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HISTORY OF BASEBALL
There has been much speculation about the origin of baseball. In 1907 a special commission decided that
the modern game was invented by Abner Doubleday, a West Point cadet, at Cooperstown, N.Y., in 1839.
One hundred years later the National Baseball Museum was opened at Cooperstown to honor Doubleday.
Historians, however, disagree about the origin of baseball. Some say that baseball comes from bat-and-ball
games of ancient times.
It is a matter of record that in the 1700s English boys played a game they called base ball. Americans
have played a kind of baseball since about 1800. At first the American game had different rules and
different names in various parts of the country--town ball, rounders, or one old cat. Youngsters today still
play some of these simplified forms of the game.
Baseball did not receive a standard set of rules until 1845, when Alexander Cartwright organized the
Knickerbocker Baseball Club of New York City. The rules Cartwright set up for his nine-player team were
widely adopted by other clubs and formed the basis of modern baseball. The game was played on a
"diamond" infield with the bases 90 feet apart. The first team to score 21 runs was declared the winner. By
1858 the National Association of Base Ball Players was formed with 25 amateur teams. The Cincinnati Red
Stockings began to pay players in 1869.
In 1871 ten clubs formed the National Association of Professional Baseball Players....