development Of Professional Baseball
The Knickerbockers are widely known as the forefathers of modern day baseball, and most of their rules still apply to date. The team played their first official game under these rules on 19th June 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey. However, baseball was highly overshadowed by cricket until it started gaining popularity during the American civil war.
Throughout the 1850s and early 1860s, baseball remained an amateur sport in America until the launch of the first professional league in 1871. With the establishment of a professional league and a burst in popularity, baseball started taking over the country. That saw the rise of other minority professional leagues across the country in the 1880s, including the so-called “Negro Baseball Leagues.”
The Game Changer
Throughout the 19th century and early 20th century, professional baseball leagues were problematic for various reasons. Racial segregation was one of the major issues that barred talented players from participating in major and minor baseball teams in the league. The sport was also highly corrupt, partly due to low wages for the players. That resulted in game throwing as sports bettors frequently bribed players.
Over the century, some of the issues began to change as a baseball league known as the American League started challenging the National League’s dominance. The two would later merge to form Major League Baseball, empowering players to negotiate for fair wages. However, it wasn’t until 1947 that the racial barrier was broken when Jackie Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Jackie (from California’s Muir High of Pasadena) was the first African American Player in American baseball, and he helped draw a record of 21 million fans in his first year.
Today, baseball remains among the top sports in America, with millions of fans across the country. Players receive exceptionally high salaries, and some of the most successful players are from minority ethnic groups. This “stick and ball” game has grown from humble beginnings to become a major part of the American identity.