Sport: the special place baseball holds in the history of America.

Friday, 23 July 2021
Baseball is America's national pastime. Baseball is America's national pastime.

“The perfect game, the sandlot, 42: the Jackie Robinson Story …” When it comes to American sport movies, baseball turns out to be the most spotlighted. Played with bat and ball between two opposing teams who take turns batting and fielding, baseball has long been America’s favorite pastime. It holds an important place in American society and instills national pride.

The history timeline of baseball in the U.S.

Baseball is an American family tradition. Often referred to as America’s national pastime, the game has been passed down from generation to generation. It dates back from the Civil War but staged a turnaround and got popularized during the Civil Rights Era taking place mainly during the 50s and the 60s. The story of baseball in America begins by 1839 with a Civil War hero named Abner Doubleday who is accredited with inventing the game in Cooperstown, New York. This is the part of the story that relates the first professional baseball games. However, the amateur version of the game is told to take root in England by the mid-18th century.

In 1845, a man named Alexander Joy Cartwright developed the rules of baseball and the first official game of baseball was played between the New York Knickerbockers – one of the first organized baseball teams of that time – and a group of cricket players. In 1876, the National League was established, with William Hulbert as president shortly after the American Baseball Association, also known as the Beer and Whiskey League, was created.

In 1884, the first African-American player named Moses Fleetwood Walker joined the major leagues despite the growth of Jim Crow laws and the exclusion of black players from professional leagues. Several decades have run when Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson made American history when he broke the “color barrier”  in 1947 and baseball finally led the way on integration. Before then, between World Wars I and II, the Baseball Hall of Fame inducted its first five players. In 1943, more than 500 major league players served in World War II including 37 Hall of Famers. This is also the date when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League emerged. It was established in part to compensate for the loss of many of the best major leaguers to the war effort.

In 2000 for the first time, the major league baseball season opened in Tokyo, Japan, opposing Chicago Cubs and New York Mets. In 2002, Tsuyoshi Shinjo, an outfielder for the San Francisco Giants, became the first Japanese player to take part in a World Series game – the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) inaugurated in 1903 and first broadcast on TV in 1947.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The Hall of Fame or the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum was established in 1939 by a Cooperstown philanthropist and businessman named Stephen Carlton Clark. He sought a way to celebrate and preserve the “national pastime”  by asking support to found the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. His idea was welcomed and three years later the Hall of Fame building officially opened. The museum’s collection contains more than 40,000 artifacts, 250,000 baseball photographs and images, and three million library items.

Today, the museum records approximately 260,000 visitors each year, making it the top sport Hall of Fame in North America.

Sources: National Baseball Hall of Fame / Baseball and The Tenth Inning

Read 100 times Last modified on Friday, 23 July 2021 07:31
Login to post comments

An initiative by

Initiate by


Funding provided by

Supported by


AmCham sponsors



This website was funded by a grant from the United States Department of State. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the United States Department of State.