Baseball is a beloved sport that has been around for centuries. It is believed to have originated in the United States in the early 1800s, although its exact origins remain a mystery. The first recorded game of baseball under the later codified rules was played in New York on September 23, 1845 between the New York Baseball Club and the Knickerbocker Baseball Club. American baseball was supposedly played in Beachville, Ontario in 1838. The Mills' report claimed that the war hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball (both the name and the sport) in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York.
This legend, although discredited ever since by baseball archivists, lasted long enough for Cooperstown to build the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and consolidate its place in the history of the sport. Cooperstown businessmen and major league officials harnessed the enduring power of myth in the 1930s, when they established the village's National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. There were several variations of the game, but modern baseball is thought to be more similar to the British game of rounders, where batters try to hit only one ball thrown at them and are forced to run around four bases, whether they hit the ball or not. Doubleday, who was born to a prominent family in upstate New York in 1819, was still at West Point in 1839, and never claimed to have anything to do with baseball. In September 1845, a group of men founded the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club. Jack Clements, a Philadelphia Quakers player, posed in a photo studio in Boston in the days before players wore gloves to the baseball diamond.
This was an important milestone for modern baseball as it marked the beginning of codified rules for the game. Major league baseball dates back to 1876, when the National League was founded. Baseball had been played extensively from the 1840s onwards, it became semi-professional and then professionalized in the 1860s and 1870s, and it truly became the national pastime in the next two decades. However, it seems that the sport's popularity declined during the United States Civil War. The nostalgia of baseball has an enduring power that has been harnessed by Cooperstown businessmen and major league officials. Contrary to popular belief, Doubleday has never been included in the Baseball Hall of Fame, although a large oil portrait of him was on display in the Hall of Fame building for many years. Baseball is a tremendously exciting game and there is no doubt that it has evolved over time.
Digging up its beginnings is fascinating as it reveals how far it has come since its inception. It is clear that baseball has become an integral part of American culture and will continue to be enjoyed by generations to come.