BASEBALL HISTORY
1840-1902
BASE BALL ORIGINS
• ABNER DOUBLEDAY 1839 LEGEND: BASEBALL AS
RURAL PAST TIME IN NEW YORK STATE.
• CRICKETT, ROUNDERS, STICK-BALL
• “TOWN BALL” IN NY AND NEW ENGLAND
• 1845 KNICKERBOCKERS CLUB IN NY
• KNICKERBOCKERS, FIRST ORGANIZED BASEBALL
CLUB. EARLIER TEAMS.
• BASEBALL RULES: DIAMOND-SHAPE FIELD, 21ACES, ONE-BOUNCE OUT FLY, RUNNERS
THROWN-AT, NO STRIKE ZONE, NO BASE ON
BALLS, SPIN-PITCHES, PITCHER’S ROLE= TO FEED
THE BALL, NO GLOVES.
CARTWRIGHT RULES, 1845
• ALEXANDER CARTWRIGHT,
KNICKERBOCKERS BASE BALL CLUB
• BASES SITUATED AT “42 PACES” DISTANCE
• 21 ACES RULES
• EQUAL NUMBER OF HANDS OR INNINGS
• FOUL LINES
• BALL CAUGHT FLYING OR ON THE FIRST
BOUND IS OUT
• BALL SHALL NOT BE THROWN AT THE
RUNNER FOR AN OUT
• NO BASE RUNNING ON FOULS
KNICKERBOCKERS CLUB
• MIDDLE CLASS WHITE COLLAR WORKERS
• AMATEUR PLAYERS, BACHELOR CULTURE,
MODERATE EXERCISE FOR RECREATIONAL
PURPOSES.
• NEW RULES: LIMIT=9 INNINGS, FLY
CATCHES,
• NEW YORK LEAGUE, NY AND BROOKLIN
TEAMS
• 1846 GAME VS NEW YORK CLUB (23-1)
• SOCIAL CLUB, DANCES, DINNERS, ETC
BASE BALL IN THE 1850s
• 1857 GAMES 9 INNINGS-LONG RULE AND
FIVE-INNINGS LEGAL RULE.
• 1857 NY CONVENTION (25 TEAMS)
• 1858 FLY RULE, ONCE-BOUNCE OUTS
DISCONTINUED.
• 1858 ALL-STAR GAME NY vs BROOKLYN
• 50 CENTS ENTRY FEE, FIRST PRO EVENT
• 1858 NABBP, 60 CLUBS, YEAR SCHEDULE,
SETTLEMENT OF DISPUTES
• 1860 PHILADELPHIA ATHLETICS, OLDEST
NICKNAME IN BASEBALL USED TODAY.
BASE BALL AND MUSCULAR
CHRISTIANITY
• BB BENEFITS: DEVELOPMENT OF CHARACTER,
PROMOTION OF HEALTH AND IMPROVEMENT OF
MORAL STANDARDS.
• NON-AGGRESSIVE RECREATIONAL ACTIVITY.
• OPEN SPACE-DAY TIME, IDEAL FOR BOYS AND
YOUNG BACHELORS.
• RECONNECTION WITH COUNTRYSIDE VALUES vs
NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF URBAN LIFE.
• POSITIVE BENEFITS, MORAL AND PHYSICAL
HEALTH.
• RESTORATION OF MEN’S PHYSICAL ATRIBUTES
AND MORAL VALUES DIMINISHED BY
URBANIZATION.
BASEBALL POPULARITY
• “PASTORAL” LANDSCAPE, GLAMOURIZED VERSION
OF A HEALTHY OUTDOOR RECREATIONAL
“COUNTRYSIDE TRADITION”, INVENTION OF
TRADITION FROM RURAL AMERICA.
• TIME-LESS, EGALITARIAN, NON-VIOLENT, HEALTHY
• IDEAL AFTER-WORK SPORT FOR MEN ACCORDING
TO “MUSCULAR CHRISTIANITY” DOCTRINE
• HEALTH-MORAL BENEFITS FOR BODY-SPIRIT
• “PURE AMERICAN” TRADITION
• 1860 BASEBALL CLUB IN SAN FRANCISCO
• 1860 FIRST GUIDEBOOK
BASEBALL POPULARITY
• HENRY CHADWICK, B.1824 ENGLAND,
EMIGRATED AT 12 TO THE U.S.
• CRICKETT PLAYER IN NYC
• NEWSPAPER REPORTER IN NEW YORK.
• 1856 BB “A NATIONAL SPORT FOR
AMERICANS” DERIVED FROM ROUNDERS
BUT EVOLVED INTO A GAME PURELY
BASED ON “AMERICAN SPIRIT”
BASEBALL POPULARITIY
• CHADWICK WRITINGS, BASEBALL:
• 1868 BOOK “THE GAME OF BASEBALL: HOW TO
LEARN IT, HOW TO PLAY IT, HOW TO TEACH IT”
(RULES, STRATEGY, FUNDAMENTALS)
• “A MORAL RECREATION”
• “REMEDY FOR MANY EVILS BOYS AND MEN FACE
IN U.S. CITIES”
• MORAL RATIONALE OF BB SIGNIFICANCE.
• BOX SCORING INVENTOR
• INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS FOR PLAYERS
• STATISTICS BASES FOR BASEBALL
BASEBALL AFTER THE CIVIL
WAR
• HARRY WRIGHT, B. 1835 ENGLAND,
CRICKETT PLAYER FOR THE NY
ST.GEORGE DRAGONSLAYERS
• BASEBALL PLAYER FOR THE NY
KNICKERBOCKERS
• 1868 SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH
CINCINNATI CLUB
• 1869 ORGANIZED THE CINCINNATI RED
STOCKINGS, FIRST ALL PROFESSIONAL BB
TEAM
BASEBALL AFTER THE CIVIL
WAR
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CINCINNATI RED STOCKINGS
1869 UNDEFEATED SEASON
WRIGHT, TEAM MANAGER, ORGANIZER
UNIFORM PROTOTYPE, CAMPAIGN HATS
WITH FRONT BILLS INSTEAD OF WIDE
BRIMMED HATS.
• TEAM LETTERS ON SHIRT, COLOR SOX.
• MEDIA SUCCESS, PRESIDENT GRANT
INVITATION TO PLAY IN D.C.
BASEBALL AFTER THE CIVIL
WAR
• WRIGHT ALL STAR TEAM
• 1870 LOST TO BROOKLYN ATHLETICS
8-7 (15,000 FANS) $50cts TICKETS
• 1870 LOST SEVERAL GAMES
• OWNERS FIRED WRIGHT AND
HIGHEST PAID PLAYERS
• 1871 WRIGHT MOVED TO MASS.
CREATED THE BOSTON RED
STOCKINGS, A NEW ALL PRO. TEAM
BASEBALL DIFFUSION
• CIVIL WAR – SOUTHERN STATES
• RAILROAD-URBANIZATIONINDUSTRIALIZATION
• SPANISH-AMERICAN WAR 1898
• 1880s AMERICAN CAPITAL/WORKERS
IMPORTATION: CUBA, MEXICO, PUERTO
RICO, CENTRAL AMERICA
• AMERICAN CREWS, TEAMS PLAYED IN
CAMPS. AMERICAN ENGINEERS-WHITE
COLLAR WORKERS, EXHIBITION GAMES AT
COUNTRY CLUBS ABROAD.
