French manuscripts have description of clerics playing a game something similar to baseball. Apparently, the earliest reference of baseball was done in 1774 in a British publication.
Who Invented Baseball and When?
Actually speaking, baseball evolved from bat and ball games played in the olden days. Thus, it might not have been invented as such. But yes, we can say that baseball, as it is played now, was put forth for the first time by Alexander Joy Cartwright. In the year 1845, this man from New York invented, or rather came up with the idea of a modern baseball field. He, along with the members of the New York Knickerbocker Baseball Club came up with the rules and regulations of contemporary baseball. Cartwright is duly credited with formalizing modern baseball rules. In fact, the first ever recorded game of baseball was in 1846, where unfortunately for Cartwright, the Knickerbockers were defeated by New York Baseball Club in a game which was played in New Jersey.
The Abner Doubleday Twist
The fact that Cartwright is responsible for the current form of baseball has been endorsed by experts and sports historians. But in between, there was a snitch. There was a special commission which concluded that baseball had been an invention of civil war hero Abner Doubleday in 1907. This piece of information was seemingly perpetuated by a panel of baseball experts, who were appointed to determine how baseball originated. The conclusion that Doubleday is behind the invention was inferred upon the testimony of one Abner Graves. It was later realized that he was not a very credible source, as he was found to be criminally insane. Moreover, when Doubleday died, umpteen personal letters were found, but to everyone's surprise and incredulity, he had not even mentioned baseball once in all those letters. This blew and debunked the myth that Abner Doubleday was the one who actually invented baseball.
History of Baseball
It is believed that baseball was developed from a British game called rounders. It became popular around the 19th century in the USA. Then it was called 'townball', base, or baseball. In the 1860s, helped by the war, New York style baseball turned into a national game, and its first governing body, the National Association of Baseball Players (NABBP) was established. The rate at which the number of members of this organization continued to grow was phenomenal. By the end of 1865, the number was close to 100. Chicago Cubs, the then Chicago White Stockings, are perhaps one of the oldest team in baseball history. One interesting fact is dead ball era. It is a typical baseball jargon, referring to a period between 1900 to 1919, where there were low scoring games and scanty home runs.
This bleak scene changed with the emergence of a star called Babe Ruth. He hit a league record 29 home runs, an amazing feat at that time (1919). The 1940s was a period which was a golden era for Negro League Baseball, as the Negro League World Series was reinstated. Then was the time which was dominated by pitchers, that was during the 1960s and early 1970s. Finally, after a volatile period including clashes between the owners and the players union, leading to a cancellation of the World Series, issues were sorted out in 1995. Ultimately, the 2 major leagues' administrative faculties were amalgamated under one governing body―the Major League Baseball.