Americans began playing baseball on informal teams, using local rules, in the early 1800s. By the 1860s, the sport, unrivaled in popularity, was being described as America’s “national pastime.”
Alexander Joy Cartwright (1820-1892) of New York invented the modern baseball field in 1845. Alexander Cartwright and the members of his New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club, devised the first rules and regulations for the modern game of baseball.
Baseball was based on the English game of rounders. Rounders become popular in the United States in the early 19th century, where the game was called “townball”, “base”, or “baseball”. Cartwright formalized the modern rules of baseball.
The first recorded baseball game in 1846 when Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbockers lost to the New York Baseball Club. The game was held at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey. In 1858, the National Association of Base Ball Players, the first organized baseball league was formed.
- 1845: Alexander Cartwright published a set of baseball rules for the Knickerbocker Club of New York, and his rules were widely adopted.
- 1869: The Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first openly-salaried team and are thus considered the first professional team.
- 1871: The first professional baseball league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, was established.
- 1876: The first major league, the National League, was formed.
- 1878: Frederick Winthrop Thayer of Massachusetts (captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club) received a patent for a baseball catcher’s mask on February 12.
The History of Baseball – Alexander Cartwright
Baseball was invented by Alexander Cartwright.
In 1845, in New York City, the 25 year old Alexander Cartwright took various elements that were used in these different forms of early baseball and, adding a few wrinkles of his own, fused them into regulations that stand today.
Baseball in 1845
It was called the Knickerbocker game or the New York game, and yes, it differed in several respects from what we now know as baseball…but nevertheless it was definitely the basis for the game we play today.
The History and Evolution of the Baseball Bat
The evolution of baseball bats has provided spectators with a more exciting game by changing the sport entirely.