Baseball – The great national pastime!
There is a reason why people are calling it this way in the US. Even with the popularity of other sports in the US, baseball is by far the one that the majority of Americans enjoy.
Baseball is specifically an American thing. It started in the US from where it evolved and developed further. Many people like it because it is the first sport they played when they were kids. Playing catch with your father is something that every American fondly remembers. So it is no wonder why baseball brings so many emotions out of people.
Also, baseball is a friendly game! You play it in the park. And we all know that a park is a place to have fun and enjoy yourself.
Baseball draws its origins way back in the 19th century, specifically before the American Civil War. The game back then was similar but very different from the one that we have today. Players used different rule sets that differed before they were officially established. They also didn’t have the proper equipment and were using some that they made by themselves.
Finally, the professional baseball league was established in 1871. Since the popularity of baseball was established in the Northeastern part of the country, the majority of the original teams were from that region. Teams were immediately divided into two leagues – The National and the American League. Making it easier for teams to travel and play against each other.
At first, teams from the same league only played against each other. The winners of the league would face down in the World Series and whoever wins four games in that series takes home the trophy. This system is fairly kept even to this day but it has been modified a bit since.
The popularity of baseball skyrocketed in the 1920s, mainly because of Babe Ruth. His spectacular record of 60 home runs took 34 years to beat. During his height, Babe took the New York Yankees to several World Series titles.
The game was expanded further with the introduction of African American players. Before 1947, players of color were playing in a separate league of their own, called the Negro League. Jackie Robinson was the first to break the barrier when he signed for the Brooklyn Dodgers and lifted the game to a whole new level.
In the 1950s, the game evolved even further. Teams from the west of the country started emerging. Teams from the East started moving to the west and many expansion teams were added then. It greatly helped the popularity of baseball by expanding geographically. It offered many opportunities both for the fans and owners alike.
Today, baseball remains and will surely be the biggest American Pastime of all.