MCINTYRE-BROOKLYN BRIDEGROOMS 3 POSTCARD
""Semiprofessional baseball started in the United States in the 1860s; in 1869, the first fully professional baseball club, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was formed and went undefeated against a schedule of semi-pro and amateur teams. By the following decade, American newspapers were referring to baseball as the "National Pastime" or "National Game." The first attempt at forming a "major league" was the National Association, which lasted from 1871 to 1875. The "major league" status of the NA is is in dispute among present-day baseball historians, and modern Major League Baseball does not include the NA among the major leagues. The National League, which still exists today, was founded in 1876 in response to the NA's shortcomings. Several other major leagues formed and failed, but the American League, established in 1901 as a major league and originating from the minor Western League (1893), succeeded. While the two leagues were rivals who actively fought for the best players, often disregarding one another's contracts and engaging in bitter legal disputes, a modicum of peace was established in 1903, and the World Series was inaugurated that fall. The next year, however, the National League champion New York Giants did not participate as their manager, John McGraw, refused to recognize the major league status of the American League and its champion, the Boston Americans. The following year, McGraw relented and the Giants played the Philadelphia Athletics in the World Series. -------------------------------------------------------- Compared with the present day, games in the early part of the 20th century were lower scoring and pitchers were more successful. The "inside game", whose nature was to "scratch for runs", was played rather more violently and aggressively than it is today. Ty Cobb said of his era especially, "Baseball is something like a war!" This period, which has since become known as the "dead-ball era", ended in the 1920s with several rule changes that gave advantages to hitters and the rise of the legendary baseball player Babe Ruth, who showed the world what power hitting could produce and thus changed the nature of the game. Two of the changes introduced were a move to bring the outfield fences closer to the infield in the largest parks, and an introduction of extremely strict rules governing the size, shape and construction of the ball, causing it to travel farther when hit; the aggregate result of these two changes was to enable batters to hit many more home runs. ------------------------------------------------ In 1884, African American Moses Walker (and, briefly, his brother Welday) had played for the Toledo Blue Stockings of the major league American Association. An injury ended Walker's major league career, and by the early 1890s, a "gentlemen's agreement" in the form of the baseball color line effectively barred African-American players from the majors and their affiliated minor leagues, resulting in the formation of several Negro Leagues. The first crack in the agreement occurred in 1946, when Jackie Robinson was signed by the National League's Brooklyn Dodgers and began playing for their minor league team in Montreal. Finally, in 1947, the major leagues' color barrier was broken when Robinson debuted with the Dodgers. Although the transformation was not instantaneous, baseball has since become fully integrated. Major League baseball finally made it to the West Coast of the United States in 1958, when the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants relocated to Los Angeles and San Francisco respectively. The first American League team on the West Coast was the Los Angeles Angels, who were founded as an expansion team in 1961.