National League and New York City Essay

Submitted By Howdyshell1
Words: 759
Pages: 4

Baseball as a sport has had extensive impact on America’s history, influencing all of those connected to the game and the nation as a whole. In the following paper I will go into four connecting ideas that helped in the shaping of baseball as it would become Americas national pastime. The transformation of the game from amateurism to professionalism, a chronology of the rise of the first professional leagues, how a man by the name of William Hulbert helped advance the game, and how the American Association failed as the American League prospered.
Baseball’s beginnings did not start under the lights with giant stadiums filled with thousands of screaming fans cheering for their favorite superstar, almost the opposite as a matter of fact starting in open fields amongst store clerks an everyday normal men. Baseball was part of a movement of people taking part in outdoor recreational activities as a means to physically exert themselves and take part in a social gathering outside of their jobs. By 1845, the first organized club, the New York City’s Knickerbocker Club was established as a “fraternal” group of young men playing pickup games, paying little attention to who won or lost the games but instead to encouraging health, recreation, and social interaction. By the 1850’s, more clubs organized in the New York City area and games between clubs had become common, with competition still in a complementary role to leisure and socializing. The popularity of baseball, especially in urban areas evolved the game into competitions between men in which to test their mettle against each other in fair sport. With a growing fan base, and progression into a more skilled specific game with clear rules and greater reach to the public people began to see baseball as a way to bring in money by charging those who came to watch the games. Organized games had begun springing up around the city and this new aspect of the game lead to charged entry fees to spectators, paid players, and acted as a business creating professionalism in Baseball. In 1857, the National Association of Base Ball Players was the first league recognizing professionals and governing baseball, was primarily dominated by teams in New York and Brooklyn but is also the league that produced the only undefeated team in professional baseball history when in 1869 the Cincinnati Red Stockings went undefeated. Succeed by the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1871, or better known as the NA which was a short lived league only lasting through 1875. The NA was a troubled league that suffered from a lack of competition due to a Boston team winning the championship nearly every year, influences of gambling, and not being in cities that were economically able to support a professional baseball team.
However success finally came by way of William Hulbert, the owner of the Chicago White Stockings, who in 1876…