While most people had World Cup Fever, there are still some of us who are loyal to the sport of baseball. After all, there's an undeniable connection between baseball and Americana – something that's not found in every sport. While most people are familiar with the basic principles of baseball, there are some other elements of this sport that may surprise you.
Baseball Is Often Viewed As Our Nation's Pastime
You've probably heard of baseball being called “our nation's pastime,” or the “national game.” Phrases such as this date back to the 1850s, a time when New York journalists and reporters were boosting the sport's popularity. This influx in reporting and media led to an even further boom of popularity surrounding baseball and it wasn't long before stadiums began charging fans for admission to watch the games.
Baseball Originated In The Late 18th Century
According to public history records, the earliest mention of baseball occurred in 1791 Pittsfield, Massachusetts. Residents here gathered to play a game in which players would hit a ball to round bases – a variation of today's baseball. What's most interesting, however, is that the “mention” of baseball in 1791 was from a written ordinance banning players from playing within 80 yards of a town meeting facility.
Baseball In Mexico Dates Back To 1840s
Details are sketchy regarding the origins of baseball in Mexico, but many historians believe the first game ever played occurred in 1847. A group of American soldiers stationed at Mexico played a game of 'hit the ball' using wooden legs and sticks. It soon took off – as it did in many other countries – and remains a popular sport to this day.
Baseballs Contain 108 Stitches
No, baseballs aren't mass manufactured by some automated machine that spits out hundreds per hour. Instead, they are hand-stitched using two straight needles to achieve a total of 108 stitches. The Major League Baseball (MLB) has strict standards to ensure quality in each and every baseball used in regulation games.
Cap Ripken Jr. Holds Title For Most Consecutive Games
Calvin Edwin "Cal" Ripken, Jr.,” former Orioles shortstop and third baseman, holds the record for the most consecutive games played. The now hall-of-famer played an impressive 2,632 consecutive games over his 16-year career, never missing a single one. Can you imagine waking up and going to work every day for 16 years without calling in sick?