For loads of fans all over the globe, baseball is the center of the universe. Did you know that baseball is over one hundred years old? The first game of baseball was played in the Elysian Fields (Hoboken, New Jersey.) Since then, the baseball game had gone a long way to make itself a huge spectator sport.
Baseball has been an integral part of everyone’s life, whether people played it in childhood or went to see a game with family and friends, or just watched a game on TV. In other words, baseball has always been there.
In this speech, I will tell you about the history of baseball, and how it became one of the favorite pastimes of not only the whole nation but the whole world as well. Together, we will find out more about this wonderful source of entertainment that has been there with us for many years. I obtained information for this speech from the book called “The Baseball Almanac,” as well as from various online baseball archives that are available at www.baseball1.com. There are three main topics that I am going to discuss in my speech. First of all, I’d like to focus on how baseball appeared in the early days. Second, we’ll talk about the rapid growth of the game in the 20th century in America. And finally, I will talk about the late years of baseball with strikes and labor battles within the league.
First, let’s focus on the early days of baseball. Unlike basketball and football, interest in baseball was not sweeping the globe. Throughout the 19th century, small towns formed teams, and baseball clubs were formed in large cities. In 1845, Alexander Cartwright, a team owner himself, put in the list of rules that teams tend to play to and remarkably use even today. The first recorded game was the one between Cartwrights Knickerbockers that played against a New York club in the Elysian Fields that I mentioned early in the speech. Eleven years later, the owners came together to form the National Association of Base Ball Players. In the next year of play, the game supported itself by charging admission for fans to watch the game. The next turning point in the world of baseball would be intertwined with the turmoil of the Civil War. The war hurt many teams, and the number of clubs dropped. However, the war also helped spread the game around to different states that helped the games come back after the war.
Now that we have looked at early baseball times, let us turn to the huge growth of the game in the 20th century. A major step in the game was taken in 1903 when the American and National baseball leagues joined. That’s when the baseball game accelerated uphill.
In 1905, the World Series was implemented, and the two best teams from each league would play for the title. By 1915, players were getting nice salaries and could quit their other jobs and focus on baseball full time. The 20s and 30s were marked as the golden years of baseball. The big names like Babe Ruth and Ted Williams lured more people to the sport. By this time, everyone in America had a favorite baseball team. This made the game a huge source of entertainment back before television. From the 40s and on, the game of baseball only changed for the better. It pushed itself through depression and three wars. Still, by the 60s, the game still managed to captivate a huge audience.
An interesting fact about the game is that once upon a time, there was a baseball player that decided to steal first base from second. Sounds weird, don’t you think? His name was Herman Schaefer. Schaefer did his best in order to distract the pitcher of the opposing team to ensure the player of his team could easily steal home.
Now let us move to the modern era of baseball and the problems related to the labor battles and strikes. In 1965, baseball players were growing tired of cut wages. They hired a man by named Marvin Miller. Miller was a veteran labor organizer that decided to help them change things. This led to the first bargain agreement in 1968 between players and owners. It was a modest improvement. However, most of all, it gave players leverage to negotiate with the owners about the salaries instead of the traditional take it or leave it that the players were used to.
By 1975, there had been more than 50 lawsuits to owners from players, who felt they were cheated in terms of salaries or trades. As a result, the owners had the feeling that they weren’t in charge anymore. Thus, the players would have to pay for themselves in the business side of baseball.
In 1975, the season was delayed for 13 games. The reason was that the players went on strike for the right to be free agents when their contract was up. It took some time for the owners to think about the demands, but finally, they said yes to the player’s conditions. This was nothing compared to the season of 1994 when all of the baseball events were shut down due to a strike. The World Series was canceled for the first time in 92 years, and baseball’s commissioner was forced to resign. All the problems between unions, owners, and contract terms led to the cancellation of the season. Many viewed the strikes as a huge waste of time since no real modification was put into effect. Finally, after 234 days and more than 1 billion dollars that were lost, no settlement baseball was back in business.
As for the most successful team of Major League Baseball, the New York Yankees should be mentioned. What is more, the team was also the first side in the field that began to wear numbered jerseys. The tradition goes back to the 1920s. The numbers of the kits were provided in accordance with the batting order of the team.
It was William Howard Taft that was the first-ever US President that threw the ceremonial first pitch in order to kick off the Major League Baseball season. The tradition goes to 1910. At the same time, Jimmy Carter is still the only President of the United States of America that bucked the trend.
In conclusion, I would like to say that my purpose has been to inform my readers on a brief history of the early days of the baseball game, how the game accelerated in the 20th century, and the labor battles and strikes of the modern era. From my message, I hope that everyone has a better understanding of what baseball is, and how it came to be an integral part of our life. So there you go. This is a short story about the game that has been an essential part of the North American sports routine for more than a century now. The bat cracking and the roaring of the crowd is not just simple words for the baseball fans. They are like a real song for those who can and like to listen!