History of Baseball

The game of baseball as we know it evolved from the rules that were written down at the New York Knickerbocker Club between 1845 and 1857, when 17 clubs attended the convention that gave birth to the National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP). 

Alexander J. Cartwright, a bookseller and a founder of the Knickerbocker Club, is credited with 14 rules, which include the three outs to close an at bat, the concept of foul ball, the use of the verb 'to pitch', as opposed to the terminology of the day, that used the verb 'to throw'. William Wheaton, another founder of the Knickerbocker Club, was probably amongst the father of those rules. During the 1857 convention the clubs also established the 90-feet distance between the bases, 9-man teams and 9-inning games.

In the Knickerbockers' view, pitchers were supposed to deliver the ball underhand. It wouldn't be until 1884, under the influence of the way the game was played in the State of Massachussets, that the overhand pitch was introduced.

Alexander Cartwright
Alexander Cartwright

The Corona neighbourhood of Queens, New York, hosted in 1858 the first games to charge admission.

The Massachussets Game and the version of game played in Philadelphia, named Town Ball, remained pastimes. The Knickerbockers game, aided by the Civil War, expanded to over 100 clubs by 1865.