BASEBALL AFTER THE CIVIL
WAR
• CINCINNATTI RED STOCKINGS 1869 FIRST
PROFESSIONAL TEAM
• 1876 NATIONAL LEAGUE OF PROFESSIONAL
BASE BALL CLUBS
• EIGHT TEAMS (NY, SL, BO, CHI, CIN, PHI,
HARTFORD, LOUISVILLE)
• PLAYERS “BOUND FOR LIFE, UNLESS SOLD,
TRADED OR RELEASED” BY TEAM OWNERS
• ADMISSION PRICES, NO SUNDAY GAMES
AMERICAN LEAGUE 1882
• CINCINNATTI KICKED OUT NL FOR PLAYING
SUNDAYS AND SELLING BEER
• AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF BASE BALL CLUBS
(SIX TEAMS)
• BREWING COMPANIES, NEW INVESTORS AND
TEAM OWNERS
• CHEAPER ADMISSION FEES, SUNDAY GAMES
• BASEBALL BASE AUDIENCE EXPANSION TO
LOWER&BLUE COLLAR CLASSES
• BASEBALL, NEW WINDOW FOR
ENTERTAINMENT&ADVERTISING&CONSUMPTION
BASEBALL 1880s
• WALK RULES: 9 TO 4 BALLS
• RULE CHANGE: FROM PITCHING ONLY
UNDERHAND AND SIDEARM, OVERHAND
PROHIBITION LIFTED IN 1884.
• 1885 CHICAGO WHITE STOCKINGS, FIRST SPRING
SEASON IN ARKANSAS
• 1887 FIRST STRIKE ZONE (SHOULDERS TO KNEES)
BATTER REQUEST NO LONGER ALLOWED FOR
HIGH/LOW PITCHES
• 1887 DETROIT WOLVERINES vs ST.LOUIS BROWNS
FIRST NL vs AL SERIES (BEST OF 15 GAMES)
BASEBALL IN THE 1880s
• BASEBALL POPULARITY, MUSICAL PLAYS,
BOOKS, MANUALS . JOHN MONTGOMERY
“HOW TO BECOME A PLAYER” PUBLISHED.
• INFORMAL RULES FOR ADMITTING AFRICAN
AMERICAN AND LATIN AMERICAN PLAYERS.
• CHARLES COMISKEY, 1B AND MANAGER OF
ST.LOUIS ENDORSES “MENELL’S
PENETRATING OIL”.
• LOUISVILLE COLONELS PLAYERS WALK
OUT OVER SALARY DISPUTES, ESPECIALLY
THE $100 FOR AN ERROR POLICY.
BASEBALL IN THE 1890s
• 1893: 60 FT 6 INCH. PITCHING DISTANCE
RULE.
• 1894 BROOKLYN BRIDEGROOMS
NICKNAME.
• 1894 LAST BAREHANDS INFIELDER JERRY
DENNY.
• 1895 OVERSIZED MITTONS RULE
(CATCHERS AND FIRST BASEMEN)
• 1898 JOHN T.BRUSH CINCINNATI OWNER:
CAP SALARY PLAN AND PURIFICATION
PLAN vs PLAYERS “INDECENT LANGUAGE”
COMMERCIALIZATION
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BASEBALL SPORTING GOODS
ALBERT G. SPALDING STORY
CATALOGUE-MERCHANDISE
DOUBLEDAY-COOPERSTOWN MYTH BY N.L.
AND SPALDING
• BEER SPONSORSHIP
• ADMISSION FEES, OUTFIELD FENCES
• BASEBALL ORIGINAL FOOD: HOT DOGS
BASEBALL NEW ORIGINS
• 1907 NATIONAL LEAGUE COMMISSIONER
ABRAHAM MILLS AND ALBERT SPALDING,
FORMAL COMMISSION TO IDENTIFY
ORIGINS OF BASEBALL.
• BASEBALL “NATIONAL SPORT” NEVER
LINKED TO ROUNDERS OR CRICKETT
• ABNER GRAVES LETTER
• 1839 COPPERSTOWN, NY ABNER
DOUBLEDAY PRESENTED A SET OF RULES
TO HIS FRIENDS.
BASEBALL 1900
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OVERHAND PITCHING ONLY
BB, SO, PITCHERS’ GOLDEN ERA
COMMERCIAL ENTERTAINMENT
NATIONAL PASTIME/ NATIONAL SPORT
1910 PRESIDENT TAFT FIRST PITCH
THROWING
• 1903 FIRST “WORLD SERIES”
• COMMERCIAL SUCCESS