Stoery Of Baseball Essay, Research Paper
Baseball has been providing us with fun and
excitement for more than a hundred and fifty years. The
first game resembling baseball as we know it today was
played in Hoboken ,New Jersey, on June 19, 1846. The
New York Nine beat the New York Knickerbokers that day, 23-1.
The game was played according to rules drawn up by
Alexander J. Cartwright. A surveyer and amateur athlete.
It is a myth that Abner Doubleday1 invented baseball. It
was Alexander Cartwright, not Abner Doubleday, who
first laid out the present dimensions of the playing field
and established the basic rules of the game.
The first Professional baseball team was the Cincinnati
Red Stockings, who toured the country in 1869 and didn’t
lose a game all year. Baseball began to attract so many
fans that in 1876 the National league was organized-the
same National league that still exists today.
Although the game was played in 1876 it was
recognizable as baseball-nobody would confuse it with
football or basketball-it was quite a bit different from
baseball as we know it now. For example, pitchers had to
throw underhand, the way they still do in softball;the
batter could request the pitcher to throw a “high” or “low”
pitch; it took nine balls, rather than four, for a batter to
get a base on balls; and the pitching distance was olny 45
feet to home plate.
The rules were gradually changed over the following 20
years, until by about 1900 the game was more or less the
same as it is today. In 1884, the pitchers were permitted
to throw overhand; in 1887, the batter was no longer
allowed to request a “high”or “low” pitch; by 1889,it took
only four balls to get a batter to a base on balls;
the pitching distance was legthened to sixty-
feet, six inches.
And since that day in 1846 There have been
many greats to make up the game baseball such as Ty
Cobb who was born in a small town in Georgia in 1886. He
threw right-handed but batted left-handed . He held his
hands a few inches apart on the bat and learned to bunt
or slap line-drive hits precisely where he wanted them. He
made place hitting an art.
In the summer of 1905, Cobb joined a major league
baseball taem, the Detroit Tigers .On August 9, Ty Cobb
registered his first base hit as a member of the Tigers.
In the many years to follow he added over four thousand
more hits. Along with them would come a national rep-
Another player who some have said “changed the
game”, is John Roosevelt(”Jackie”) Robinson2.On April
15, 1947 at two o’clock that tuesday afternoon when nine
Brooklyn Dodgers sprang out thier dugout to take the feild
to start the 1947 baseball season. It was a memorable
event in basebaall history, indeed in American history.
Undoubtedly Robinson was a great ballplayer. He
was National league’s Rookie of the year in 1947 and its
Most valuable player (MVP) in 1949. He won the election
in 1962 to the Bseball Hall of Fame, the first African-
American ever chosen for that honor.
And perhaps the greatest ballplayer of all time was
Goerge Herman (Babe Ruth). During the 1920, Ruth’s first
season as a New York Yankee, he hit .376, not enough to
win the American league batting championship but a figure
far beyond what today is registered by major leagues
leaders. He also hit safely in 26 consecutive games,
clubbed 9 triples and 36 doubles, and batted in 137 runs.
Despite his weight of over 215, he stole 14 bases.
Most remarkably, however, Ruth slugged 54 home
runs for the season. Closest to him in the American League
was Goerge Sisler, with 19 homers, while the National
League leader recorded a total of only 15. Almost every
team in both leagues registered a total number far below
the 54 of Babe Ruth alone.
There have been many more talented and great ball-
players in the game such as (Ted Williams,Leo Durocher,
Hank Aaron,Mickey Mantle,Roger Maris,Willie Mays,Joe
Ted Williams Brought with him a supurb batting
eye and a striving for absolute perfection thateventually
produced a .344 lifetime batting average. Bob feller
possessed afastball that rivaled Walter Johnson’s. Joe
DiMaggio hadstyle, courage and leadership qualities that
many say havenever been equaled.
These and other ballplayers have all done thier part to
shape the game of baseball.
And today, we now have a new generation of ball-
players like Mark McGwire3 who in the 1998 season hit an
unpresedented 76 home runs and was closely followed by
Sammie Sosa3 with 70 homers which in the 1920 and 30’s
was un-thought of un-imagnable, to even hit 15 home runs
now playes can hit 15 home runs by May 15th.
Another astonashing differance is players today are
earning countless millions of dollars, unlike days of
yesteryear whaen players only made if they were lucky
Also the equipment has changed some ,for instents
the glove players didn’t start wearing gloves on the feild
until the 1880’s. At first , they wore only a thin peice of
leather over the palm of their hand, with five holes cut out
for the fingers to go through. By the 1890’s ,however,
the gloves began to look like today’s baseball gloves.
Nowadays, the glove is much larger than it used to be,
and the ball is not caught in the palm of the hand but
be trapped in the “pocket”, between the thumb and fore-
finger. Since the mid 1950’s, the glove has become more
of a net with which to snare the ball rather than just a
protective covering for hand.
So you may ask why has baseball remained so popular
for all these years? Since Alexander Cartwright first laid
out the dimentions of the playing field and drew up the
rules of the game, it has furnished enjoyment and excite-
ment for countless millions of people, young and old alike.
1- Abner Doubleday was a young West Point cadet. He was
suposed to in the summer of 1839, in the village of cooper-
stown, New York.Start the game of baseball. Because of
the numerous types of baseball, or rather games similar to
it, some belived Doubleday startedn the game of baseball.
2- Jackie Robinson was the first African-American to play
3- For pitchers in this day and age, the most threatening
figure to stride toward the batter’s box with a piece of
lumber in his massive fists is six-foot-five, 250 pound, red-
head Mark McGwire. Right-handed at the plate and in the
field, the amidable freckle-faced first baseman is the
leading power-hitter of his generation.
4- Sammy Sosa signed his first proffessional baseball
contract ay age of sixteen.
Right-handed at bat and in the outfeild, he is tremed-
ously poplular in Chicago and in all Latin-America. Six-feet
and two hundred pounds, he was the smallest of the three
challenger for the home-run record. A regular with the Cubs
starting in 1993, Sosa is no newcomer to home runs he
averaged thirty-six a season over the three-year span from
Ritter, Lawrence S. Story of baseball . New York:
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