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Baseball: An Evolutionary Marvel Essay

4917 words - 20 pages

The American people have always been infatuated with competitive play against one another. We owe this anomaly to the primeval mentalities left behind through human evolution; and, we certainly have much to thank for these actions. Sporting, as is explained by renowned sports author Richard Davies, is the “Organized competitive activity between participants that requires some combination of skill and physical prowess.”1 Though, something more complex and unusual also comes with activity of this nature, and this is the ability to forget the destitution and difficulty of everyday life and the capability to be on a level playing field with many people that believe the same way, no matter what ...view middle of the document...

The northern colonies were mostly ruled by the church, which unfortunately, had a reputation of being strict with regards to sporting events and even outlawing a few particular games. Conversely, in the Middle and Southern colonies the concentration on athletics tended to be greater with less oversight from the government. Because of this lack of supervision, many of the most nationally popular sports during these times began in the middle colonies, such as Pennsylvania or New York.
When the colonists came to the New World they carried with them their culture, and in their cultures derived their native sports. One athletic event of English ancestry that was introduced to America was the game “Rounders,” which is a game that institutes many of the same characteristics of baseball. The game of Rounders is, in fact, methodically close in resemblance to that of baseball; Rounders incorporates a person that pitches, or “bowls,” the ball to a person that strikes it, the batter. Incidentally, there are derivatives of bases, nine players on the field, and there are innings. Nonetheless, for all the likenesses of the game and it being credited with the basis of where our modern version of baseball comes, for the most part these few stated resemblances is where the similarities of the two sports cease.
After years of playing this unique game many individuals in the nineteenth century began to even add their own twists to the sport, making it unique to the American culture. This was a great strive towards Americanizing this new pastime. However, because the rules differed depending on what part of the country the sport was being played, it was difficult to title baseball “The American Pastime.” That is until a young man named Alexander Cartwright, a member of the prestigious “Knickerbockers Base Ball Club,” wrote and published the first known rules of the game. In Cartwright’s rulebook, he meticulously dictated how the game should be played and even went into great lengths about what the field should look like. Even though some still debate over whether Alexander Cartwright is the true founder of the rules of baseball, he is acknowledged by the Baseball Hall of Fame as the foremost individual to ever attempt to codify the sport.2
Throughout this essay one reoccurring theme is that baseball is rightfully “America’s Game,” because, it has survived even during the most dissolute and mundane times in this nation’s history and has always maintained its democratic disposition. In fact, even through the midst of one of the most horrific occurrences in our nation’s history, this sport continued to prevail.
In the time of the American Civil War it had become evident that the athletic event known as “Baseball” had captured the hearts of the citizenry of the United States when team operators began selling tickets to the newly revolutionized game. In 1862, the same year as the devastating battles of Antietam and Harper’s Ferry, William Cammeyer...

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