No one knows for sure where exactly baseball originated. However, most baseball fans will agree that the sport is based on the English game of rounders. In the United States, baseball became popular in the early 1800s, originally known as townball. At a later date, the sport was renamed baseball. Throughout this time period, smaller communities formed teams, while larger cities formed leagues.
There is some question as to who was the original founder of the rules of baseball. Some hold that Alexander Cartwright in 1845 published a list of rules that are still in effect today. However, others hold that it was Abner Doubleday who invented the game. However, most baseball historians believe that Alexander Cartwright did in fact originate baseball.
The first recorded baseball game was played in 1846 between Alexander Cartwright’s Knickerbockers playing the New York Baseball Club. The Knickerbockers lost the game at Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey.
In 1857, a meeting was held and over 25 amateur teams from the Northeast came together to discuss the rules, among other things. The following year, the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed, and teams, needing financial assistance to support the league, intermittently charged fans an admission fee.
The 1860s brought with it the Civil War, and interest in baseball understandably waned. After the war, the popularity of baseball began to grow more than ever. The growth of the league resulted in fans being charged a regular admission fee to watch games. The fees were necessary to keep the league and travel ongoing. Winning became important. Although the league was made up of amateurs, players were occasionally paid by sponsors in secret so that amateur players would not leave the team. The idea of paid players eventually became the norm. Today, baseball is one of North America’s favorite sports.