Baseball: Then and Now
"The game of baseball has now become beyond question the leading feature of the outdoor sports of the United States...It is a game which is peculiarly suited to the American temperament and disposition:... in short, the pastime suits the people, and the people suit the pastime"(Charles Peverelly, 1866). Although baseball is still America's favorite pastime, the way it is played has changed greatly since it's founding in the 1800's. Baseball was originally created so there would be something the boys could do to keep busy during the summer months. Now, baseball has changed greatly because of technological and technique advancements, rule alterations, and the commercialization of the game.
Since its origination in the mid 1800's, baseball has undergone many changes and advancements in technology and technique. When it was first played, there was no such thing as a glove used to help catch the ball. The fielders would play bare-handed, making line drives automatic hits and ground balls even harder to handle.
The bat has undergone many changes as well. Batters used to hit the ball with a bat that had a flat side. This was comparable to a cricket paddle except slightly longer and slimmer. Now, players of any age or level use bats that are cylinder shaped with a slightly wider section on the end.
In the 1800's, the general public was not as safety oriented as is today's society. This is shown by the complete lack of helmets worn by players in the mid 1800's. Now, helmets are required by rule to be worn by the batter when he is hitting. Helmets are made of a highly durable, shock absorbent outer shell with soft interior padding for comfort. Other advances were demonstrated by the change in pitching style and technique. The first pitchers...