How did baseball develop?


Prisoners of war playing baseball during the American Civil War

Baseball is called America’s pastime and looking at it one can see that the modern sport of baseball not only developed in the United States but it continues to be associated with the United States, similar to iconic places such as the Statue of Liberty or the Grand Canyon. The path baseball took to becoming the sport it is today started in the early Medieval period, where it was a very different game. As with other major American sports, key developments occurred in Great Britain before then developing differently in the United States.

In Medieval England, during the Anglo and Norman periods, there appears to have been a game played in a type of field or clearing in the woods. This may have involved some type of ball game and some have suggested the word for this game, craic, which may have developed into the term cricket.[1] The game may have been played by children but almost no records exist of how this game was played. Another game developed in France in the Medieval period, which may have had similarities to craic, was La soule. This was a type of ball game using a leather or wooden ball that would involve people forming teams in a field and the ball would be hit or kicked around. Scoring a goal was likely the objective and, similar to many other games of the day, the game seemed violent and injury was common.[2]

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