The Origins of Baseball
Baseball has come a long way throughout the years. The sport is considered one of the oldest major sports in America still played today. The sport took many elements from overseas. In the mid-1800’s, baseball began to evolve from a number of European games. This included cricket and rounders. The introduction of bats and balls was the most rudimentary version of the game.
Growth in Popularity
Prior to the late 1850’s, baseball was primarily played in an unorganized fashion. However, clubs began to form as the game increased in popularity. By the 1860’s, tickets began to be sold to watch games. It was around this time that the sport was given the title of “the national pastime”.
Many attribute the game’s popularity in parts of the country to the Civil War. It was often played in camps across the South, where it had yet to be introduced. By 1869, the sport’s popularity was so large that the first professional team was formed, the Cincinnati Red Stockings. At this point, players actually began to get paid to play the game. It wasn’t long after that the National League was founded, and rules began to become much more similar to what they are today. 1901 brought the existence of the American League following an increased demand for more teams in cities across the country.
Baseball’s Building Period and Dead Ball Era
By the beginning of the 20th century, baseball was played all across a huge chunk of America. Huge stadiums were constructed to keep up with the fan interest. Some of these stadiums are even still used today, such as Fenway Park (1912) and Wrigley Field (1914). The first World Series was played in 1903 and saw the best team from each league match up against each other.
Legends and the Long Ball
As the game evolved, the charisma of the great players helped to bring the game an increasing level of popularity. The game had primarily been a “small ball” game where hitters would try to get on base and advance in runs by hitting the ball in the park. Pitchers would throw an entire game and scores would be quite low. This was considered the “dead ball” era of baseball.
But in the 20’s and 30’s, sluggers became the norm. Legends like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Hank Greenberg, Ralph Kiner, and Rogers Hornsby all began to hit the ball out of the park with regularity.
After the success of the game in the 20’s and 30’s, the game’s expansion was inevitable. World War II interrupted a great number of careers and progress the game had made. However, following the conclusion of the war, the game reached what many consider its true “golden age”. The 50’s brought the baseball card into the public eye, and players like Mickey Mantle, Hank Aaron, Willie Mays, Ted Williams and Duke Snider became household names.
At this point, the game had little competition in the way of other American professional sports. It has seen a number of obstacles in the year’s since and added teams and moved out west, but it still remains popular today. Since then, baseball has expanded to many other regions of the world, particularly KBO 뉴스 being very popular in Korea.