Baseball has a huge history regarding its invention. In this 21st century, people came to light that there are plethora of myths revolving around the history, we know today as baseball enthusiasts. Some say the popular game has been originated from England while others claim that it was invented in the American soil. So, the time of invention remains a question mark.
Swinging from 17th century to the 18th, we’ll discuss the history of Baseball today where you’ll understand when and how did Baseball become a part of the American history. Through reading this article, you’ll definitely prove yourself has a true baseball fan and contain precious knowledge about its origin. So, without further ado, let’s see when was Baseball invented.
Table of Contents
- Myth about Baseball
- Mentions of Baseball in the 17th Century
- Baseball in 18th Century
- Baseball and its Inventors
Myth About Baseball
Have you ever heard or read somewhere that Baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in 1839? It’s pretty common to hear so. However, it’s the biggest lie in the Baseball history of America. Before we dig into when was Baseball invented, we should clarify all our misconceptions about Baseball first.
Although Doubleday is believed as the inventor of Baseball, the truth is that he was never interested in athletics in his entire life. Till his death in the 1893, he never mentioned the word “Baseball” once in his lifetime. Surprisingly, he didn’t even know that his name is mentioned as the creator of America’s national pastime. So, what caused to start this myth?
It all started with the formation of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. A once sports goods magnate A. J. Spalding created a special commission – the Mills Commission and provided a false story of the Baseball’s origin for the sake of the commission’s prosperity. It was an old tricky way of falsifying and thus creating a buzz among the mass. The myth was so popular that it had been alive for a decade until proved to be a myth in the recent age.
Mentions of Baseball in the 17th Century
If we look back, the word “Baseball” was first mentioned in Anglican Bishop Thomas Wilson’s disapproval of playing in Sundays. It dated back in the 1700s. As historians seek deeper, they found the word in an English children’s book named “A Little Pretty Pocket-Book”. The book resembles a similar children’s game as stoolball or rounders with a title “Base Ball”.
It was the earliest printed mention of the word which dates back to 1744. However, in 1755, we also observed a mention of the game Baseball in another book titled “The Card” written by John Kidgell. These mentions don’t actually indicate the same game as we play today as Baseball but they are the original versions of the game from which experts gathered thoughts about creating a new game.
The Prince of Whales claimed to play Baseball in his childhood in England. The approximate year was November, 1748. This brings to an assumption that Baseball was invented in England. When the English games were gaining popularity and started to thrive worldwide, Baseball was also on of those games that gain attention. We can confirm the statement from German Johann Gutsmuth’s book on popular past times in 1796.
Baseball in the 18th Century
By now, if you think that the English invented Baseball, you’re probably incorrect to some extent. The baseball that people from England used to play in their childhood is more appropriately called Rounders. Baseball is almost similar to Rounders but has a different set of rules in the game.
By the early 1830s, North America witnessed various forms of bat and ball games that grew popular gradually. The games were called by several names such as “town ball’, “round ball” and sometimes even “Base ball”. These initiated the presence of Baseball game invention in the American soil.
However, as we mentioned earlier, to win the argument on when was Baseball invented and where was it invented, the Mills Commission played a tricked game by claiming that Baseball was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. As time went by America started to own this game as their favorite past time. then, in 1845, Alexander Cartwright created a set of rules for the real Baseball game that we see in the modern age.
Note that he was a member of New York City’s Knickerbocker Club. As a result, baseball continued as an American game later and till know the Knickerbocker rules are mentioned as standards.
Baseball and its Inventors
After many myths and doubts, there are two people in the Baseball history who deserve the credit for Baseball’s popularization in America. The first person is Alexander Cartwright. Being a volunteer firefighter and a bank clerk, he was one of the founding members of New York Knickerbockers.
He is the one who first set some ground rules for Baseball officially that is famous till this date. If it wasn’t his contribution in Baseball in 1845, perhaps it would have been hard for the mass people to play the game under one standardized rule.
Now we’ll talk about the second most important person who took Baseball nationwide. We’re talking about Abner Graves here. Though he is among the many who confirmed the myth of Abner Doubleday’s invention, he participated in revolutionizing Baseball to the general people.
Later on, people even started collecting baseball cards for hobby or as huge investments. If you want to learn about how baseball cards can turn into fortunes, click – most expensive baseball card and see if your old baseball cards can bring you any luck.
So, the exact date when was baseball invented is unknown. The vast history and similarities with other bat and ball games makes it even more difficult to identify the time. However, the first recorded baseball game was arranged in 19 June, 1846 following the Knickerbocker’s rule. From then on later, Baseball became an international game; known widely as an American game worldwide.