Who Invented Baseball?

June 18th, 2008

Who invented baseball? It sounds like a simple question. If you go to Cooperstown, NY, home of the Baseball Hall of Fame, you would find that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in Elihu Phinney’s cow pasture.

But is he the true inventor of baseball?

The fourth president of the National League, Abraham Mills, had set forth a commission in 1905 to determine if Doubleday invented baseball. It took nearly two years, but after that time, the commission decided that it was indeed Doubleday who invented baseball.

Controversy over who invented baseball

Baseball historian George B. Kirsch says that the Mills commission was a myth. None of the papers that Doubleday left behind described his role in inventing the game. Mills, a colleague of Doubleday, admits that he never heard Doubleday claim to invent the game. Lastly the commission relied heavily on Abner Graves, a person who not long after, spent much of his life in a mental institution. Thus there is considerable doubt that Abner Doubleday was who invented baseball.

If Doubleday didn’t invent baseball, who did?

That is a question that we’ll answer in the future. For now, let’s stick with the idea that Abner Doubleday might not have invented baseball.

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