A History of Baseball and Statistics

An obsession with statistics has made teams better than ever — but the game is now more tedious for fans to watch. Since sportswriter Henry Chadwick popularized the box score in the 19th century, baseball fans have had a love affair with statistics. Many can recite records like Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, Rickey Henderson’s 130 stolen[…]

The Golden Age of Chicago Baseball in an Era of Social Turmoil, 1901-1919

One of the leisure activities some Chicagoans could enjoy was a day at the ballpark. Chicago in 1900: An Industrial, Immigrant City with a Strong Baseball Tradition In the early twentieth century, Chicago, along with a number of other American cities, experienced dramatic social dislocations caused by industrialization, an influx of European immigrants, and the[…]

Is Shoeless Joe Jackson Innocent? The Black Sox Scandal 100 Years Later

What do Pete Rose, Rob Manfred, Barry Bonds, and Ted Williams have in common? Why, Shoeless Joe Jackson, of course. By Granville Wyche Burgess Major League Baseball has had its share of controversies and scandals, but perhaps none has had a more lasting impact than the Black Sox Scandal of 1919. At the center of[…]

How the 1869 Cincinnati Red Stockings Turned Baseball into a National Sensation

The Red Stockings made professionalism – which had been previously frowned upon – acceptable to the American public. This Major League Baseball season, fans may notice a patch on the players’ uniforms that reads “MLB 150.” The logo commemorates the Cincinnati Red Stockings, who, in 1869, became the first professional baseball team – and went on to win[…]