Baseball's Lifelong Fascination

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Baseball's Lifelong Fascination

Baseball's Lifelong Fascination


Baseball is an amazing, exciting team sport. A full game of Baseball (also called Baseball) has 11 players per side, but games with fewer players are played too. The aim is to kick or head the Baseball into the other team's net to score a goal. The team who scores the most goals wins the game! Players line up in rows of defenders, midfielders and attackers. This is called a team's formation. Players can control and move the ball with any part of their body except their hands and arms. Goalkeeper's lane on (each side) is the only players who can handle the ball, providing they stay in their penalty area.


Baseball is a very old game, especially in America. Why, then, did it not become a major commercial sport until the final quarter of the nineteenth century? By then, many other sports in America, notably horse racing, cricket and boxing, had long been major commercial enterprises, consisting of hugely popular contests involved professional competitors and watched by thousands of spectators. Why, then, was Baseball so slow in developing into a major commercial industry? Indeed, given this, why did Baseball develop into a flourishing industry at all? The explanation offered by the early historians of the game was that Baseball only became popular because boys from public schools took the rough, wild and undisciplined game that had existed for hundreds of years in the wider community and codified it. These new laws transformed Baseball into a popular game by making it accessible to extensive public. Such is the established picture of the origins of modern Baseball.

Was any of this true? Baseball undoubtedly became codified in the latter half of the nineteenth century. Indeed, it became so codified that it split into two games, rugby and Baseball, whose relationship was often uneasy at best. Who created these Baseball games? Who turned them into commercial sports In the case of the rugby game, the rules hailed from the public school that gave its name to the sport, though as we shall see other forces did much to transform aspects of the code. While (he rules of Baseball have always been credited to the public schools, in fact, they sprang from various sources and were modified significantly. One of the major sources of these transformations was the Baseball culture that emerged in Sheffield during the 1850s. (Green, 1953)

With regard to Baseball as a thriving sport, in the final quarter of the nineteenth century there was a significant divergence between rugby and Baseball, especially over the issue of professionalism. The effect of professionalism on the rugby game was dramatic. In 1895, those adhering to attitudes stemming from the public schools opposed professionalism and this lead to the rugby code splitting into two rival camps. By contrast, the commercial dimension of Baseball emerged more steadily and was accommodated by those who stemmed from public school backgrounds, many of whom went on to perform vital roles, notably as ...
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