Where Did Baseball Originate

Can you answer, where did baseball originate? Where can you find the oldest autographed baseballs? When did the first official baseball uniforms come into play?

The simple answer to this question is the British inspired the game of baseball, but Americans established the official game.

The origins of baseball are rooted in a British game called "rounders." Rounders was a game played in castle yards and town squares throughout Great Britain. In the game of rounders, stakes were driven into the ground at 15 pace intervals, used similarly to bases in today's baseball game. A ball was pitched repeatedly to the striker until it is hit with a flat-sided stick.

In the late 1800s, rounders morphed into a game called referred to as "townsball," "base" or "baseball." In other words, the game began to develop into the American game we know today. Some of the changes include limiting the number of chances the batter has to hit the ball, distance between bases and shape of the bat used. The stakes were replaced by bases, further linking this game to contemporary baseball. The principle of the game remained the same, but many of the details were clearly different. By the 1850s, the game had a formal set of rules and regulations, set in writing by American Alexander Cartwright in 1845.

Baseball History 101: Cooperstown
If you'd like to learn more about baseball history, plan a visit to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. You can find current information on the latest players, interesting information about how the game has changed over the years and old autographed baseballs and baseball uniforms spanning the game's history.

If you're interested in creating your own collection of baseball history, however, you can start an autograph collection. Sending baseballs or baseball cards to current and retired baseball players often yields great results. Send a pen, baseball or card and a self-addressed stamped bubble envelope; include a letter requesting the autograph. While the big time players may not respond, a lot of retired or less well-known players may indulge your request.

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