A Brief History of Baseball – The Origins of Baseball

Some sports can be thought of as world sports, such as football. It was played all over the world, in various periods of time, dating back many thousands of years. Other sports have been around for a century or more, like basketball, and its origins are known to us. There are sports which people who are not fans, know nothing about, like baseball.

Baseball is very popular in a couple of countries of our world and other than those, only certain fans or groups of fans will know its history.

If you are interested in baseball, or want to learn about it, here is a brief summary of the history of baseball.

The Origins of Baseball

The actual origins of baseball are somewhat similar to football, in the sense that most scientists cannot agree on the actual point of origin. During multiple periods in the 1200s and 1300s, there were games which included a ball and a bat, somewhat similar to baseball. The earliest reference, at least one which we know of, to the word baseball, originates from a book called A Little Pretty Pocket-Book by John Newbery. In the book, there is a description of base-ball as well as a woodcut of something which resembles a modern-day baseball field. There is a consensus that baseball was developed from a game called Rounders, which was brought to North America by British emigrants. In 1791, the first American reference to baseball was recorded in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. By 1796, it was already popular enough to be noted by scholars from Europe, namely Germany.

The Development of Baseball

In the mid 1850s, baseball exploded in New York. People were praising the sport, and almost everybody was playing it, most calling it a national sport and pastime. In 1857, 16 clubs in New York formed the first governing body and league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. It lasted until 1875. In 1876, the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs or National League, was formed.

The Golden Years

By the 1930s, baseball was a very big and important sport in the United States. It already implemented helmets and proper protective gear, due to various accidents and specifically, the death of Ray Chapman. Names like Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig emerged, both stars of the sport. Following the Second World War, Jackie Robinson entered the fields, a name to this day remembered. The golden years were followed by the age of steroids, when players hit harder and ran much faster.

Modern Day Baseball

Today, baseball is considered to be an American sport, people specifically following Major League Baseball, or MLB. It is popular in other countries of the world, such as Italy, the Netherlands, as well as Japan. It was part of the Olympics from 1992 until 2012. Since 2006, there has been an important international tournament called the World Baseball Classic.

From its unknown origins, dating back to the 1200s and even further in the past, baseball has evolved to be the game we know and love today. It has a rich history, particularly in the United States, yet still being popular in the rest of the world.