The History of Baseball in America


Every year, millions of baseball fans fill stadiums all over the country to celebrate America’s favorite pastime.  Invented almost 200 years ago, baseball is one of the oldest traditions.

Here are some of the events that have helped to shape modern baseball into the sport we know and love today.

  • In 1839, a man named Abner Doubleday created the game of baseball in his own back yard. He lived in New York
  • The first official baseball game was played in 1846
  • In 1876, the first professional baseball league was formed
  • In 1920, the average cost of a baseball ticket was a whopping $1.00
  • 21 million hotdogs are consumed each year at baseball games.  If you lined up all of the hotdogs end to end, they would round the bases 29,691 times.
  • The longest professional baseball game recorded was in 1984 and lasted 8 hours 6 minutes.
  • The Star Spangled Banner was first played during the seventh-inning stretch at Game One of the 1918 World Series.  This now famous song became the official national anthem in 1931.
  • In 1921, baseball was first broadcast on the radio.  Not until 1939 was a baseball game televised.
  • The tradition of spring training began in 1886. Continuing into the 1940’s, the Boston Red Sox, the Cincinnati Reds, the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Highlanders (now the New York Yankees) got ready for the baseball season in Hot Springs, Arkansas.

The very first baseball rule book was developed in 1877

Interesting Baseball Facts:

  • The chances of a fan being hit by a baseball are 300,000 to 1
  • In the early days, baseball players wore straw hats instead of baseball caps during games
  • Babe Ruth, one of baseball’s most famous players, used to keep a wet cabbage leaf beneath his cap in order to keep cool. He would change it every 2 innings
  • The shortest major league player was Eddie Gaedel—he was 3 feet, 7 inches tall
  • The tallest player in MLB history is the Minnesota Twins’ pitcher Job Rauch who stands at 6 feet, 11 inches tall
  • A regulation baseball has 108 stitches