Bill Belew has raised 2 bi-cultural kids, now 34 and 30. And he and his wife are now parenting a 3rd, Mia, who is 8.
Baseball season is upon us. Soon, folks will be paying ungodly sums to watch ungodly men make ungodly salaries while they spit, swear, steal, hit, holler and run down each other, among other things.
So, how’d this game come to be? Here are a few stories, theories and otherwise.
1. The first recorded rules of a game similar to baseball were recorded in 1845 in Manhattan by a group of young me led by Alexander Cartwright. Cartwright wrote the “20 Original Rules of Baseball.”
2. The game used to also be called townball, round ball, old car, one o’ cat and goal ball. Other games similar to baseball, in a lose sort of way, had names such as stop-ball, stow-ball, stoolball, poison ball, round ball, fletch-catch, base, and tip-cat..
3. In 1857, the rules became standardized by 25 Northeastern clubs. Foul lines were established and “plug outs” (hitting the runner with the ball to get an out was eliminated.”
4. The first baseball league was formed in 1858 – the National Association of Base Ball Players.
5. The first game between the New York Knickerbockers and New York Nine was played on June 19, 1846 in Hoboken, N.J. the Nine won.
5. After the Civil War, America had more than 100 clubs.
6. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings formed the first professional team and went undefeated in their first year. They had played together for three years prior to that as amateurs.
7. In 1871 the National Association of Professional Baseball Players was organized: There were clubs in Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Brooklyn, N.Y., New York City, Cleveland, Ohio, and four other cities.
8. In 1876 a group of club owners founded the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. This caused the collapse of the National Association. The National League, same one as today had clubs in Boston, Hartford, Conn., Philadelphia, New York City, Saint Louis, Mo., Chicago, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Louisville, Ky.
9. Chicago won the first league championship in 1876 and hasn’t won since.
10. In 1882 the American Association was established as a major league. Two years later, the American Association champs met the Natiional League champions in the first postseason series.
11. The American Association disbanded in 1891 and the American League was founded in 1900.
12. The original eight American League teams were Chicago, Milwaukee, Wis., Cleveland, Ohio, Detroit, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston, and Baltimore, Md.
13. The first World Series was played in 1903 when the National League recognized the American League as equals.
14. Baseball may or may not be strictly American as some find too many similarities to the British game of rounders.
15. Some think baseball got its orgins from a very old folk game – stool ball. (1085 AD), also British. I’d hate to think of what the bases were made of in this game.
16. In 1744 a small book called A Little Pretty Pocket-book mentions baseball.
17. In the early days of baseball, teams played till the first side scored 21 runs.
18. Other countries with similar games are India – cricket, and Russia – lapta.
19. The position of shortstop was added later because the original baseball were too light to be thrown too far.
20. Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball. However, a ball belonging to him or his playmate, Abner Graves was put on display with other baseball related items in Cooperstown, NY which eventually became the Baseball Hall of Fame.
21. The earliest versions of baseball used stakes, then stones and finally sand bags. Stakes sticks and stones will break our bones…. That’s pretty much the way all sand lot baseball goes about it, no?
22. The first all-black team was organized in 1885, the Cuban Giants in Long Island, NY.
23. In 1920, the Negro National League was formed, 1921 the Negro Eastern League. Josh Gibson hit 85 home runs one year.
24. The black brothers Welday Walker (d. 1937) and Moses F. Walker (1857-1924), played for the Toledo, Ohio team in 1884. Jackie Robinson was the first to play in the majors.
25. And, finally, the very very first mention of anthing remotely relating to baseball…Gensis 1:1.
For more info:
The DQ Times. Best Syndication, Club Sportsmania, World Almanac for Kids, Wikipedia