Baseball: A National and Historical Pastime

 I am huge fan of Major League Baseball. The Yankees to be more specific. I was pretty disappointed when they lost and were not in the running for the World Series anymore. I know for a fact though, that I am not the only one to love baseball. It has been a national pastime for more than a hundred years.  Even during the Civil War baseball was a popular sport.

What do you do when you are stuck in a prison camp for months on end? What would you do to entertain yourself? You could write letters, read a book, or paint a picture. No, those things are boring . One of the best, most fun things you could do during the summer months in a prison camp in either the North or South was play baseball.

Baseball being played in a Civil War prison camp

 Some say that General Abner Doubleday was the father of baseball. Many historians also believe that  Alexander Cartwright was the father of baseball as we know it today.  According to the Fort Ward Museum in Alexandria VA, it was neither of these two men.  Baseball “evolved” from a British sport known as roundball. Very early versions of the game had been played in Massachusetts and New York. Though Cartwright did not start baseball he did establish the first known baseball club. The New York City Nickerbockers. The first recorded baseball game was in 1846. The year after Cartwright wrote the first official rules for baseball which are still used for the most part in baseball today.

 Baseball wasn’t always known as baseball. In the early 1800’s it was known as “base”, “townball” or sometimes as “baseball”.  That is what you could call the evolution of baseball. Throughout American history baseball has been a popular sport. In times of war soldiers played it to relax. In times of peace and prosperity baseball was a way to promote town unityand have a little fun. America’s pastime truely is as American as it gets.

Resources:

The History of Baseball http://www.rpi.edu/~fiscap/history_files/history1.htm

Fort Ward Museum- Civil War Baseball Battling on the Diamond http://oha.alexandriava.gov/fortward/special-sections/baseball/#disputed 

Ben’s Baseball facts

Advertisements
Published in: on October 24, 2010 at 3:26 pm  Comments Off on Baseball: A National and Historical Pastime  
%d bloggers like this: