The History of Baseball

Baseball is known as America’s pastime. It started before the American Civil War as a simple game played on sandlots. Early players fined tuned the game by keeping score. Babe Ruth had the first home run record of 60 home runs in 1927 but in 1961, Roger Maris broke that record with 61 home runs.

The professional baseball league was created in 1871. Most big cities in the eastern part of the United States had a pro baseball team by the start of the 20th century. The professional baseball league was divided into two different leagues: the National league and the American league. During the regular season games, one American team played against one National team. The team that was most victorious in each of the two leagues won the pennant. The two pennant teams played in the World Series. The team, who won the best of 7 games, won the World Series.

Wrigley FieldBaseball really came to light in the 1920’s when Babe Ruth led his team, the New York Yankees, to numerous World Series titles. Babe Ruth became a baseball legend because of his numerous home runs. A home run is when a baseball is hit out of the field so it cannot be played. Babe was not the only legend in the game. Over several decades, each team has a noteworthy player. The Brooklyn Dodgers has Jackie Robinson who was the first African American to play in the sport.

Beginning in the 1950s, the game of baseball expanded its geographical area. The western part of United States began forming baseball teams by either forming new teams or luring players from Eastern city teams. Because of stringent contracts, it wasn’t until the 1970s that the owners of baseball teams also pretty much owned each player of the team. Since then, however, the rules have changed and players are now free agents. This means that within particular limits, they are not confined to just one team but they can move to another team as they see fit. This resulted in bidding wars and popular players getting million-dollar contracts.

Baseball was introduced in Japan in the 1870s by an American teacher and from then on until the 1930s, the University baseball leagues took over Japanese baseball. In the 1930s, professional Japanese baseball was formed within the Japan Professional Baseball League. Hideo Nomo, who was a Japanese baseball player, became one of the most popular pitchers for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 1990s. The game of baseball is also greatly played in Cuba as well as other Caribbean nations. During the 1996 Olympics, the contest for the gold medal came down between Japan and Cuba and Cuba ended up with the gold medal.

Today, baseball is enjoyed around the world but is still considered America’s pastime. With so many extraordinary teams such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, as long as there is a stadium to play there will always be baseball.