Doubleday would have been taken aback by this. He was a Civil War warrior who died in his later years “He had no idea he developed baseball. But he was dubbed the “Father of the Game” 15 years after his death “According to John Thorn,
Thorn, Major League Baseball’s official historian, recently published Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game, a book on the sport’s origins. He claims that the legend of Doubleday creating baseball stems from a Colorado mining engineer.
The True Story of Baseball
According to Thorn, the true storey of baseball is much older than what the Mills Commission determined. Different versions of the game were played in different parts of the country in the 18th century — New York, Philadelphia, and Massachusetts all had their own — but something like the New York game, which included the creation of a foul territory and required players to run on the base path, eventually won out — though not necessarily because it was a better game.
“I believe the New York game won out due to better public relations because I’ve played recreation games of the Massachusetts game, and it’s a tremendously exciting game to play and watch,” Thorn adds. “In many ways, the New York game is inferior. You didn’t have to stay on the basic path while running in the Massachusetts game. As a result, you’ll be able to take your opponents on a wild goose chase into the outfields and beyond.”
On early outfits and equipment
“Fielding gloves were invented much later, in the 1870s. The early clubs may have worn ribbons on the fronts of their shirts, but there is no evidence that they had uniforms. Their jerseys may have had ribbons on them. The custom of exchanging ribbons, which dates back to the Middle Ages, was a part of the organised game from the start, with the winning team entertaining the losing team at a post-game banquet and exchanging prizes.”
In terms of how the modern game differs
“I believe enclosed ballparks are really important because you now had a fence — no matter how far away — to hit the ball over, and slugging gradually became a part of the game. Now, Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford, Frank Chance — you name the first-decade hitting heroes — it was pointless for them to hit the ball, swinging at a pitch like Babe Ruth did, because they weren’t going to drive a mushy ball over a fence 500 feet away anyhow. Enclosed fields with ever-decreasing distances between walls — thus ballplayers get bigger, fields get smaller, and power becomes easier to achieve. Pitching becomes a game of throwing breaking balls as the game evolves. You can’t throw a ball down the middle, and you can’t relax with batters in the seventh, eighth, or ninth innings, because anyone in today’s lineup can damage you.”