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The Sports Emporium : Major League Baseball Beginnings

Welcome to TSE: MLB ( Baseball )

Controversy still exists as to the actual beginnings of Baseball…did it evolve from the traditional bat & ball games found in Europe? Is it a version of the 14th century game called Lapta which originated in Russia? Does it really freakin’ matter? No…not in the least…because no matter what it’s true origins are it is, without a doubt, in it’s present form, a truly American product and an American Game.

Babe Ruth                      Sammy Sosa                        Ty Cobb                         Nolan Ryan

Although Abner Doubleday is credited with being the founder of baseball…it was actually Alexander Cartwright, who in 1845, formalized a set of rules for Baseball…a year later the first recorded baseball game took place between the Cartwright Knickerbockers and the New York Baseball Club ( the CK’s lost ). Professional baseball started around 1864-66, and in 1869 the  Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first recognized professional baseball club taking on all-comers and winning 65 games with no losses.

Lou Gehrig                  Jackie Robinson                 Mickie Mantle                  Sandy Koufax

MLB: The Beginnings

In 1871 the National Association became the first professional baseball league, and the National League was later founded in 1876. The American League was originated in 1901 from the Western League and was the only ‘ other ‘ major league, of several that were formed, that survived. A so-called ‘ gentleman’s agreement ‘ in about 1894 barred African American players from playing in the Leagues which resulted in the formation of the Negro Leagues. Jackie Robinson was the first to put a dent in this agreement, being signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1946 and being assigned to it’s Montreal minor league team of the International League.

Willie Mays                    Casey  Stengel                  Joe DiMaggio                   Reggie Jackson

( images courtesy of usatoday.com , stylemagazine.com , and sabr.org )

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