Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
The “national pastime” in the United States, evoked alongside such icons of Americana as hot dogs and apple pie (and the only major league sport conducted in July, concurrent with Independence Day), baseball has a long history and strong association with America, in addition to its popularity elsewhere. The odd man out of the major American sports, it lacks a goal and a definite endpoint—a game of potentially infinite length (there are no ties) played in finite innings in which the teams take turns playing offense and defense. The origins of baseball are unclear. There are half a dozen competing origin stories, at least one of which—the 1839 invention of baseball by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York—is known to be false, though it continues to be repeated because of the association of the name with the sport and the location of the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. In the ...