Baseball and Its History Essay

2396 Words 10 Pages
Baseball is an immensely popular American game, known as the "national pastime," played between two teams of nine players each. The basic implements used in the game are a leather-covered ball, wooden bats for hitting the ball, and gloves for catching it. Baseball is played on a large scale in Latin America, Japan, and other places besides the United States, but it is in the United States that it thrives both as a participant's and spectator's sport.
It is played at its highest level in the United States and two
Canadian cities, where 26 teams make up the American and National Leagues (each with two divisions, East and
West). Combined, these leagues are called major-league
(professional) baseball. Most players who reach the
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Their success helped spread professionalism, and the National
Association of Professional Base-Ball Players operated a loose league for five years (1871-75) until the owners formed the National League of Professional Base Ball
Clubs in 1876 and made baseball a business. The independent American Association (1882-91) prospered by allowing Sunday games and the sale of beer in the stadium. Both leagues survived the rival Union
Association's challenge in 1884, but in 1890 the athletes formed the Players League, which financially pressed the
National League and mortally wounded the American
Association. In 1892 the eight-team National League absorbed four American Association teams, but it reverted to eight teams after 1899. In 1901 the American League declared itself a major league, invaded National League cities, and raided the older league for players. The result of the eventual truce was the World Series, which has been played every year since 1903--except 1904, when the
New York Giants refused to meet the American League champions (Boston). The major leagues successfully met the challenge of the Federal League (1914-15). But further problems arose with the revelation that eight members of the Chicago White Sox had conspired to throw the 1919
World Series to Cincinnati. Only the appointment of Judge
Kenesaw Mountain LANDIS as commissioner and the introduction of a livelier ball saved the game.