Baseball is one sport that evokes nostalgia among most Americans. Today, it is played by so many people including children and even been included to sports gambling sites at online casinos. Unlike football, people of average weight and height can also play baseball.
Origin of baseball
Baseball was initially known as rounders, a humble game that was played on sandlots and it is believed to have originated before America Civil war in 1861-1865. The early championships in latest 1800s implemented it to include certain mental judgment and skills such as record keeping and scoring. The first professional baseball league was held in 1871 and by the 20th century, most cities in Eastern United States had formed their own baseball teams.
Early baseball leagues
All professional baseball teams in the 20th century were divided into two leagues; The American League and the National League. A team would only play against other teams within its league and the most victorious team from each league won the pennant. The two pennants would then meat at the end of the regular season and the winner of at least four games would be crowned as the champion of the year.
This arrangement is still used today but the leagues are subdivided and the pennants are selected during post season play off series that take place between the winners from each division.
Great baseball players
Baseball came of age in the early 1900s when Babe Ruth led New York Yankees to several World Series in 1895-1948. He went on to become a national hero. Each team had its great players among them being Jackie Robinson who played for Brooklyn Dodgers in the years 1919-1972. Robinson was the first black American to play in the major leagues. Before 1947, black baseball players we restricted to the Negro League.
Geographical expansion of baseball
In the 1870s, an American professor introduced baseball in japan but it was only dominated by University baseball leagues. In early 1930s, Japan professional Baseball League was formed and professional Japanese baseball began. In 1990, Hideo Nomo became the first Japanese to relocate to major League Baseball after exploiting a loophole to free himself from his contract with Kintetsu Buffaloes.
The Western American cities created their teams by luring players to move from the Eastern cities or forming expansion teams with the available players from the established teams. Before 1970, players were forced to sign strict contracts that prevented them from selling their services to other teams. This was changed in late 1970 which resulted to bidding wars and great players being paid millions of dollars yearly. Disputes between club owners and players’ unions emerged which would at times halt baseball for months.
Today, baseball is played throughout the world. It was even included in the 1992 Olympics but its inclusion was contested leaving to its removal from the roster of Olympic sports after the 2008 Olympics. However, it has been confirmed that it will return in the 2020 Olympics which will held in Tokyo.