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Baseball as National Pastime

             In each decade, there exist certain pastimes that come about as a result of the events and culture of that era. These types of leisure allow the people an "escape- from everyday life. Beginning in the nineteenth century, in America, this diversion became baseball.
             Although actually begun in the early 1800s as an American variation of the English game of Rounders, it was very casual and unceremonious at first, with rules fluctuating from place to place. In 1845, a more formalized version of baseball came into existence with the invention of the modern baseball field by Alexander Cartwright. He and his teammates from the New York Knickerbocker Base Ball Club also devised the first rules and regulations of the modern game of baseball. By the late 1850s, the game was becoming more democratized, coinciding with the beliefs of the American populous of the time.
             As the game became more structured, it rapidly began gaining popularity among the American people. Its pastoral image recalled a much simpler, more carefree time. "Our modern sports are attempts to break out of an artificially imposed confinement- (Bjarkman 116). The game prided itself upon perseverance through teamwork and a cooperative effort. It relied upon the initiative of the individual, while keeping in mind the success and benefit of the greater good.
             No other game in America has managed to earn recognition as the "National Pastime."" In short, baseball was a game created by Americans for Americans. It grew even as war raged throughout the nation. It united areas still split with regionalism and merged them with patriotic sentiments. It is, therefore, no wonder that it has come to be regarded with such an elevated national status. .
             The game of baseball is "potentially timeless- (115). Its cultural roots run deep. Old America was not driven by the clock. Life was more task than time-oriented, upon the completion of tasks rather than the hand of the clock.

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