Baseball: America just passing the time
The sun is high about noon on a Sunday. A gentle breeze plays with a relaxing American flag hanging lazily from its pole. An unseen jet rumbles overhead.
Someone offers an invitation for wiffle ball after church and chicken, just to pass the time before the Red Sox game.
It is something they forgot to put in the American dream, but it is just as much a part of it as the Chevy and a mortgage.
Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses and I’ll give them a baseball game on a spring Sunday with your friends.
Few know that America’s pastime actually was America’s pastime before it even received the moniker designating it as such.
Much of baseball’s beginnings are lost in legends and rumors. But in 1846, Alexander Cartwright formalized a list of rules that a group of small town teams united under.
The first recorded baseball game under these rules took place at the Elysian fields in New Jersey between Cartwright’s Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City and the New York Baseball Club.
In 1857, delegates from 25 teams organized a charter and more detailed rules and formed the National Association of Base Ball Players.
The Civil War broke out soon after, but baseball still thrived — as a pastime.
In Union camps, baseball games were played between units as a way to pass the time between marches. The sport grew amongst Union soldiers and by the end of the war, baseball was a largely participated sport.
In 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings became the first strictly professional baseball team and supported itself by charging admission to its games.
Since then, America and baseball have been as close as, well, America and baseball.
Woodrow Wilson threw out the first ball on opening day in 1916, sealing baseball as an American tradition.
Like Mr. Mertle tells Smalls in the Sandlot, “Baseball was life.”
Xbox never had a chance.
Sure. Let’s play ball.