Abner Doubleday

Alternate:
Abner Doubleday invented baseball

Current:
Abner Doubleday did not invented baseball

Strike!

Officially, the first baseball game took place in 1846 between the Knickerbockers and the New York Nine's.

It's classed as official because that's when the first written set of rules were used, which have been refined ever since into the ones we see today. However, the origin is largely credited to Abner Doubleday, including the word "baseball" itself, and that's what many people believe. It's not true through. Doubleday never mentioned in it any of his letters or documents, he was never made a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame and baseball wasn't even mentioned in his obituary when he died.

The truth is baseball was probably adapted by English settlers who played the earlier variation known as rounders, and added elements of Cricket to it.

War hero

Doubleday was a general in the American Civil War who played a key role in the Battle of Gettysburg. He had various interests, including owning the patent for the San Francisco cable car and running the Theosophical Society, for which he later because President. It was only years after his death that the notion he invented baseball gained prominence when the Mills Commission declared him so. There has been fierce debate regarding this since.

In the years to come, in the view of the hundreds of thousands of people who are devoted to baseball, and the millions who will be, Abner Doubleday's fame will rest evenly, if not quite as much, upon the fact that he was its inventor
-- Mills Commission, December 30, 1907

There are many official references to Doubleday's invention of baseball.He was a cadet in Cooperstown, which now is the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Doubleday Field 10,000 seat stadium.

The only solid reference connecting baseball to him during his life was when he was an army officer, and used to organise the equipment and matches for his men. It was at this time that the rules hadn't been formalised, and he was known from his position of authority to be able to apply them without question.