Jackie Robinson Changes a Country
Baseball is a game that is popular on the international scale. Furthermore, in many countries this game is regarded as a "national pastime." Moreover, this game is considered to be rather democratic: unlike football and basketball, it is accessible to different people undependably on their height or weight. There are several versions of the game’s origin. In England, it is believed that the game has been known since the mid-18th century. It was the time when Little entertaining pocket book was published (1744). It contained an article called "baseball" with an illustration. The Americans are sure that baseball is their invention, in particular the invention of their Civil War hero Abner Dabldeya from Cooperstown (NY) or Alexander Cartwright (NY), the founder of the Knickerbocker, the first baseball club1. It is likely that baseball was rooted in such well-known American games like "townball", "roundball", or "Massachusetts Game". All these games had similar rules, but differed a little in players’ positions on the field and the distance between them. Cartwright decided that a team should be consisting of 9 people. He established some other measures like the size of the field and others. All his decisions were considered to be a set of the first rules2. The first official game between the New York Nike and the Knickerbocker was held in June 1846 in New Jersey. In 1868 the National Baseball Players Association was founded on the initiаtive of 22 clubs. In 1867, the USA already had over 300 baseball clubs. The League supported itself from time to time charging fans for watching the games. The first professional baseball league was formed in 1871. At the beginning of 20th century almost all cities of the U.S. East Coast had its own professional baseball team. Teams were grouped into two leagues - the National and American. As well, baseball can be distinguished as professional and amateurish. 1. Charlton. The Baseball Chronology: The Complete History of the Most Important Events in the Game of Baseball. Macmillan, 1991, 68. 2. Porterfield, Jason. Baseball: Rules, Tips, Strategy, and Safety. Rosen, 2007, 101. Talking аbout the rules, since they were set up by Cartwright, they did not really change. During the playing season, the team played against each other in one league. At the end of the season two winners met each other in the framework of the World Series. The team that won at least four games (out of seven) was proclaimed a champion of the season that year. This order of the drawing title remained until now, although the league now is divided into smaller parts. There are series of games "playoff" between the winners of each division аfter the end of the season. Baseball started before the American Civil War in the form of "rounders" – a very primitive gаme that was played on the sand sites. The earliest championships in this sport improved it by introducing specific techniques and elements of the calculation similar to those that made cricket so popular in England. In particular, the implementation of the counting achievements record contributed to the prestige of baseball. "These days baseball is impossible to imagine without records" - says John Thorn3. The annals of the World Championships in baseball began in 1938, although the first tournament championship is difficult to be described as it involved only two teаms. The Americans won four matches and lost one. The British won the series but, oddly enough, since these competitions they were not participating any more. In 1939, four teаms were fighting for the title of the Strongest Baseball Team in the world. The most representative tournament took place in 1972 because 16 teams participated. The permanent participants in the World Cup were the teams from Latin America and the United States. The Dutch and Italians made their debut in 1970, the representatives of Asia – in 1972, Australia – in 1948....
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