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Baseball: A Family Tradition

          As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, I was reminded of the memories I have formed and the appreciation I have developed for the game of baseball over the years.  The game of baseball started well over one hundred and fifty years ago, and it still remains one of America’s favorite past times today.  


     I have fond memories of my Dad watching the World Series or riding along in the car with him listening to the plays of the game. There was such vigor and excitement. Dad seemed to take part in every victory and every defeat as if he himself were on the field.

     When I was young, we lived in a neighborhood with the baseball coach for the local high school and many of the talented players.  It was a thrill to watch them practice.  They had such dedication and team spirit, and they even took time to help the younger kids in the neighborhood learn to play.  From then on, I had a special place in my heart for what I knew was a wonderful game.

     My understanding of the game of baseball, however, did not come until I married my husband, Tony. Tony played baseball as a young boy all the way through college, so he knew the game well.  He taught our three daughters and me all the rules and regulations that gave us more insight into the game.  Because of that, one of our daughters now enjoys playing softball for her school.  She enjoys the action and excitement. I’m glad she has the desire and the opportunity to play such a fun sport.

     Few people know the history of the game of baseball, but I was curious to find out. What I discovered was interesting. There was an English sport called “rounder’s” that became popular early in the 19th century.  It was also called “town ball” or “base.”  This was the beginning of what we know today as baseball. In 1845, Alexander Cartwright, a New Yorker, invented the modern-day baseball field.  He had a team known as the “New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club.” These men devised the first regulations and rules of the game.

     Their love was playing baseball, and in 1846, the first recorded game between the Knickerbockers and the New York Baseball Club was played. The game was played in Elysian Field in Hoboken, New Jersey. That was 163 years ago! Baseball has been with us for a long time!    

     The Association of Baseball Players was formed in 1858, and thus, the first organization of the Baseball League had been formed. In 1871, the National Association of Professional Baseball Players was established. The National League, (first major league), was also instituted.  In 1878, the patent for the first baseball catcher’s mask was granted to Frederick Winthrop Thayer, captain of the Harvard University Baseball Club.

Take me out to the ballgame…

     Baseball is a sport that is as American as hot dogs and apple pie. It is enjoyed by player and spectator alike. Little boys dream of making the Big Leagues, and playing in Yankee Stadium.  Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth and Joe DiMaggio are some of the players that have made this sport what it is today.

     As we celebrate Father’s Day this June, enjoy the thrill of  little league games., cheer, and watch the faces of boys and girls on the field and up to bat, who love just playing the game… we will be developing our own special memories.

And as we root, root, root for the home team, now we’ll know the rest of the story!  


*Top Photo: History of Baseball - Alexander Cartwright  http://inventors.about.com/library/inventors/baseball


Copyright © 2008-2015 Nancy Panettiere

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