The baseball World Series is one of the most celebrated events in U.S. history. Baseball fans and sport lovers alike come together to celebrate the excitement that is the World Series. Discover more in this week’s blog.
The World Series is the championship tournament of Major League Baseball, which takes place annually between two teams. The series as we know and love it today first came about in 1903, though baseball as a recreational sport has been around for much longer.
It is impossible to track exactly when baseball was officially founded, as traces of a game played with a bat and a ball date back to ancient Egypt. Examples of the ball and bat game became more refined in the 18th century, with influences from English sports such as rounders and cricket. The concept of baseball itself is exceedingly old, yet organized baseball did not form until the mid-19th century.
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Commonly called “America’s Pastime,” baseball became the first professional sport in the United States in the mid-19th century. The National Association of Base Ball Players (NABBP) was the first league of players to be formed. The organization came to be in 1857, comprising clubs from New York City and vicinity. In 1859 Washington, D.C. organized a club, and in the following year clubs were formed in other towns of New England.
Leading up to the American Civil War, the newly formed baseball teams competed for public interest against more popular sports such as cricket. By 1860 and during the years of the Civil War, the “New York style” baseball spread throughout the country. The early form of New York ball was often played by Union soldiers during the Civil War, and expanded to become widely known. The NABBP simultaneously expanded, establishing rules and more organized practices for the sport. By the end of the war, in 1865, a near 100 clubs were established in the NABBP.
From 1871 to 1875, the first “major league” association was established, entitled the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players. The competitive league, however, was later disassembled to establish a more “ethical” and fair league, known as the National Base Ball League founded in 1876. The American Association was founded in 1882 as the rivals to the National League. These groups makes up professional baseball as we know it today: Major League Baseball (MLB).
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In an effort to end a bitter rivalry between the National League and American League teams, and to promote unity in the sport of baseball, the leagues decided to bury the hatchet and come together for a monumental season finale. This became known as the World Series, often referred to as "The Championship of the United States" and “World's Championship Series.”
Who do you think will win this year’s World Series?
Mitchell became one of the most prominent American map publishers of the mid-19th century and his visual record of the early Unites States gives us an incredible lens into the rapid growth of our country during this time. This engraved and hand-colored 1858 map of the United States is a wonderful example of Westward expansion and the worldwide powerhouse that America was becoming.
Douglas Adams (1853-1920) was a London based landscape painter. He exhibited in the Royal Academy between 1880 and 1894, showed at the Society of British Artists, the Grosvenor Gallery, and the New Gallery and shared a Primrose Hill studio with other artists. Adams specialized as a landscape and wildfowl painter and often painted sporting scenes. Many of his paintings celebrated the field sports of hunting, shooting, and fishing, set against stunning Highland landscapes and painted in the Victorian tradition.