If you do a simple Google search on who the inventor of baseball was, you will stumble upon the name of Abner Doubleday, a US General during the American Civil War. As it turns out though, Abner Doubleday had nothing to do with baseball.
Here’s the full story.
In 1905, a panel called The Mills Commission was setup to investigate the origin of baseball. The panel included 3 former Presidents of the National League, 2 former baseball players and 2 presidents of athletic unions. Notice the absence of a historian? Anyway, the panel started their research which simply relied on ads asking for people who might knew something to contact them. (the article continues after the ad)
Two years later, the man who formed the commission, Albert Spalding, sent a letter to the members claiming that he found the true origin. His theory was based on Abner Graves, a 71 year old mining engineer. Graves claimed that in 1839, he saw Abner Doubleday interrupting a group of boys who were playing a game of marbles to teach them the new game he had just invented; baseball.
That was it! The commission didn’t even bother to check the accuracy of the story; Abres Doubleday was named the inventor of baseball! By the way, soon after telling his story, Abner Graves, ended up in an insane asylum in which he spent the rest of his life.
But how come we are so confident that Abres Doubleday had nothing to do with the invention of baseball?
Well, from two things. First of all, close friends of Doubleday, claimed that he never, ever mentioned baseball at all, despite it being extremely popular towards the end of his life. Secondly, don’t forget that Doubleday was a war hero with his life being well documented through his journals and letters. Not even did he not say anything about inventing baseball, he didn’t even mention baseball in any of his words or texts, which is quite weird for someone who invented something that was growing in popularity, right?
So, who invented baseball, anyway?
None. Baseball evolved from a variety of stick ball games that were popular in Europe, primarily the game of “rounders”.
If you like what you read, then you will definitely love this one: Potato Chips Were Accidentally Invented By A Complaining Customer And An Angry Chef
Photos: 2246794 / Pixabay, Biography.com
Photoshop: I’m A Useless Info Junkie
Sources: Myth of Baseball’s Creation Endures, With a Prominent Fan | The Creation Myths of Cooperstown
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