Baseball - History of Baseball


The game of baseball was created by Alexander Cartwright Jr., the founder of the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, in 1845. Informal games played with a bat and ball, like the English game "rounders" were common, but Cartwright and his club wrote the first set of rules and regulations for baseball as we know it today.

The baseball team Alexander Cartwright founded is still playing today. The usual nickname for the team is the New York "Knicks". Baseball is now popular throughout North America, as well some countries in Central and South America, and the Caribbean. It is also popular in Australia, and Asian countries like Japan and South Korea.

  • Alexander Cartwright was a volunteer firefighter with the Knickerbocker Engine Company Number 12, in Manhattan, New York. The Knickerbocker Base Ball club members were from this firefighter company, and it is the source of the club's name.

  • Alexander Cartwright left New York in 1849, to join the California gold rush. He left for the Kingdom of Hawai'i the following year, and became the fire chief of Honolulu in 1850. He set up a baseball field on the island of Oahu, and organized Hawai'ian baseball teams.

  • The first baseball league was founded in 1857. The National Association of Base Ball Players was made up of 16 teams from the New York area. Paying the players was against the rules, though some teams did it secretly. This rule changed in 1869, and the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first team to openly pay players.

  • Professional baseball began when the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players broke away from the amateur teams in 1871. This league became the National League, part of what is now Major League Baseball, in 1876. The American League was founded in 1901.

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