by Mark Lugris
Baseball evolved from the English cricket. Played since the mid-18th century, the game was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York in 1839. Alexander Joy Cartwright created the modern baseball field in 1845. At this time, baseball was a sport for well-off young men, yet after the Civil War, soldiers introduced the game in their hometowns and baseball became a popular sport.
Baseball became an institution under the auspices of the National Association in 1858. The Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first professional team in 1869. The National and American Leagues participated in the first World Series in 1903 and the All-Star Game in 1933. In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers signed Jackie Robinson, which integrated African-American players who had been segregated in the Negro Leagues.
Baseball has continued to attract players and fans all over the world. The sport that was once restricted to the upper-class has ironically become America's most integrated sport and in the process bears the title of America's favorite pastime.