History of Baseball

One of the first teams to play baseball were the Knickerbockers from New York City in 1845. The club was headed by Alexander Cartwright under whom the early baseball rules were formed known as the Knickerbocker rules. Some of the first rules developed during this time are still in use like allowing the fielders to tag or force runners. The first contest played by two teams was in 1846 between the Knickerbockers and the New York baseball club.

The first baseball league called the National association of Professional Baseball Players was formed in 1875 which emphasized more on the clubs than on the players. The clubs could now enforce player contracts which prevented players to move from one club to another. Many times the players dissatisfied and angry with the terms and conditions of their contracts formed their own leagues like the Union association and Players league which did not last for long and disbanded quickly.

The 1900’s to 1919’s was known as the dead ball era because the high price of baseballs forced clubs to use a single ball for the entire length of the game unless the ball got lost in the stands. By the end of the game the ball was often muddy, misshapen and lumpy. As a result of this there were rarely any home runs in the games played during that time.
The 1920’s saw a lot of major changes in baseball due to gambling scandals and also the introduction of a legend called George Herman Ruth affectionately called as Babe Ruth. He was one of the most successful players of major league baseball winning three World Series.

By the 1950’s baseball grew and spread to rest of the states in America and in a couple of years the economic prosperity of baseball grew with television and radio contracts. In the recent past the game has had its own share of strife with concerns over players taking performance enhancing drugs but it has been able to overcome the negatives and is still one of the most loved and watched sports in the United States.

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