A Sport as American as Apple Pie

Few sports showcase the American spirit with the vibrancy of baseball, earning the game the title of “America’s pastime.” A relatively young sport, baseball’s origins are intricately woven into the history of the nation itself. According to some historians, facets of modern baseball are derived from a children’s game called rounders, a favorite game of early colonial athletes. The game was eventually introduced to other areas of the country. Each region adapted a unique version of the sport with certain districts constructing rather unusual game balls out of sturgeon eyes. As America transformed into an industrial superpower in the 1800s, even working men relished the lighthearted nature of the ever-changing sport, a welcome diversion from the burdens of an expanding society. While America’s assorted array of baseball players reveled in their own form of the game, standard guidelines were not penned until 1845 when a man named Alexander Joy Cartwright assembled the first set of rules for the sport. Amazingly, many of his conventions remain in place today. Cartwright’s codes were observed by soldiers on both sides of the conflict when the nation went to war against itself from 1861 to 1865. Although Union servicemen championed the sport, Northern and Southern troops alike entertained themselves with lively games of baseball in their own camps and in military prisons. During yet another of the nation’s trials, the Great Depression, baseball widely served as a means of relaxation. Since then, the sport has continued to influence American culture, sneaking into our literature and vernacular and perpetually uniting a multitude of backgrounds and beliefs under one extremely fascinating interest.

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