July 4 is a day to also cheer for baseball

The Knickerbockers’ Alexander Joy Cartwright, who later moved to Honolulu, is credited by many with drafting basic baseball rules on Sept. 23, 1845.

The Fourth of July, of course, is a day for the country to celebrate the Declaration of Independence and birth of our great nation.

But to me, for many reasons, July 4 also means baseball. It probably dates back to my childhood days, when my dad would take me to Hawaii Islanders games on the holiday featuring the traditional fireworks show after the final out.

So … to start a new 4th of July tradition, I would like to celebrate by taking a look back at the early history of the great game. This year, we will start … at the beginning (notes courtesy The Baseball Chronology):

Sept. 23, 1845: Alexander Joy Cartwright, a member of the New York Knickerbockers Base Ball Club, reportedly drafted basic rules which would become adopted throughout the country. These include 1.) tagging a runner out, instead of throwing the ball and hitting him with it; 2.) foul balls and 3.) 42 paces, or roughly 90 feet, between bases.

Now, I understand there is recent debate whether Cartwright actually is the one who came up with those rules. But today is a day for celebration, so for today, I’m going with Cartwright.

Oct. 6, 1845: About two weeks later, the first partial baseball game (only three innings) was played under the so-called “Cartwright Rules.”

June 19, 1846: The first officially recorded baseball game under Cartwright rules is played at Elysian Fields, Hoboken, N.J. Final score is N.Y. Club 21, Knickerbockers 1

June 24, 1849: The first baseball uniform (blue wool pantaloons, white flannel shirt, straw hat) is adopted at a meeting of the N.Y. Knickerbockers club.

Of course, baseball history can take weeks, months, years to recall, so I’ll stop here for now.

And, as usual, I will spend another Fourth of July celebrating it!

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