The concept baseball can be dated to 1744, i John Newberys children’s book A nice little wallet. The book has a short poem and an illustration showing a game called baseball. Interestingly, the bases in the illustration are characterized by inserts instead of the bags and the flat home plate that is now so familiar in the game. The book was extremely popular in England and was rewritten North America in 1762 (New York) and 1787 (Massachusetts).
Many other early references to bat-and-ball games involving bases are known: a 1749 British newspaper referring to Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, plays “Bass-Ball” in Surrey, England; “Playing at the base” in the American army camp at Valley Forge in 1778; ban on students to “play with balls and sticks” in the common area Princeton College in 1787; a note in the memoirs of Thurlow Weed, and upstate New York newspaper editor and politician, by a baseball club organized around 1825; a newspaper report that Rochester (New York) Baseball Club had about 50 members on practice in the 1820s; and a reminiscence of the elder Oliver Wendell Holmes regarding the Harvard days in the late 1820s, and said that he played a good deal of ball on junior high school.
The boy’s own book (1828), an often reprinted book on English sport played by the boys of the time, included in its second edition a chapter on the game with rounder. As described there, Rounder had many similarities to the modern baseball game: it was played on a diamond-shaped infield with a base in each corner, the fourth was what the batter originally stood on and which he had to advance to score a run. When a batter hit a hit ball through or over the infield, he could run. A ball that was hit elsewhere was ugly, and he could not run. Three missed shots on the ball meant the batter was out. A hit ball that was caught on the move put the batter out. A notable difference from baseball was that, in rounder, when a ball hit on the ground was dropped, the fielder put the runner out by hitting him with the thrown ball; the same was true of a runner who was taken off base. The illustrations show flat stones used as a base and a second catch behind the first, perhaps to catch bad balls. The descent of baseball from rounder undoubtedly seems clear. The first American report on rounder was in The book of sports (1834) by Robin Carver, who credits The boy’s own book as his source, but calls the game based, gold goal, ball.
In 1845, according to baseball legend, Alexander J. Cartwright, an amateur player in New York City, organized New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, which formulated a set of rules for baseball, many of which still remain. The rules were about the same as for rounder, but with a significant change in that the runner was put out not by being hit with a thrown ball, but by being marked with it. This change undoubtedly led to a harder ball being replaced, which enabled a bigger game.
The adoption of these rules by the Knickerbockers and other amateur club teams in the New York City area led to an increasing popularity of the game. The old softball game continued to be popular in and around Boston; a Philadelphia club that had been playing the old game since 1833 did not adopt the Knickerbocker or New York version of the game until 1860. Until American Civil War (1861–65), the two versions of the game were called the Massachusetts game (using the soft ball) and the New York game (using the hard ball). During the Civil War, soldiers from New York and New Jersey taught his game to others, and after the war, the New York game became dominant.
In 1854 a revision of the rules prescribed weight and size of ball, together with the dimensions of the infield, specifications that have not changed significantly since that time. Tea National Association of Base Ball Players was organized in 1857, consisting of clubs from New York City and the surrounding area. In 1859, Washington DC organized a club, and the following year clubs were formed in Lowell, Massachusetts; Allegheny, Pennsylvania; and Hartford, Connecticut. The game continued to spread after the Civil War – to Maine, Kentucky and Oregon. Baseball was on its way to becoming the national pastime. There was a lot of playing outside the cities, but big city clubs were the dominant force. In 1865, a convention was convened to confirm the rules and amateur status of baseball and gathered 91 amateur teams from cities such as St. Louis; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Washington DC; Boston; and Philadelphia.
Two important developments in baseball history took place in the period after the Civil War: the spread of the sport to Latin America and Asia (discussed later) and the professionalization of the sport in the United States. The early baseball clubs like New York Knickerbockers were clubs in the true sense of the word: members paid due, the emphasis was on brotherhood and socializing, and baseball games were mostly played among the members. But the growth of baseball popularity soon aroused commercial interest. I 1862 William Cammeyer from Brooklyn built a closed baseball field with racks and charged access to games. After the Civil War, this exercise spread rapidly, and clubs soon learned that games with rival clubs and tournaments drew larger crowds and led to prestige to the winners. The inter-club games aroused interest and influence from players. With a new emphasis on external competition, clubs felt pressure to field quality teams. The players began to specialize in playing a single position, and the field time was given to the club’s top players so they could practice. Professionalism began to emerge around 1865-66 when some teams hired skilled players per game. Players were either paid to play or were compensated with jobs that required little or no actual work. Amateurs disliked this practice and the gambling and bribery that often accompanied them, but the larger audience was thrilled by the intense competition and rivalry that developed. The first publicly announced all-professional team, The Cincinnati (Ohio) Red Stockings, was organized in 1869; it toured that year, played from New York City to San Francisco and won 56 games and equalized 1. The team’s success, especially against the holy clubs in New York, resulted in national fame and proved the superior skill of professional players. The desire of many other cities and teams to win such recognition guaranteed the professionalization of the game, although many players remained nominally in the amateur association for baseball players until the amateurs retired in 1871. Thereafter, professional teams largely controlled the development of the sport.
Tea The National Association of Professional Base Ball Players was formed in 1871. The founders were Philadelphia Athletics; tea Chicago White Socks (who also wanted to play as the Chicago Colts and Chicago Orphans before joining the Cubs – American League Chicago White Sox was not formed until 1900); Brooklyn (New York) Eckfords; tea Cleveland (Ohio) Forest Citys; Forest Citys of Rockford, Illinois; Haymakers of Troy, New York; Kekiongas av Fort Wayne, Indiana; Olympics in Washington, DC; and reciprocal in New York City. The league was dissolved in 1876 with the founding of the rival National League of Professional Baseball Clubs. The transition from a players’ association to one of the clubs was particularly significant. The teams that made up the new league represented Philadelphia, Hartford (Connecticut), Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Louisville (Kentucky), St. Louis and New York City. When William Hulbert, league president (1877-82), expelled four players for dishonesty, the reputation of baseball as an institution was significant improved.