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Fall 2018

For the Love of the Game

October brings crisp air and fierce competition as the best teams in baseball battle it out for the World Series title. Baseball is known as America’s pastime and has been around for over eighty years. Though today baseball has evolved to thirty clubs across the nation, we can all pay homage to the original teams and players. While the best players of today include players like Clayton Kershaw, Mookie Betts, Khris Davis, and Jose Altuve, let’s not forget yesterday’s favorites like Lou Gehrig, Satchel Paige, Willie Mayes, and Nolan Ryan.

The teams of today were built on the teams of yesterday. For example, the team now known as the Atlanta Braves was originally the Boston Red Caps, established in 1871. Through all the evolution over the years, baseball hasn’t lost its sense of excitement and thrill. Let’s take a look back in time to see where the excitement originally started. While the English had cricket, Americans had baseball. The first ballgame in 1846 was between the Knickerbocker baseball club of New York and the New York Baseball Club. After this game, baseball gained major popularity in the 1800s. Eight teams from 1871 to 1884 formed the first couple teams in the National League. In the early 1900s, the American League was formed of eight additional teams. Together, these two leagues—now with fifteen teams each—make up Major League Baseball (the MLB) as we know it today.

Major League Baseball has been a big part of my life. I grew up loving the game. I have vivid memories of leaving school early with my parents, driving downtown, and cheering on our team together. Sitting in the stands with a crowd of devoted fans is something to experience. There are so many things to love about baseball. The goosebumps you feel when hearing the ball crack against the bat. The thrill of watching players fiercely running around the bases. The feeling of your team coming from behind and winning the game. As the season climaxes and more teams lose their chance at the title, it’s great looking back to where the love all started.

—Hayden Wise