105 Facts About The History Of Baseball For Kids To Understand | Kidadl


105 Facts About The History Of Baseball For Kids To Understand

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Baseball has been an indispensable part of American culture for over a century.

It is considered America's favorite national pastime and has changed and grown considerably since its inception. Today, its popularity has grown in many countries in Latin America and Asia, particularly Japan. 

In the United States, baseball grew in popularity during the 19th century. Women have been playing baseball since the 1860s. But at present, they have no professional teams. During World War Two, many players joined the armed forces. To keep interest of people in the game going, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was created in 1943 and lasted till 1954. If you want to read more facts related to the game's history, keep reading the article.

If you enjoyed reading this article, you must read these fun articles on the history of boats and the history of cars here at Kidadl.

The History Of Baseball

Games of hitting balls with bats have been around in many European societies for eons. The true origin of baseball is not known with any certainty. However, it is commonly accepted today that it has some resemblance to cricket and another British game known as rounders.

There is a popular myth surrounding its origin. It is said that the game was the brainchild of a U.S. army officer named Abner Doubleday. He was credited with having invented baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown, New York. However, the story is nothing but a fabricated tale. The story was perpetuated when a special commission by a sporting goods brand was asked to specify the game's origin. Instead of acknowledging that the English games of rounders and cricket influenced baseball's origin, it gave all the credit to Doubleday without any reliable evidence. John Thorn, a baseball historian, found a Pittsfield town ordinance dating back to 1791, almost 48 years before Abner Doubleday. The National Baseball Hall of Fame, situated in Cooperstown, accepted it as the first known reference to baseball and honored the town of Pittsfield with a plaque.

The New York Knickerbockers were the first team to play the game of baseball as per the modern rules. In 1845, the founder of the team, Alexander Cartwright, set some rules known as the Knickerbocker Rules that dealt with organizational matters and the modern baseball rules. The first and foremost baseball game took place on June 19, 1846, between the Knickerbockers and the New York Nine at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey. The New York nine won the game, 23-1. In 1869, the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first team to play professionally, and it was perhaps one of the most important events in the history of baseball. 11 other teams also became professionals in the same year. In another two years' time, the first professional baseball association was formed by nine teams.

The Civil War helped baseball gain popularity among the land soldiers exposed to it during downtimes. After the war, the game's popularity increased, and it soon became a national favorite. Most towns began to have their own teams that played against each other. Soon, professional leagues were formed. The National League was formed in 1876, and in 1900, their rival, the American Leagues, was formed. The first combined championship between the rival leagues was played in 1903 and was called the World Series. The teams competing in it were from Boston and Pittsburgh, but the name 'World Series' still stuck. The Boston Americans of the American League won the series by winning five games, whereas the Pittsburgh Pirates of the National League won three games.

Until the '40s, black Americans were not allowed to be a part of the major leagues. However, between the '20s-'40s, they had their own Negro leagues. Josh Gibson, Buck Leonard, and Cool Papa Bell were some of the best black baseball players who had never played in the major leagues. Jackie Robinson was the very first black American to join a major league team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1947. Many other players of color followed suit, and in the '60s, the Negro leagues were disbanded.

Major Events In Baseball

In 1903, the National League and the American League formed a professional baseball organization known as Major League Baseball. A total of 30 professional teams, 15 each from both leagues, are a part of it.

The major league champions from the National League and American League compete for a championship in what is known as the World Series. The teams in Major League Baseball are from North America. The World Series tournament is held in October every year. 

The Baseball World Cup was an international baseball championship where the national baseball teams from various countries competed for the trophy. It started in 1938, and the last one was held in 2011. It was discontinued in favor of the World Baseball Classic to precede the major league season. 

In 2006, the World Baseball Classic started. The tournament is organized every four years and features professional players from Major League Baseball and other major baseball leagues around the world. In 2015, another new international baseball tournament known as the Premier12 World Championship was started, and it is held every four years.

Baseball was a part of the Olympic Games as a demonstration game, and it became an official Olympic sport in 1992, but was discontinued after the 2008 Olympics.

Rules Of Baseball

Baseball is a ball and a bat game. The rules of the game are simple and have evolved over the years. A baseball game has two teams playing against each other and consists of nine players each. Both teams take turns batting and fielding as the game progresses. 

The baseball field where the game is played has four bases arranged in a diamond shape around the field. The player who bats has to hit the ball hard enough to send it as far as possible; he then has to make a round, touching all four bases to complete a run. The first base is known as the home base.

A run is scored when the batter gets around all the bases without being tagged out. Each batter gets three chances to hit a ball that is pitched to them. A strike is when the batter swings the bat and misses the ball. After three strikes, he gets an out, and another batter can step up. The fielding team has to get three players from the opposing team out to get their turn to bat. The fielding team has the ball and tries to get the players from the other team out before a run is completed. There are nine innings in a baseball game. Both teams get a chance to bat, score runs, and win points in each inning.

The baseball field consists of the infield and outfield. All four bases are located in the infield. Beyond the infield and foul lines is the outfield area of the baseball field. The ground around the foul lines is called the 'foul territory'. A hit is called a 'fair ball' when the ball is between the foul lines, and if it lands outside of these four lines, it is called a 'foul ball'.

If a player believes he cannot complete the circuit around the bases without being tagged, he may stay at any of the bases. To get a player out, the tagger from the fielding team must have the ball in his hand and touch the batter when he is trying to score a run. The team that scores the most runs wins. There are four umpires in the field to ensure that the game is played fairly.

Evolution of Baseball Over the Years

The game of baseball has evolved. Early baseball was an amateur sport, and today it has cemented itself as the United States' de facto national game. Among the first significant changes in the game was the evolution of the pitching strategy. The banning of spitball in 1920 and the ban on a wet pitch in 1968 was significant. With the advent of television, night games became prevalent to increase their viewership, which brought money into the game.

Today, the ball used in baseball games is made with wool yarn and is covered with cowhide. It weighs 5 oz (141.74 g) and has a circumference of 9 in (22.86 cm). In the game's early years, the balls were not weighed and were not even wound tightly. In those days, only five or six balls would be used in each game. Today, a major league game uses 60-70 balls. The umpire changes the ball if it has landed in dirt or has been hit a few times to maintain the integrity of the ball.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for 105 facts about the history of baseball for kids to understand, then why not take a look at the history of drinking straws, or the history of cooking oil.

Written By
Martha Martins

<p>Martha is a full-time creative writer, content strategist, and aspiring screenwriter who communicates complex thoughts and ideas effectively. She has completed her Bachelor's in Linguistics from Nasarawa State University. As an enthusiast of public relations and communication, Martha is well-prepared to substantially impact your organization as your next content writer and strategist. Her dedication to her craft and commitment to delivering high-quality work enables her to create compelling content that resonates with audiences.</p>

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