The origin and history of baseball has been in the dark since ever, as there are no clear indications about the inception of the interesting sport. Though there are references about its evolution from ancient folk games, nothing much can be said precisely. Many people are of the belief that baseball has strictly American roots, while others are of the conviction that it originated from a British game, rounders, as everything except the shape of the field was quite similar. However, there are no definite evidences to prove direct connection between rounders and baseball.
There are even theories that baseball originated from an old folk game, known as ‘stool ball’. The game was essentially British and was later regarded as the originator of games like cricket, baseball and even rounders. Apart from this, there are claims that baseball is related with the American game, ‘Town Ball’, played in 1800s. In 1845, Alexander Cartwright of America intended to formalize the rules and regulation of the game. Though, as per legends, the game was invented by Abner Doubleday, Cartwright is regarded as baseball's true father.
The first known baseball game was held in 1846. The game took place between Cartwright, and his Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City, and the New York Baseball Club, who defeated the former at the Elysian Fields, in Hoboken, New Jersey. Following this, in the year 1857, amateur teams were called to discuss the rules of the games, as laid down by Cartwright. In 1858, The National Association of Base Ball Players was formed; but the interest for the game dropped significantly during the Civil War.
Baseball was carried to other countries by the Union soldiers and immigration of prisoners. In 1869, the first professional team was formed, know as Cincinnati Red Stockings. They won consecutive games and none could beat them. This strengthened the idea of making the game a professional sport. Therefore, the amateur team and players slowly faded away, as the best players became professionals. In 1871, the first baseball professional league, the National Association was formed. Since then, the game has not looked back and has become a rage in most of the countries.