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Sports Then and Now



Baseball’s Beginning 35

Posted on April 23, 2014 by Martin Banks

Before it became America’s pastime, before all of the performance-enhancing drugs, before the Babe, before the Big Red Machine, and even before the Yankees wore pinstripes, baseball began. Like many things that began long ago, the origins of the game of baseball are unclear. Although the puzzle may not be entirely complete, we certainly have plenty of pieces which show us the path that was taken to get to how baseball is played today. From its roots across the pond to the development of more modern rules, baseball’s genesis was not one simple event in sports history.

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Rounders

Just as football developed from an alternative way to play rugby, baseball wasn’t created out of thin air. Instead, it came from an old English game known as “rounders”. Rounders was derived from the sport of cricket, but with some obvious differences, such as running in a more circular path rather than a straight back and forth one. As baseball’s ancestor, rounders lent its diamond shape to the modern game, as well as having a pitcher located within the diamond, though in rounders the pitcher is called the “bowler”. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Rusty Staub: A Man For All Ages
      April 8, 2024 | 1:26 pm
      Rusty Staub

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month is a former major league baseball player who came into the game as a teenager and stayed until he was in his 40s. In between, Rusty Staub put up a solid career that was primarily spent on expansion or rebuilding teams.

      Originally signed by the Colt .45s at age 17, he made his major league debut as a 19-year old rookie and became only the second player in the modern era to play in more than 150 games as a teenager.

      Though he hit only .224 splitting time between first base and rightfield, Staub did start building a foundation that would turn him into an All-Star by 1967 when he finished fifth in the league with a .333 batting average.

      Read more »

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