History of Baseball
Baseball, this bat-and-ball American-based sport is one of the most popular in the world. The history of baseball is complicated and interesting, ever since its beginnings in nineteenth-century America. In fact, rudimentary versions of baseball were played as early as the eighteenth-century, probably in England, but the sport continued to expand and evolve and soon it reached the shores of The New World. The first ever game in the history of baseball played with structured rules took place on June the 19th, 1846 in Hoboken, New Jersey.
Baseball is played with two teams consisting of nine players active on the field at all times. It is divided into nine innings and it has no time limit; it lasts as long as it takes for the innings to be completed and the winner is the team with most runs executed until the end. When it was brought into America by immigrants, baseball was still a half-improvised game and amateur players would modify or add rules according to their own preferences. Slowly, as we moved towards the end of the nineteenth-century it started adopting a more structured format and soon became a national sport.
In the history of baseball, the game spread in popularity and is now a favorite in parts of the world like North America, Canada, parts of South and Central America, East Asia and the Caribbean. Japan is one of the Asian countries who love baseball very much; there they have their own national baseball league and quite a tradition of baseball-playing. Baseball is also recognized as a professional sport in the Olympics.
It is not too easy to trace the roots of the history of baseball and pinpoint exactly where it began, but there are documents attesting to similar bat-and-ball games being played as early as the fourteenth-century. There are certain antique French games which are similar to baseball, such as la soule, thèque, la balle empoisonnée and others. Other historians claim that baseball actually originated somewhere in England or Ireland and recent evidence may even point towards Flanders. What’s certain is that neither of the games played in these regions or countries were exactly baseball, and the game got to where it is today through American influence, that is to say, through immigrant influence.
By mid-1850s, baseball was already a phenomenon in America and many started thinking of it as the “national pastime”; its rules started to evolve and crystallize, and soon everyone recognized the power and complexities which made this sport great.