According to Baseball Creation, baseball is a game that many of us are playing, even back when we were still young. As adults, some are still on it while others are already satisfied on the bench or bleachers. Regardless, it is undeniable that the sport has been a part of our culture for several generations. One can even say that baseball resonates with us on an intimate level.
However, many don’t realize that the popularity of the sport is something that Americans owe to its history. Being referred to as the country’s National Pastime, that’s already a clue that baseball has anchored its roots deeply to our daily lives.
Therefore, the popularity of baseball is due to the fact that it has been with us since time immemorial. It is not a new sport that suddenly got popular–just like your viral videos. It took time before the sport took flight.
Baseball During And After The American Civil War
Accordingly, the first game of professional baseball took place during the time when America was still a young nation. However, even before that, our predecessors played the game in open spaces and fields.
Historians suggest that baseball went to the point of becoming a craze during the 1940s. Those soldiers who participated in the Civil War opted to play baseball to relieve their stress. After the war ended, veterans are still playing the game. And in some fashion, we can safely say that the sport somehow contributed to the unification of a country that had been apart violently.
There are many speculations as to where baseball originated or where it started. Many people believe that baseball was given birth in Cooperstown, and it was a Civil War soldier Abner Doubleday who created it. Whether it is the real story or not, it is undeniable that the creation of baseball has a degree of significance during and after the bloody Civil War.
Baseball During World War I and World War II
Both World War I and World War II left devastating memories not only in the United States but around the globe. But interestingly enough, inspiring stories transpired throughout the course of those global conflicts.
It is notable that there are a significant number of major baseball league players who participated in the first World War. They were deployed in different military branches of the United States. Some of them became Hall of Famers, such as Ty Cobb and Chris Mathewson. The two were a part of the Chemical Warfare Service branch. While they were in service, they served as baseball coaches, too. They taught soldiers how to play the game during their free time.
Unfortunately, the exposure of Mathewson to lethal doses of poison during one of their drills caused his early death. Specifically, he died eight years after the war.
Fast forward, and World War II erupted. During that time, there were around 500 professional baseball players drafted into the US military. Among them, 37 became Hall of Famers. In the exigency of service, a lot of these players had to sacrifice their careers and lives to defend the country. Fortunately, former US President Franklin Roosevelt published a letter at that time, encouraging sportsmen to continue playing. According to him, sports such as baseball are essential to boost people’s morale during trying times.
It was also in the second World War when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was established. The organization was created as a form of compensation for major league baseball players who had lost their lives during the war.
Baseball During The Modern Times
Of course, we can all agree that baseball has been an entertaining sport. It is revered by many people as essential leisure, regardless of the time and season. Interestingly enough, baseball also helps a wounded nation recover from tragedies.
A sound proof of this is during the aftermath of the 9/11 attack. Then US President George W. Bush displayed that the country is not weak despite its reeling state when he threw the first pitch of Game 3 of the World Series. That’s just seven weeks after the harrowing terrorist attack.
The Red Sox also made a statement during 2013 when it seized victory in the World Series, effectively overthrowing the fear caused by the Boston Marathon bombings.
The same thing happened in 2017. In the wake of Hurricane Harvey, the Houston Astros won their first championship in the World Series. It served as a morale booster for those that have been victimized by the massive natural disaster.
The influence of baseball on US history is solid proof that the sport is popular. It goes with the country’s foundation, and it will continue to become a part of the nation’s backbone in the years to come. In fact, I want to share a great quote from Dr. Gerad Early of the Washington University about this sport.
It goes like this: “There are three things that America will be known for 2,000 years from now: the Constitution, jazz music, and Baseball. They’re the three most beautifully designed things this culture’s ever produced.”