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The Mystery Between the Bases

Updated on January 14, 2014

"There it goes!" The announcer shouts hysterically in the microphone. "It's going,it's going, it's's ... it's good." Hats flew high from spectators' heads, and the stadium trembled as if it was a thunderous night, as the crowd roared with anticipation as the ball jetted down the third base line and into an open fan's mitt as he jumped from his seat.

"New York wins!" The announcer exclaimed, as the ball disappeared.

That was the first baseball game I watched from inside the stadium walls. Watching each electrifying inning as the players lived out their childhood dreams was worth every penny my dad paid.

Baseball is a competitive sport of man against man; and of their skill, reflex, and of inches. Baseball is a race to home plate. A game of hopes and dreams, the anticipation of team work, and a part of our American heritage. The game itself is full of nicknames given by the fans and filled with the colors of their uniforms to distinguish the teams apart.

Even though baseball has played an important part of our history, the origin of the game still remains uncertain.

Some American scholars would argue that the game was introduced in the early 1800's as a child's game from England known as "Rounders." Others will say that it can be traced back to the British game known as "Cricket."

Many have given the honor of inventing our national pastime to a New York shipping clerk by the name of "Alexander J. Cartwright."

They say it was Cartwright who took the early 1800's game of "Stick ball" and transformed it to the game we know as baseball.

Cartwright drafted the rules from a game called "Town Ball," and a little of the technique from a game that's a comedic style called "The Massachusetts game." The first organized game of baseball was in Hoboken, New Jersey, on June 19, 1846 by the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine Beat, but don't let that confuse you, because the first professional team was in 1864, named the Cincinnati Red Stockings.

Alexander J. Cartwright left New York for the California gold rush in 1849. It has been said that he taught his game to anyone who was interested as he journeyed across America.

It would be a good guess to say that Cartwright and a good friend of his formed the first baseball club in San Francisco. Then he later moved his family to Honolulu, and lived there till his death in 1892.

It has been over a century and Alexander J. Cartwright's name is still heard within the stadium walls.

Baseball has been played as an American game ever since the middle of the 1800's, and even though Cartwright adapted some ideas of the game from other like cricket games; people still felt there was more to discover of the origin.

By the time 1905 came around America was ready to stake its claim, so a committee was formed to investigate the true origin of the beloved game. During the committee's investigation there were many speculations about the precise time of its introduction to our country.

By the end of some long hours and even longer months of research, the committee had finally come to the conclusion that a seven year old boy named Abner Doubleday, who would later become a Civil War hero was the first to draw the diagram in the dirt with a wooden stick in 1839; in Cooperstown, New York.

Whether Mr. Cartwright invented the game from other cultured games, or if it was thought up by one Abner Doubleday will probably remain a mystery for a future generation to solve.

One thing is for certain however, baseball has survived a Civil War, and two world wars. It has played its way through a depression and skepticism. It has truly proven to be an All-American game.


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