SourceAbner Doubleday Journal
In baseball's earliest years, players beaned baserunners and often had to flout town laws prohibiting the game
The game of baseball was not always the well-ordered sport we know today, played on elegantly manicured fields bordered by crisp white lines. As historians have debunked the widely held myth that Abner Doubleday of Cooperstown, New York, invented the sport out of whole cloth in 1839, they have discovered its deeper American origins. In 1787, the same year the Constitution was written, a Worcester, Massachusetts, publisher printed A Little Pretty Pocket Book, the American edition of an English book for children, which included a poem and illustration dedicated to “base-ball.”
Abner Doubleday had an eventful life, but as far as we know, he never gave a thought to the game with which his name is so firmly linked
SOME TWO hundred and fifty thousand people a year come to the little village of Cooperstown, in upstate New York, to visit the National Baseball Museum and Hall of Fame.
Like most authentic folk creations, baseball is deeply and obscurely rooted in the past and its moment of origin is cloaked in legend. There are innumerable threads that go back to the beginning of things, but nobody can follow them all the way.