To say that baseball is America’s favorite pastime would be an understatement. Americans’ love affair with baseball goes much deeper. Despite growing competition in viewership from NFL and NBL, Major League Baseball (MLB) remains a money-spinner. According to Forbes, MLB generated $10.3 billion in baseball-related revenues in 2018. 

Baseball is America’s game, and from the early days, famous players enjoyed a fanatical following. In the 1920s, fans would travel thousands of miles to catch a glimpse of Babe Ruth, the legendary Boston Red Sox left-handed pitcher. From the early days of the sport, popular players including Ruth, Joe DiMaggio, and Mickey Mantle had become mystical national figures.  

If you are a baseball fan, it can never hurt to learn some more about your favorite sport. After all, it is always fun to learn something new about that you love. 

With this in mind, here are some interesting tidbits in baseball’s history that you should know:

1. Hazy Origins 

The debate on where and when baseball came to the U.S continues up to date. The earliest mention on the record was in a legal order given in 1791 by authorities in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. It simply banned the playing of baseball around government buildings. 

Little wonder then Massachusetts boasts one of the most successful baseball teams, the Boston Red Sox, founded in 1901. The Red Sox have won nine World Series championships. Their latest victory was in 2018. 

2. Did Abner Doubleday Invent Baseball? 

If you love baseball, the name Abner Doubleday is likely familiar. Early reports had indicated that in the summer of 1839, Doubleday invented the game known as baseball in Cooperstown, New York. 

Doubleday later went on to become a Civil War hero, but it has now emerged he didn’t invent America’s favorite sport. Why? The young military recruit was still at West Point in 1839. Intense research shows the Myth of Doubleday in baseball remains just that, a myth. 

3. The First Baseball Game, 1845

The New York Knickerbockers have a place in baseball history as the first club to implement modern rules of the game. In 1845, the club formulated and strictly upheld the Knickerbocker Rules. 

Most clubs in New York adopted these rules to create what became the “New York Game.” This is an important tidbit from baseball history even as you catch up with the latest baseball news on

4. The First World Series

1903 marked a monumental time for baseball in the First World Series pitting Pittsburgh and Boston. This was a nine-game series which Boston 5-3. 

This was only possible after a new National Agreement between different leagues and the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues (NAPBL). 

5. The BizzareMerkle Incident, 1908 

If you have followed baseball keenly, you might have come across the mention of Fred Merkle or Bonehead Merkle.  

It was September 23, 1908 and on this day the New York Giants and Chicago Cubs had a crucial game in the Polo Grounds New York. 

Merkle, a rookie with the Giants, was on first base with Moose his teammate on third and with two outs and the game tied. It was tense and when Al Bridwell for the New York Giants cleverly socked a single to win the game, it seemed over. 

Well, Merkle the rookie instead of advancing to second base ran towards the clubhouse. Reason? He wanted to avoid spectators mobbing the field, and this was customary. 

In the confusion that followed, Johnny Evers the Cubs second baseman convinced the umpire that he had retrieved the ball and touched second base to force Merkle out and nullify the run scored. The umpire agreed and ordered the game replayed at the end of the season. 

Well, the rest is history; the Chicago Cubs went on to win that game, the pennant and the World Series. It was to remain the only World Series win for the Chicago Cubs until 2016. 

Merkle received criticism for the rest of his career despite evolving into one of the best players in the league. 

6. Jimmy Pearsall’s Wrong Way, 1963

There’s so much to write about Jimmy Pearsall, but in summary, he was eccentric in every way. The Two-time All-Star Jimmy Piersall was not only a baseball player but an artist in gloves and this showed in 1963 when he celebrated his 100th home run. 

The player ran the bases in the correct order but facing backward to celebrate. His character was out-of-this-world, and his life became the basis of a book and movie Fear Strikes Out

7. The “Dodging” Baseball’s L.A. Dodgers

Ever thought about the name of your favorite baseball team? If you are a fan of the L.A. Dodgers, you might be interested in learning the origin of their name. 

The team originally founded in Brooklyn got its name from the amazing skill residents of the city showed in dodging trolley streetcar system. 

Brooklyn in 1892 was an independent city, and it undertook to replace horse-drawn trolley lines with the faster electric trolley lines. 

Sportswriters at first referred to the team from Brooklyn as the “Trolley dodgers” which eventually became “the Dodgers.”  

It was something you couldn’t see in any other city and a natural name for a team from the borough.

Wrap Up 

There’s so much to learn about baseball, and this information makes you an even better sports fan.  It gives you good grounding as a baseball fan as you can understand the journey this popular sport has taken.