January 22, 1857 — The National Association of Baseball Players is founded today in New York. The first organization governing American baseball, it terminated the Knickerbocker era when that club privately deliberated on the rules of the game.
Prior to the Civil War, baseball competed for public interest with cricket and regional variants of baseball, notably town ball played in Philadelphia and the Massachusetts Game played in New England. In the 1860s, aided by the War, “New York” style baseball expanded into a national game and the NABBP, as its governing body, expanded into a true national organization, although most of the strongest clubs remained those based in New York City, Brooklyn and Philadelphia.
By the end of 1865, almost 100 clubs were members of the organization. By 1867, it had over 400 members, including some clubs from as far away as San Francisco and Louisiana. Because of this growth, regional and state organizations began to assume a more prominent role in the governance of the sport.
Words of Wisdom
One of the beautiful things about baseball is that every once in a while you come into a situation where you want to, and where you have to, reach down and prove something.