The Creation Of Baseball

Discussion in 'Sports & Recreation' started by Ken Anderson, May 9, 2018.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    I was long under the impression that baseball was created by Abner Doubleday. Abner Doubleday, who served as a Union officer during the Civil War, is widely credited as the inventor of the game of baseball.

    In the early 1900s, a committee was formed to determine the origins of the game. However, rather than looking for the truth of the matter, the committee sought a feel-good story to prove that baseball was the all-American sport.

    The report stated, "The first scheme for playing baseball, according to the best evidence available to date, was devised by Abner Doubleday at Cooperstown, New York, in 1839." The problem is that the only evidence they had for this was a single letter from a man named Abner Graves, a mentally unstable man who later killed his wife.

    Although Doubleday was a prolific writer, he left no notes relating to the game of baseball, and in the several letters that he wrote to various people, he made no mention of having even played the game. There is also the fact that he was at West Point in 1839, and his family had moved from Cooperstown the year before.

    In 1963, Congress acted to correct the inaccuracy in the record by officially crediting the invention of modern-day baseball to Alexander Joy Cartwright, a volunteer firefighter who became a member of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club. He was the first to draw a diagram of a baseball diamond, and to write the rules upon which the game of baseball is based. There was even testimony that he had taught the game to people he met while traveling to California during the Gold Rush.

    However, while he did play for the Knickerbockers, there is written proof that the rules for the game already existed before he became involved in it.

    So, who invented the all-American game of baseball? Probably nobody. It evolved over time from a children's stick and ball game that had been played in England for centuries.
     
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  2. Bobby Cole

    Bobby Cole Veteran Member
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    Again, as it always seems the case, a grunt does the work but an officer gets the credit.......:)
     
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  3. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    When at school we did a very similar sport called 'Rounders' - I loved it 'cos I was good at it
    Was always a very fast runner, so that helped, but I amazed meself when I always hit that ball with such a skinny bat
    but hit it I did as it whizzed across the field
    Me eyesight wasn't good but I could spot that ball coming at me and I gave it a good thrashing :p
     
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  4. Hal Pollner

    Hal Pollner Very Well-Known Member
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    What about the British variant called "Cricket"?

    Harry
     
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  5. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    #5
  6. Don Alaska

    Don Alaska Very Well-Known Member
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    I read in Graham Greene's biography that he loved Cricket in "Junior School" (whatever that is) when it was a game, but hated it in "Senior School" when it became a sport.
     
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  7. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Either way - its a 'no' from me :p
     
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  8. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    "In 2016 a set of historical documents called "The Laws of Base Ball" sold at auction for $3.26 million, becoming one the most valuable of sports memorabilia artifacts ever discovered".

    "The auctioned documents throw new light on the actual origins of baseball. Written by medical doctor and baseball league organizer Daniel "Doc" Adams in 1857, "Laws" establishes rules familiar to fans of the modern game – nine innings, 90 feet between bases, and nine players to a team".

    "The documents are the earliest comprehensive rules in writing. But they're also very specific. The 12-page collection is essentially a written record of an official meeting, convened by 14 New York sports clubs, to establish rules for a local league - just one of several operating on the East Coast at that time".

    "To quote the pioneering baseball historian Harold Seymour ... 'To ascertain who invented baseball would be equivalent to trying to locate to discoverer of fire.'"
     
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  9. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Greeter
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    Cricket was probably one of the games that baseball was based on. Originally, the rules were lax. Any number of players could play on fields of any size. Rules for the game were still evolving when, in 1845, Alexander Cartwright drew his diagram of the field, and specified that the batter was to stand at home plate rather than a distance from it. He is also credited with ending the then practice of plugging, which meant hitting a baserunner with a thrown ball, which previously counted as an out. Four-foot stakes were replaced with sandbags. Later, they were staked down after basemen began the practice of kicking them away from runners.

    Early baseballs also varied greatly, as there were no rules as to how they were to be constructed. Subsequently, they varied in content, size, and bounce. Each team brought its own ball and the losers handed their ball to the winning team, as in football. In 1909, the cork-filled ball was introduced, and this was followed, in 1920, by what was known as a "lively ball," using Australian yarn, which was stronger than American yarn. The lively balls were harder and traveled farther when hit. The year they were introduced was the year that Babe Ruth hit 54 home runs.

    The cry of "kill the umpire" began when umpires transitioned from affable employees to autocratic arbiters. Early in the game's history, a referee and two umpires officiated. Each team chose one umpire, who was usually loyal to the team that chose him. The referee settled disputes between the two umpires on close plays. By 1882, there was a single umpire, and only the team captains were permitted to speak to him. While earlier umpires often consulted players and even spectators before making a decision, the single umpire would use his own judgment in making calls, and his calls would stand even when he was clearly in the wrong.
     
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