Called the “national pastime” in the United States since 1856 and the number one sport in countries such as Cuba, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, baseball was born spontaneously, unpretentiously. Nobody invented or patented it.

At first, his creation was awarded to Abner Doubleday (1819–1893), a hero of the American Secession War, but finally, Alexander Cartwright (1820–1892) recognized the paternity of baseball, for having been him, in 1845, who established the original 20 rules of the game.


Baseball is the product of the evolution of a series of European games such as rounders and cricket in England, the German schlagball and the Lapta of Russia. However, the first one seems to be the inspired of baseball because of his similarity to having, among other things, pitchers, batters, innings, and four posts in the field that served as the bases.

After English emigrants brought the rounders to the United States, in the first years of the 19th century, a very standard version of this sport that was called town ball began to be played in the nation. At the same time, some newspapers of the time made mention of ball games that were baptized with the names of Goal Ball, Bass-Ball, and Base until they reached Base Ball.

The First Club and the First Game

For the decade of the 40s of the 19th century, baseball began its development in the United States until it reached the sport we know today. At that time, it was played in open fields on the east coast of the country without clear rules, until Cartwright, a volunteer Manhattan firefighter who collaborated in 1842 in the formation of the first baseball team (Knickerbockers), wrote the first rules of the game.

It was Cartwright who devised, among other things, the entries of three outs, determined the number of outfielders. The distances the home should go to second base and from first to third. As well as regulated that a batter would be out in his career to the station if it prevented a player from the other team from fielding the ball.

As the story goes, the Knickerbockers were protagonists of the first baseball game between two teams. When on an undetermined date of 1846, they faced the New York Nine at the Elysian Fields in Hoboken, New Jersey, where they played regularly until 1891 when the mythical Polo Grounds stadium was inaugurated.

The Big Leagues Are Born

As the ball game was perfected, it was also organized in the United States. In 1858 the National Association of Baseball Players (National Association of Base Ball Players) was established and 11 years later, in 1869, all the players of the Red Sox team of Cincinnati, of Harry Wright, received salary payment to participate in the matches, The starting point for professional baseball.

In 1871, teams from Boston, Cleveland, Philadelphia, Fort Wayne, Indiana, New York, Rockford, Troy, and Washington, DC, formed the National Association of Professional Baseball Players, the first rented circuit of the United States, which Brooklyn joined the following year.

Economic severe problems condemned the continuity of the Association, which gave way to the creation of the National League in 1876. Whose first season was played in the summer of that year, leaving the Red Sox team of San Luis as champion, which surpassed in a series of five games for the Chicago White Sox.

The other National clubs in that first year were Philadelphia Athletics, Boston Red Sox (now Atlanta Braves), Hartford Dark Tiles, New York Mutuals, Cincinnati Red Sox, and Louisville Grays.

At the same time, the so-called West League, in which minor baseball took place, sought to achieve significant status, which was finally completed in 1901 with an expansion to several important cities and the name changed to the American League, which together with the National make up the big leagues.

The new circuit appears with the incorporation of eight clubs: Boston Americans, Baltimore Orioles, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Blues, Detroit Tigers, Milwaukee Brewers, Philadelphia Athletics, and Washington Senators.