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Aspects of Baseball

Baseball is called the Great American Pastime, and its history has taken place during the second half of the history of the nation. Much of that history, at least in its early manifestations, is in dispute. Baseball itself has become a source of legend. Baseball has also developed as an example of American big business, a game oriented toward the mass media, a unifying force in some cities and states, and an entertainment for millions of people that is much more.

Baseball begins at the end of the nineteenth century, purportedly through the efforts of a man named Abner Doubleday, a West Point graduate, a Civil War general, and later a contributor to newspapers and magazines. Doubleday never mentioned baseball in the articles he wrote and never claimed to have invented the

game. Baseball is also not mentioned in any of his 67 diaries. His obituary in the New York Times does not mention baseball:

It may be that he was an extraordinarily modest man who did not choose to take credit for his great invention, but as far as anyone has yet been able to discover, his name was never in any way associated with baseball during his lifetime, and it seems reasonable to conclude that Abner Doubleday went to his grave in 1893 without any idea that his name would forever be linked with the invention of baseball (Zoss and Bowman 41).

The association of Doubleday's name with baseball was not yet made in 1893 when a banquet was held at Delmonico's in New York City to celebrate the return of A.G. Spalding and his all-stars from a global baseball tour. Among those in attendance were Mark Twain and Theodore Roosevelt. National League president A.G. Mills spoke to the effect that baseball had been established as a uniquely American phenomenon and not as a game descended from the English rounders or any other foreign game, as many believed at the time. Mills did not mention Doubleday.

In 1905, Henry Chadwick, then the oldest and m...

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