Despite a myth invented and heartily spread by early baseball promoters, the game was not invented by Abner Doubleday one day in Cooperstown, New York.
In fact, it wasn’t exactly invented at all.
It evolved from the British games of cricket and rounders, sometimes called “base ball” years ago in England.
By the early 1800s, a few American variations on the two games had already sprung up with nicknames like “town ball” and ‘one old cat, two old cat, three old cat.”
In 1845, Alexander Cartwright drew up some rules for his New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club.
He was the one who arbitrarily fixed the diamond size at 90 feet square and put the batter at home plate instead of at a special batters’ box nearby.
He also ruled out the deadly practice of “plugging” base runners, hitting them with a thrown ball to get them out.
But even after Cartwright, the game had quite a bit of evolving to do before it closely resembled the game we know today.