Many well-liked sports, including those with sizable fan bases and some degree of worldwide adoption, like basketball, gridiron football and baseball, are recognised as having originated in the United States. But despite the game’s global popularity and the growing influence of leagues and players from Asia and Latin America, baseball is the sport that Americans still see as their “national pastime.”
Baseball is a nine-player team sport played with a bat, a ball and gloves on a diamond-shaped field with four white bases. Teams switch roles as fielders and batters when three players from the batting team are “put out.” Players take turns at bat, attempting to hit the ball out of the fielding team’s reach while making a full circuit of the bases to score a “run.” The game is won by the team with the most runs scored after nine innings.
The World Series, which was first played in 1903 and featured the American and National League winners in a postseason play-off, immediately established itself as one of the most celebrated yearly events, alongside Christmas and the Fourth of July.
Baseball teams and players with particular names had an importance that went beyond the communities they represented. While the St. Louis Cardinals emerged as the undisputed champions of the Midwest, of small towns and farms, of rural America with its simplicity, rusticity, and old-stock Protestant homogeneity, the New York Yankees, who in the first half of the 20th century were the quintessential representatives of the big city, of the East, of urban America with its sophistication, became synonymous with supreme success.