The Development of Baseball
No one knows for sure when and where exactly baseball originated. However, most baseball fans will agree that the sport has something to do with the English game rounders. In the United States, baseball became popular in the early 1800's, originally known as townball. Later, the sport was renamed baseball. Throughout this period of time, smaller communities formed teams, while larger cities formed leagues.
Opinions vary as to who was the constitutor of the rules of baseball. Some contend that Alexander Cartwright in 1845 published a list of rules which are still in place today. However, others contend that it was Abner Doubleday who invented the game. However, most baseball historians believe Alexander Cartwright indeed originated baseball.
The first ever recorded baseball duel was in 1846 between Alexander Cartwright's Knickerbockers who play against the New York Baseball Club. The Knickerbockers lost the game at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey.
In 1857, a meeting was held and over 25 amateur teams from the Northeast clamored together to hash out rules among other things. The next year, the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed and the teams, needing financial assistance to support the league, intermittently charged the fans an admission fee.
The 1860's brought about the Civil War and the interest in baseball, understandably, diminished. After the war, baseball's popularity began to grown better than ever. The league's growth resulted in fans being charged a regular admission fee to watch games. The fees were needed to support the league and the ongoing traveling. Winning became important. Although the league was comprised of amateurs, sponsors occasionally paid the players secretly so that the amateur players wouldn't leave the team. The idea of paid players eventually became the norm. Today, baseball is one of North America's favorite sports.
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