In general, the strict rules of baseball contracts and the reserve clause, which bound players to their teams even when their contracts had ended, tended to keep the players in check. Helyar's book dives into the long, tumultuous history of the business of baseball. The "inside game", which demanded that players "scratch for runs", was played much more aggressively than it is today: the brilliant and often violent Ty Cobb epitomized this style. In 1969, both the National and American Leagues added two more expansion teams, the leagues were reorganized into two divisions each, and a post-season playoff system leading to the World Series was instituted.  In 1961, the American League reached the West Coast with the Los Angeles Angels expansion team, and the major league season was extended from 154 games to 162. During the major leagues' early decades, players on various teams occasionally attempted strikes, which routinely failed when their jobs were sufficiently threatened. A young man named Abner Doubleday is often credited with developing the game, but the real history is older—and more complicated. PUBLISHER: Easton Press, 1998. The popularity of baseball is not only seen in North America but also in other parts of … 71–72, 75, 89, 147–149, 150, 160, et seq. One of them—volunteer firefighter and bank clerk Alexander Joy Cartwright—would codify a new set of rules that would form the basis for modern baseball, calling for a diamond-shaped infield, foul lines and the three-strike rule. Bjarkman (2004), pp. While their identities were maintained for scheduling purposes (and the designated hitter distinction), the regulations and other functions—such as player discipline and umpire supervision—they had administered separately were consolidated under the rubric of Major League Baseball (MLB). 4–5, 11–15, 25, 33, 59–61, et. Published by Ballantine Books.  This early form of the game was apparently brought to Canada by English immigrants. While the majors rebounded by the mid-1950s, the minor leagues were gutted and hundreds of semipro and amateur teams dissolved. It remained part of the 2008 Summer Olympics. The Lords of the Realm: The Real History of Baseball. The earliest known mention of baseball in the United States was in a 1792 Pittsfield, Massachusetts by law banning the playing of the game within 80 yards of the town meeting house.Another early reference reports that \"base ball\" was regularly played on Saturdays on the outskirts of New York City (in what is now Greenwich Village) in 1823.The first team to play baseball under modern rules were the New York Knickerbockers. , Facing competition as varied as television and football, baseball attendance at all levels declined. In 1939 Little League Baseball was founded in Pennsylvania. The original baseball played like it was filled up with feathers; in other words, the baseball was dull and lifeless with very few home runs being hit. In Asia, South Korea (1982), Taiwan (1990) and China (2003) all have professional leagues. In 1871 the first professional league, the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players, was founded. By 2009, the IBAF had 117 member countries. In 1863, the organization disallowed putouts made by catching a fair ball on the first bounce.  The first formal baseball league outside of the United States and Canada was founded in 1878 in Cuba, which maintains a rich baseball tradition and whose national team has been one of the world's strongest since international play began in the late 1930s (all organized baseball in the country has officially been amateur since the Cuban Revolution). One common theory is that American baseball has its origins in the British game of rounders, though it is more likely that both rounders and baseball have at least some origins in the sport of cricket. The first recorded baseball contest took place a year later, in 1846. This Day in Baseball History; December 18, 1973 > The New York Yankees name recently-resigned Oakland A's skipper Dick Williams to be their new manager. A French manuscript from 1344 contains an illustration of clerics playing a game, possibly la soule, with similarities to baseball. Its most direct ancestors appear to be two English games: rounders (a children’s game brought to New England by the earliest colonists) and cricket.  It has long been believed that cricket also descended from such games, though evidence uncovered in early 2009 suggests that cricket may have been imported to England from Flanders. 254, 271, 275–277.  With the Knickerbocker code as the basis, the rules of modern baseball continued to evolve over the next half-century. In September 1845, a group of New York City men founded the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club. 139, 140, 151, 164, 178, 179, et seq.  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