The Change of Baseball Over the Years

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From the sandlot to stadiums seating over fifty thousand people, the game of baseball has provided people of all ages with a

common foundation; a sport we can all call our national pastime. Though its concept sounds simple, a game using a ball and a

bat, millions of people all over the world have sought involvement in it by either playing at some level, or just sitting back and

watching a game. With professional baseball attracting more and more fans each season, no one knows what limits this sport

can reach. For the time being though, it has been a real "home run."

Like any other sport, baseball developed over an extended period of time spanning way back to the 1600’s. The first evidence

of the sport was a game called rounders, which was played in England (Lewine 27). Players hit a ball with a bat, which is

parallel to today’s game, but the method’s to how the defense put the runners out was the big difference. Similar to dodge ball,

an infielder or outfielder had to throw the ball at the runners. If the ball hit a runner who was off base, he was out. This formula

was called plugging and soon after, its popularity ceased as did the game’s (29). Soon after, a transition occurred and the

name rounders changed to town ball and then to Massachusetts’s game, and finally the name baseball, developed by American

colonists, stuck. Rules did change over the period of them the names did, such as the number of players, distance between

bases and etc. Around 1840, the Americans solidified the rules and rounders had become baseball.

Even with evidence that baseball developed from rounders, it is believed that a United States Army general named Abner

Doubleday invented the sport in Cooperstown, New York, current home of the Hall of Fame (30). After many disputes,

Albert Spalding, a sporting-goods manufacturer and player of baseball, decided to have a commission decide who originated

the game. In 1908, the commission credited Doubleday with creating the game and it was based on a letter from Abner

Graves, a friend of Doubleday’s. In this document, Graves stated that he had been present as Doubleday conceptualized the

game in 1839 (30). As a result of this decision, historians research concluded that Doubleday had little to do with the discovery

of baseball and his friend Graves described plugging in the letter, that being a major fundamental in rou...

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...ood as a record for 38 years until these two men belted 70 and 66 home runs

respectively. Can this major record-breaking predict what professional baseball players have to offer us in the future? Well, we

can safely assume that baseball into the new millenium can only bring us the same excitement that it has for the past hundred or

so years. After all, it is still designated as our national pastime.

For centuries, baseball has changed drastically whether it be the players, teams, records, and all the like. While all things change though, and

as it is stated "the only thing that is constant is change," one thing has remained the same throughout its duration as one of the major sports

(McCarver 209). It has united people in times of good and bad, and for that reason was coined our national pastime. You can find thousands of

kids each Saturday during the spring at little league games. You can see a stickball game proceeding at a local park. You can even sit in an

air-conditioned room in front of the television watching the "Game of the Week." With the millions of people involved in baseball in some way

or another, there is no wonder why it is called our national pastime.

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