The first recorded mention of anything similar to baseball was in 1839 by two dudes from Coopers Town, New York. "Rounders" is a unique British game played in a circle with four positions at each of the ninety degree points with a second circle outside; the pitcher throws nine pitches to every batter - hit, put out, to base, or, sit down; but, after all nine players had their pitches, the other team was up. A "run" was called an "ace" and the number of runs scored was determined by counting the number of aces were laying on the scoring table.
Sometime in the 1840's it became referred to as "townball." Alexander Cartrightorganized teams and set up rules for scoring. Spalding produced written rules in 1905 which became recognized by everyone by 1911.
The Cincinatti Red Stockings of 1869 was the first team with eighteen paid players.
Baseball caught on because of the U.S. military because as the military went places, the soldiers took the game with them, introducint it to japan, Korea, the Philipenes... everywhere we went in the 40's and 50's, so, the U.S. military did more for baseball than anything/anyone else.
The first game took place in 1846 , the New Jersey Nickerbockers played the New York Nine. Short stop had to play inside the baseline ntil 1880 because he was an "indielder," but, he could play on either side of second base. The "pitchers mound" came into being in 1880 and most pitchers threw under handed. The phrase "towing the mark" came about because the pitchers foot could not pass the mark until after the ball had been released. If a player was hit by a ball then he went to first base became a rule in 1914.
Baseball in the west - played in mining camps, and, was played more like rounders.
1866 - the earliest recorded baseball game in Sacramento.
1882 - first Sacramento team, the Rivermen.
1882 - second Sacramento team, the Sacramento Capitals
1882 - third Sacramento team, the Sacramento So Longs
Teams were all around the river fed areas and teams went by goat to the games. Professional baseball came to Sacramento in the 1890's, i.e., the first teams where everyone, including the coach got paid.
So, next time you are out and about try some rounders.
Brother Don "Peanut Butter" Breeland, well known Historian Extraordinaire