In other variants the batter himself tossed the ball into the air with his free hand, as in fungo. Baseball, as it was before the rise to dominance of its altered New York variant in the 1850s and 60s, was known variously as base ball, town ball, round ball,[c] round town, goal ball, field-base, three-corner cat, the New England game, or Massachusetts baseball.  The word "baseball" first appeared in a dictionary in 1768, in A General Dictionary of the English Language compiled by the editors of the Encyclopædia Britannica (first published the same year), with the unhelpful definition "A rural game in which the person striking the ball must run to his base or goal. Evolution from the so-called "Knickerbocker Rules" to the current rules is fairly well documented. It seems that this may have been an elaborate hoax. However, at least three earlier reported games have since been discovered: on October 10, 1845 a game was played between the New York Ball Club and an unnamed[h] club from Brooklyn, at the Union Star Cricket Grounds in Brooklyn; the New Yorks lost 22 to 1. Although this story is also believed to be false by most of the baseball fans, it still makes rounds in the world of sports. The Man Who Invented Baseball. We first organized what we called the Gotham Baseball Club. ("Stow" could also refer to a type of frame used in mining). One ol' cat was often played when there weren't enough players to choose up sides and play townball. Very broadly speaking, these games can be roughly divided into forms of longball, where the batter ran out to a single point or line and back, as in cricket, and roundball, where there was a circuit of multiple bases. By the 1850s, several Manhattan-based members of the National Association of Base Ball Players were using the grounds as their home field. In 1880, the founders of the professional National League's New York club and the Metropolitan Club of the American Association finally succeeded in siting a ballpark in Manhattan at the former Polo Grounds on 110th Street. ", By 1796, the rules of this English game were well enough established to earn a mention in the German Johann Gutsmuths' book on popular pastimes. The earliest known mention of baseball, as a children's game, dates from the same year (1744) in which the Artillery Ground Laws formalised the rules of what was already a first-class, professional sport sponsored by nobility and upon which vast wagers were laid. This game is played on a diamond-shaped circuit of 4 bases. Another game that was popular in early America was "one ol' cat", the name of which was possibly originally a contraction of one hole catapult. Or were simply variable depending on how many players were available; during their first decade the Knicks played games with as few as seven and as many as thirteen on a side. There were once two camps. It has been said that Doubleday invented baseball in Cooperstown, New York, in the summer of 1839, and then went on to become a civil war hero while the game he invented became America’s pastime. Debate on baseball's origins had raged for decades, heating up in the first years of the 20th century, due in part to a 1903 essay baseball historian Henry Chadwick wrote in Spalding's Official Baseball Guide stating that baseball gradually evolved from English game of “rounders”. You see, Doubleday was a native of Cooperstown, New York and he was credited with inventing the game there in 1839 based on the testimony of one Abner Graves. rounders), out of children's "safe haven" ball games.. This game was played by teams of ten to fourteen players with four bases 60 feet apart and no foul territory. William Bradford in his diary for Christmas Day, 1621, noted (with disapproval) how the men of Plymouth were "frolicking in þe street, at play openly; some pitching þe barre, some at stoole-ball and shuch-like sport". In 1833 the Olympic Ball Club of Philadelphia was organized,[g] and by 1837 the Gotham Base Ball Club would be formed in Manhattan, which would later split to form the Knickerbocker Club. Games believed to have been similar to cricket had developed by the 13th century. When, in 1860, the Olympic Ball Club of Philadelphia voted to change over to the "New York game", several traditionalist members resigned in protest. The game’s formation was a communal effort, thanks in large part to the members of the Knickerbocker Base Ball … Despite this, the ballpark built in 1939 only a few blocks down from the Hall of Fame still bears the name "Doubleday Field". Baseball was invented in 1845 by Alexander Cartwright. All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, National Association of Base Ball Players, National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, "Mitul oinei: Inventia sportului national (I)", "The Seventeenth Century Game of Cricket: A Reconstruction of the Game", "The oldest international contest of them all", "Save rounders! But this development happened in urban New York City, not pastoral Cooperstown, and the men involved were neither farm boys nor West Point cadets.  To end argument, speculation, and innuendo, Spalding organized the Mills Commission in 1905. It was October 2, 1977 and the baseball season was coming to an end when Dusty Baker, a left fielder for the Dodgers, hit his 30th home run, making the Dodgers the first team in history to have four players with 30 or more home runs each. It is however possible that the "New York" and "Gotham" clubs were one and the same. 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