Why is Baseball Considered the America’s National Sport? (part 1)

Posted: April 21, 2015

Updated: April 21, 2015

Baseball is the only sport intertwined with the formation of American Culture.

Baseball is considered by most people living in America as the national pastime. This has been held in the most reverence by sports fans. As the sport’s popularity waned during the past 5-10 years, people typically still regarded baseball as the national pastime.
Although it’s the first organized sport people played in the early U.S, nowadays television ratings indicated American football as more popular.

If one were to go outside of Latin America and Japan, they may be few people who have some knowledge or understanding of baseball. In fact, outside the North and South America, more people have knowledge of cricket than baseball. Cricket, the closest cousin baseball besides rounders, is played in Great Britain, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan and India securing it’s greater importance in UK gambling news.

Baseball’s early connection to the construction of America

Many wouldn’t believe it, but baseball was actually comes from England. There was another similar sport called rounders that was more popular. David Block, sports historian who wrote “Baseball Before We Knew It”, wrote that baseball and rounders may have actually been regional variants of each other rather than separate sports. The first recorded baseball game was in 1749 in Surrey, England.

Baseball was first mentioned in the United States in the 1790’s. Within 40 years, there were various games around the U.S that used a ball and a bat. Some used the term baseball, while others used “round-ball” or “town-ball” Alexander Cartwright, considered the father of modern baseball, established a set of regulations called the “Knickerbocker Rules” in 1845.

• Baseball was created in England as a regional variant of rounders
• The first official baseball game in the U.S was on June 19, 1846
The oldest baseball league is the National League founded in 1876

Cartwright was also a member of the Knickerbocker Club, a New York City baseball club. The first officially recognized baseball game in the U.S was between the Knickerbockers and the “New York Nine” on June 19, 1846. In 10 years, baseball was called the “national pastime” by local journalists. Soon 16 area clubs would form the “National Association of Base Ball Players” in Queens, New York.

As the sport built up popularity, increasing numbers of people small towns all over the Midwest, northeast and in the south began to play baseball in their free time. This further validated the sport as “America’s pastime.” Children played the sport as well as adults. Adult games were often family events with women making and selling refreshments. Even light forms of wagering were done before the advent of US gambling laws.

Baseball’s influences with social change in America

Baseball had an early appeal because so many people had an understanding of the sport and could play it. The game was also appealing to African Americans who lived as free men in the North. Nevertheless, African American’s were barred from playing on any of the the established baseball clubs. Even though , slavery and designated facilities for African Americans predominated the south, sports were different

 Jackie Robinson was the first great player to break down the race barrier

The first professional baseball league was the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The league disbanded after 4 years and was replaced with the National League in 1876. During this time several leagues were formed. Moses Walker, an African American played in the American Association. After his career ended in a five years, a gentlemen’s agreement was formed that would be called “baseball color line.”

Under the conditions of the baseball color line, no black player could play for a white-owned professional team, whether it was a minor or major league team. Soon Professional Negro leagues came about that would provide African Americans the opportunity to enjoy this sport. It wouldn’t be until 70 years later that the color barrier would be broken causing an uproar in US gambling news.

The most formidable teams in these early leagues were in the New York area and Boston. These areas had very large numbers of immigrant from Europe. During the turn of the century many new immigrants to the U.S had considerable interest in baseball. They saw the sport as a part of their idea of America and played it all the time in the streets and alleys in a very similar way to how many children around the World play soccer.

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