A Brief History Of America’s National Pastime

993 words - 4 pages

According to a passage in the 19th Century Baseball website, author Eric Miklich writes that America’s pastime may have originated in Canada. Miklich tells the story of Dr. Adam E. Ford who wrote a letter about a game which had been played in 1838 which was described to have several key differences than baseball. Many people believe that baseball evolved from games played in England- mainly cricket and rounders. Others believe the German game of town ball is where it all started. October 6, 1845 was the first baseball game on record. One of the teams playing that day were the New York Knickerbockers. The Knickerbockers, led by “The Father of Baseball” Alexander Cartwright, are known today as ...view middle of the document...

The MLB has seen their gross income skyrocket recently earning $8 billion in 2013. A $6.6 billion increase from the 1995 season even though there has been a slight drop in kids and adults playing the sport in the last ten years. This data may show that baseball has lessened its popularity among the younger demographic, possibly because of their short attention spans (Bickley). Baseball’s popularity in the future may be a topic for debate, but what we know for sure is that baseball has been a very popular sport in this country for the past 150 years and has been a large contributor to American culture.
As the popularity began to grow in the mid 1800s, the equipment has gone from very humble beginnings to what we know and use today. The baseball itself has changed since the game began. The standard ball in the bid 1850s had a 8-11 inch circumference and weighed 5.5-6 ounces. The home team had the option to use more rubber in the core and wind the string tighter, or use less rubber and wind the string looser. This affected how much bounce the ball had and the home team would use the ball according to their strengths and the opponents weaknesses. In the early 1910s, the rubber core was replaced with cork which statistically improved hitting. The final big innovation was when Milton B. Reach used cork surrounded by black semi-vulcanized rubber which is surrounded by red rubber in 1925. Both leagues began using this ball and little has changed since then (Stamp).
The baseball bat has gone through several changes also. In the early years of the game, the bats were much larger than they are today. They were as long as forty-two inches and weighed as much as fifty ounces which is much more than the thirty-two to thirty-four inch thirty-two ounce bat used today. The...

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