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Baseball Overview

Baseball, the American past time. Legend has it that Abner Doubleday, a Union General during the Civil War, created the game in 1839 and popularized it during the Civil War, when he introduced the game to the solders under his command.  

In recent years, historians believe the game is much older.  In 1791, Pittsfield, MA passed an ordinance banning the playing of baseball within 80 yards of the town meeting house.

Alexander Cartwright is credited with writing the first official rules.  Many baseball players would not recognize the early rules.  In order to strike out, it took seven strikes!  A walk needed nine balls!  The pitching rubber was only 54 feet from home plate.  Early players did not wear gloves or batting helmets. Catchers did not have any protective gear!

The game gained popularity in the 1920’s with the explosion of the home run, led by George Herman “Babe” Ruth.  However, professional baseball, like much of America, was segregated, so some of the greats of the game, such as Josh Gibson and “Cool Papa” Bell, never played in the Major Leagues. 

Minneapolis also was a hotbed of baseball activity.  As one of the earliest sports in the Minneapolis high schools, baseball began in the 1892-1893 school year.

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