Page:America's National Game (1911).djvu/55

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CHAPTER III.

STEPS IN THE EVOLUTION OF BASE BALL FROM ITS PRIMITIVE STAGES—HOW IT DEVELOPED, NATURALLY, FROM A BOY WITH A BALL, TO ITS PRESENT FORM, WITH EIGHTEEN PLAYERS, BALL, BATS AND BASES.

HOWEVER views of individuals may differ as to the origin of the American national game, all must agree that the sport had as its foundation—a Ball. Without that as its basis, the superstructure of the grandest pastime ever devised by man could never have been erected.

Josh Billings, in writing upon the general subject of Dogs, once said that, in order to realize on the different kinds of dogs, one must have environments calculated to develop the inherent traits of the varied breeds. Thus, in order to "realize" on a coach dog, one must be the owner of a carriage and team, that the canine might run along beneath the vehicle; in order to "realize" on a Newfoundland dog, he said its owner must have a pond of water and children, playing around, carelessly, that they might fall in and be rescued by "Faithful Nero," and so on.

Just so in this case, in order to "realize" on the Ball it is necessary to have someone to put it in motion. Happily, that one is not difficult to find. Placing the Ball in the hands of the first lad who happens along, we may be assured that he will do the rest. And he does. In

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