A Marriage Between Baseball and America

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The origin of baseball is a complicated story. Baseball began in small towns around America before 1791 according to evidence in a Pittsfield, Massachusetts library found the first mention of baseball in a bylaw stating that no baseball would be played within 80 yards of the new town hall. Many believe that baseball was created in 1829 by Abner Doubleday, a former Union General during the Civil War. It is said he created baseball at Elihu Phinney’s cow pasture in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. The story goes that a minor from Colorado named Abner Graves who says that he saw Doubleday draw a diagram of a baseball field. This story was a lie. In 1903 Henry Chadwick, an English writer wrote an article noting common factors between rounders (an English folk game) and baseball. In 1905 Albert Spalding, the president of the Chicago Cubs and Abraham G. Mills, president of the National League created a commission called the Mills Commission which was made up of Spalding’s supports of the Doubleday story and those against the story like Chadwick were excluded from the commission. The Mills commission was to find that baseball was an American invention and did not come from an English folk game called rounders but an American folk game called Old Cat. Mills gave credit to the Doubleday story and gave baseball the American origin on December 30th, 1907. This was 15 years after Doubleday’s death. The problems with the Doubleday story are that Abner Doubleday was a sophomore at West Point in 1839 and didn’t have a summer vacation. That Abner Graves was five years old in 1839; he expressed anti-English sentiments in a letter to the Mills Commission and spent time in an insane asylum late in his life after shooting his wife. The early days of ...

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... and America were hurting. In the 20s the end of the dead ball era and the beginning of the live ball era started with lots of the homeruns being hit by more and more players led by Babe Ruth. The 40s saw the great young players leave for war to fight the Nazi’s and Japanese. Players like Ted Williams and Joe DiMaggio. The 40s also saw the comeback of African American players in Major League Baseball in 1947 with Jackie Robinson and this was first time since 1884 (the last black player was Moses Fleetwood Walker). In the 1948 Executive Order 9981 was issued by President Truman which ended military segregation and the Korean Conflict was the first full biracial army the United States had. Baseball and America reflect each other in many issues during this marriage together, whether the issue is economic, domestic, and racial. Baseball and America stick together.

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