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BAS E-B ALL

161 fession. A man who played for a financial consideration harmony. They practically controlled professional basealways had some other means of a livelihood, as the income ball for many years, although there were occasional to be derived from playing ball in the summer time was not attempts to overthrow their authority, the most notable nearly enough to support him throughout the year. While being the formation of a Brotherhood of players, organized the game grew for a time in popularity, it soon acquired for the purpose of securing some of the financial benefits certain adjuncts which were by no means desirable. The accruing to the managers, as well as for the purpose betting evil became prominent, as did also pool selling, of abolishing black-listing and other supposed abuses. and before long the game had little standing in respectable The Brotherhood proved not sufficiently strong for the communities. It was not only generally supposed that the task, and fell to pieces. For the last few years promatches were not played on their merits, but it was known fessional base-ball has been somewhat under a cloud, that players themselves were not above selling contests. owing to questionable practices and rowdyism on the At that time many of the journals of the day foretold the field,, as well as quarrels among the managers. Whether speedy downfall of the sport. A convention of those it will ever again be as popular as it once was is a interested in the game, both financially and otherwise, question which time alone can determine. Careful was accordingly held in 1867 in Philadelphia, and an legislation only can effect the desired end. effort was made to Amateur base-ball effect a reformation. in America dates back O That the sport even to the time of the then was by no means formation of the proinsignificant can be fessional clubs, and seen from the fact the two have prothat in that convengressed along similar tion some 500 organlines so far as rules izations were repreand style of play are sented. While the concerned. Frework done at the quently, however, convention did not the amateur rules, accomplish all that and especially the was expected, it did college rules, have produce certain rediffered from those forms, and the sport of the professional grew rapidly therein minor points. after both in the The history of coleastern and in the lege base - ball has middle western part been marked by the of the United States. formation and disIn the next five years solution of leagues the interest in the and by individual Position of r~ O Position of game became so great Second Baseman-^ Short Stop championships bethat it was decided tween universities or to send a representacolleges, and by some tion of American quarrelsand disagreebase-ball players to ments, but never by Q England; and two Position of ,9 anything like the unRight Fielder clubs, the Bostons, pleasant practices who were the chamwhich have at times pions that year, and crept into the prothe Athletics, former o of fessional games. For Position champions, went Centre Fielder this reason the sport over and played Diagram of Base ball Field. has maintained its several exhibition hold more strongly games with each other. While successful in exciting during the last few years, and while the attendance at some interest, the trip did not succeed in populariz- games by no means equals that at the younger sport ofing base-ball in Great Britain. Fifteen years later two football, it has fully as constant a following and apparother Nines, representing American base-ball players, ently an equally long lease of life. made a general tour of Australia and various other Any comparatively level field over 100 yards square countries, completing their trip by a contest in England. will serve for a base-ball ground. Upon this field is marked This too, however, had little effect, and later attempts to out a square, commonly called the “diamond,” whose sides establish base-ball in England have likewise been unsuc- measure 30 yards each, and whose nearest corner is distant cessful. But in America the game continued to prosper. about 90 feet from one end of the field (see diagram). In 1876 was formed the National League, of eight clubs, This corner is marked by a white plate a foot square, sunk which contained the expert ball-players of the country. level with the ground, and called the home base. At the There were so many people in the United States who other three corners are canvas bags 15 inches square, and wanted to see professional base-ball that this organization called, beginning at the right as one looks into the field proved too small to furnish the desired number of games, from the home plate, the first, second, and third bases respecand hence in 1881 the American Association was formed. tively. The lines from home base to first, and from home I or a time it seemed that there would be room for both base to third, indefinitely prolonged, are called the foul organizations; but there was considerable rivalry, and it lines. The game is played by two sides of nine men each, was not until an agreement was made between the two one of these taking its turn at the bat while the other side organizations that they were able to work together in is in the field endeavouring, as provided by certain rules, to. S. II. — 21