Hey, Ball Fans!
Who can resist the old-fashioned call of Baseball?! It’s come quite a long way from hitting a ball with a stick in an alley. Baseball today is far from your great-grandfather’s baseball. Instead of an unorganized activity for fun after school, it’s become the Major Leagues, Homeruns, Stadium Hot Dogs, and Bob Uecker. This is the story of America’s favorite pastime and how it got be the way it is now.
Baseball is a sport that dates back over 250 years to 1744 and likely long before that. John Newbery’s children’s book ‘A Little Pretty Pocket-Book’ includes a brief poem and an illustration depicting a game called base-ball. Instead of flat plates, the illustration shows the bases being marked by tall posts.
Many variations of bat-and-ball games that involve bases have existed throughout the years. They’ve gone by many different names as well. Such games have been called ‘Bass-Ball’, ‘Playing at Base’, ‘Play with Balls and Sticks’, ‘Rounders’, and countless more. Rounders in particular highly resembled the modern game of baseball that we all know and love.
‘Rounders’ was played on a diamond-shaped infield with a base at each corner—the fourth base being the spot where the batter originally stood at to hit the bat and make their way around the bases. Three strikes and you’re out…three outs a team’s turn at bat came to an end. Baseball was taking shape.
By 1854, reputable baseball clubs put their heads together and made modifications to the game play as well as the proper ball weight and size. They settled on the dimensions in between bases along with a number of other points on specific rules when certain circumstances play out—matters that have remained in place to this day!
Enjoy playing your own variations of this game—whether it’s an organized team that you join or just a casual game of catch in our backyard! As always, thanks for reading, Camp Folks!