The commission, which also included six other sports executives, worked for three years, after which it declared that Abner Doubleday invented the national pastime. This would have been a surprise for Doubleday. The commission had based its findings on accounts by Abner Graves, who claimed that he went to school with Doubleday. In the Mills' report, they said that the war hero invented baseball (both the name and the sport) in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York.
This legend, although discredited since then by baseball archivists, lasted long enough for Cooperstown to build the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and consolidate its place in sports history. Abner Doubleday was born 193 years ago yesterday. He would go on to live an exciting life full of impressive achievements, but in reality it's what he didn't do that made him famous. But that doesn't explain why Abner Doubleday was chosen.
There were several other clues in different directions, including clues to a man named Alexander Cartwright who was later consecrated in Cooperstown for his contributions (some of them incorrectly attributed once again) to the game. Without the claim that Abner Doubleday created baseball, there is no way that such an important museum would have been placed in small Cooperstown, New York, the supposed place where baseball originated. It could be in a place like Hoboken, New Jersey, where Alexander Cartwright's New York Knickerbockers played their first game under their rules. A past that has nothing to do with Abner Doubleday.
That sign and the underlying belief it defends is the product of the biggest lies of a baseball. The earliest origins of modern baseball can be traced back to the 18th century in England, and the games brought to New England by some of the first settlers of the New World. Cartwright was undoubtedly a pioneer of baseball, but what he and his club were doing was nothing new and didn't come from a single game born in the United States. In that letter, Ford refers to the “gray-haired old men” of the time, who had played this game as children, suggesting that baseball's origins in Canada date back to the 18th century.
Graves, who would later be placed in an asylum, said he remembered Doubleday creating a game he called baseball in Cooperstown, New York, in 1839 (even Graves never mentioned anything about drawing a baseball diamond or drafting rules, two things claimed by the Mills Commission). ). Doubleday's invention of baseball was the finding of a panel appointed by Albert Spalding, a former star pitcher and club executive, who had become America's leading sporting goods businessman and sports publisher. The 1846 game held in New Jersey between the Gotham Base Ball Club and the Knickerbockers under these new rules is considered the first official baseball game.
Certainly, baseball is related to cricket and rounders, but exactly how, or how close, has not been established. A myth that officially spread to the world on this date, in 1908, when something called the Mills Commission published a report to that effect, erroneously establishing a history of baseball's creation that would remain in the public consciousness for almost a century. Mills, a lifelong friend of Doubleday, never heard him mention baseball, nor is there any mention of the game in Doubleday's autobiography. The commission consisted of seven men, including Mills and six other men he already knew to support his theory that baseball was a distinctly American game.
In perhaps another version, there were several stools, and points were scored running around them, just like in baseball. According to baseball historians, the rules set by the Knickerbockers were not original, except for the one that provided for three outs per inning. The Mills Commission, at the other extreme, created an official and completely fictitious version of the All-American by attributing the invention of the game to Abner Doubleday in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York (current site of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum). .