Take Me Out To The Ballgame: A Historical Timeline Of Baseball

By: Jake Jola | jake.jola@activecities.com

Our national pastime dates back just as far as our nation is old. Many remarkable events have happened over 200+ years. This timeline takes a look at baseball throughout its history as a sport. From amazing feats to barriers broken and everywhere in between, baseball has become an important part of our American culture and is recognized today as one of the world’s most popular sports. With such a storied past, who knows what the next 200 years will bring!

1791: Baseball’s earliest roots founded in a bylaw in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.

first origins of baseball date back to 1791

1839: Abner Doubleday is said to have invented the game of baseball in Cooperstown, New York.

agner doubleday inventor of baseball in cooperstown new york

1845: Alexander Joy Cartweight creates the rules of baseball.

alexander joy cartweight wrote the first set of baseball rules

1846: The Knickerbockers and a team of cricket players play in the first official game in New York City.

the first baseball game was played between the knickerbockers and a team of cricket players

1866: Vassar College fields the first ever women’s baseball team.

1867: The first recorded curve ball is thrown by Candy Cummings.

candy cummings pitched the first ever curve ball

1869: The Cincinnati Red Stockings become the first ever professional team.

cincinnati red stockings were the first ever pro baseball team

1876: The National League is created when the Chicago White Stockings beat Louisville 4-0.

1880: On June 12th, Lee Richmond pitches the first perfect game.

lee richmond pitched the first perfect game in 1880

1882: The Beer and Whiskey League is created under the name of The American Baseball Association.

1884: Moses Fleetwood Walker becomes the first African-American player in Major League Baseball. The Louisville Slugger is born.

first black major league baseball player

1890: Cy Young pitches in the Majors for the first time.

cy young pitched his first game in 1890

1900: The American League is founded.

1903: The Boston Americans beat the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first World Series.

first world series baseball game between boston and pittsburgh in 1903

1904: Alta Weiss becomes the first woman to play professional baseball for the Vermilion Independents.

first woman to play professional baseball

1906: The Chicago Cubs win the most single-season games in history at 116.

chicago cubs win 116 games in one season

1908: The famous song “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is created.

famous baseball song written by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer

1912: Fenway Park opens.

1918: The “Star-Spangled Banner” is sung at a baseball game for the first time.

1920: The Boston Red Sox sell George Herman (Babe) Ruth to the New York Yankees.

1921: Baseball is heard for the first time over the radio.

baseball is played on the radio for the first time in 1921

1929: Babe Ruth hits his 500th home run.

1933: The first All-Star game is played.

the first all-star game was played in 1933

1935: Crosley Field in Cincinnati hosts the first-ever night game.

the first night game was played in cincinnati in 1935

1936: The Baseball Hall of Fame opens inducting Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Matthewson, Babe Ruth, and Honus Wager.

1941: Joe DiMaggio hits safely in 56 consecutive games from May 15th – July 17th. Ted Williams hits .406 for the entire season.

56 game hitting streak

1943: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is created. 340 Major League players serve in World War II.

1943 girls pro baseball is created during world war 2

1945: Jackie Robinson signs with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

signed with the dodgers in 1945

1947: The New York Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers in the first televised World Series.

1947 first world series on tv between New York Yankees and Brooklyn Dodgers

1948: Satchel Paige begins his Major League career.

1954: The iconic World Series catch is made by Willie Mays of the New York Giants.

famous world series catch in 1954

1957: California gets its first teams as the New York Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers make the move out west, becoming the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers respectively.

giants and dodgers move to california in 1957

1961: Roger Maris breaks Babe Ruth’s single season home run record with 61.

breaks babe ruths home run record in 1961

1964: The New York Yankees are purchased by CBS.

new york yankees are purchased by cbs

1965: The Astrodome opens on April 9th in Houston, Texas becoming the first domed stadium in Major League Baseball.

1965 houston astro dome opens

1972: Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson pass away.

Roberto Clemente and Jackie Robinson died in 1972

1973: George Steinbrenner purchases the New York Yankees. The Designated Hitter rule is established.

1973 george steinbrenner purchases the new york yankees

1974: Atlanta Braves Hank Aaron breaks Babe Ruth’s career home run record with 715 on April 8th.

hank aaron broke babe ruth's all time home run record in 1974

1985: Pete Rose passes Ty Cobb’s all-time hits record of 4,192.

1985 pete rose breaks all time hit record of 4,192

1989: Pete Rose receives lifetime ban from baseball for betting on games.

1989 pete rose banned from baseball for gambling

1990: Father and Son Ken Griffey Senior and Junior hit back-to-back home runs with the Seattle Mariners.

1990 ken griffey junior and senior hit home runs in the same game

1991: Nolan Ryan of the Texas Rangers throws a no hitter at the age 44.

1991 nolan ryan throws a no hitter

1994: No World Series is held due to a players’ strike.

1994 no world series due to baseball players strike

1995: On September 6th, Baltimore Orioles Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,131 consecutive games played, earning the title of “The Iron Man.”

Cal Ripken Jr. breaks Lou Gehrig’s record of 2,131 consecutive games played

1997: To honor Jackie Robinson, his number “42” is retired from all major and minor league teams.

1997 the number 42 is retired from all minor and major league baseball teams

1998: Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa both pass Roger Maris’ single-season home run record with 70 and 66 respectively.

1998 mcgwire and sosa hit 70 and 66 home runs

2000: The Chicago Cubs and New York Mets open the season in Tokyo, Japan to help grow the game globally.

2000 Chicago Cubs play New York Mets in Tokyo, Japan

2002: The first Japanese player, Tsuyoshi Shinjo of the San Francisco Giants, partakes in a World Series.

2002 Tsuyoshi Shinjo San Francisco Giants World Series

2004: The Boston Red Sox win their first World Series in 84 years over the St. Louis Cardinals.

the red sox win their first world series title in 84 years

2007: On August 4th, Barry Bonds breaks Hank Aaron’s home run record of 755. On December 13th, US Sen. George Mitchell presents his infamous report regarding steroids.

2007 barry bonds breaks hank aaron home run record of 755

2008: The final game in iconic Yankee Stadium is played on September 21st.

final game played at yankee stadium on september 21st 2008

2016: The Chicago Cubs win their first World Series title in 108 years, breaking the longest championship drought in American pro sports history.

chicago cubs celebrate winning their first world series title in 108 years