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The History Of the Bseball and the Diamond Field
Interestingly the official rules for the game are not all that ancient although the game itself has been around for some time!
Baseball is one of the most popular games ever with star players, well maintained fields, media attention, numerous shouting fans, and million dollar contracts.
But this All-Star game came from humble beginnings and has come a long way from its roots to become the game we know now.
The Evolution of a Sport
Imagine not one but several diverse scenarios, each with a ground country side, a field or a dirt street, a handful of kids, a bat and a ball. They may speak different languages and have their own general rules for playing the game but the common idea to throw a ball, and get a hit to either score a run or declare an out remains the same throughout them all.
Such games have been recorded since 1300; in Russia it was called Lapta, for the Germans it was Schlagball, Romanians preferred to call the game Oina, in Ireland and Britannia the game was widely played but on a very general basis with no specific rules, it was just another game that children played on the field to pass time.
Ignorant that it was to become a Nations pass time and gain such international glory.
The earliest documented proof of similar games to Baseball being played comes from the 14th century, in poems, letters and other articles, but these games were called Stoolball, Rounders, Townball, Poisonball (there are even some written rules for this game similar to the present baseball game), Goal ball or simply Base; mostly played in parts of England and America.
The true origins of the official game of baseball is still hotly debated among patriots on both sides of the Pacific, though it is safe to say that the game was quite commonly played in the most parts of both, but it modified itself over the years.
It was in the early 1700's when the game became officially known as 'Baseball' and some common rules were adopted to become the unique game we now know and love today.
The Early Years
Initially the game was played exclusively by the elite classes but over the years, as it's popularity grew, this changed and baseball became popular with every class of society. As its popularity grew it became the sport of all classes and it evolved into the game of Baseball, but it still needed a well defined rule book.
Alexander Joy Cartwright and the Knickerbockers Club are given credit for the first published Baseball rule book in 1845 and Alexander Cartwright is said to be the "father" of modern baseball for his work and commitment to the game.
There are no disputes to the fact that the game already existed before this time but it was Cartwright who documented the first proper rules for playing the game on the diamond and shaped the game as we know it now.
According to a sports goods entrepreneur of the time and a commission set up to establish the origins of the game, called the Mills Commission, in 1907 it was established that Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York.
It is said that he came up with the game, all the rules and the field layout but this remains highly arguable because of a lack of proof and witnesses supporting the theory.
Many call it the Doubleday Myth as the game was already established, but in many diverse forms and with different names. There is also no proof that Doubleday had any rule book or even described any set of rules for the game.
The Knickerbockers Club became very popular after the publication of Cartwright?s rule book, and more and more people started playing and learning about Baseball.
The First Game
In 1846 arguably the first official baseball game was played on Elysian Field between the New York Baseball Club and the Knickerbockers Club; the Knickerbockers Club was defeated by the New York Baseball Club.
This was the true beginnings of Baseball as a recognized sport and there was no looking back. Over time the bats and balls have improved with their shape and sizes evolving.
In the year 1875 Bill Mc Gunnigle wore bricklayer?s gloves to a Baseball game and was pleased to find that wearing gloves made it easy to catch the ball, hence came in the gloves.
Other apparel also came in gradually as the game continued to evolve into the game in its present form.
The early 1900's added awards and honors to the game; the first World Series game was played in 1903 between Boston and Pittsburgh; Boston defeated Pittsburgh by 5-3.
In the year 1931 the Baseball Writers Association Of America began the Most Valued Player tradition.
The first Major League All-Star Baseball game was played in 1933. The baseball Hall Of fame came into existence in the year 1939 honoring several Baseball players for their outstanding performance on the diamond.
And so what started out as a country-sides bat and ball game to pass time for bored kids, on dusty, dry summers day has became a million dollar game and a Nations favorite pass time.
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Colin Dorman 2008 mcfarlanes-figures.com