History of Baseball Equipment

History of Baseball Equipment - Patrick Kennedy History of...

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Patrick Kennedy History of Baseball Professor Gittleman History of Baseball Equipment in Professional Baseball Throughout history, Baseball equipment has evolved according to the demands of the game and necessity of the players; as a result, players have been provided with strategic advantages over their predecessors and many entrepreneurs have capitalized on the business aspect of the sporting goods business. When baseball first began, equipment was an afterthought; as long as the players had a ball and a bat then the game was on. The luxuries we see today such as padded gloves, protective helmets, and state of the art cleats just did not exist. Uniforms were usually worn, but they were leaps and bounds away from what we consider normal today. The equipment baseball players have used over time has changed immensely as baseball has grown, and I intend to provide a detailed explanation of the evolution of bats, balls, gloves, cleats and uniforms. Baseball’s Rockefeller In order for one to comment on the history of baseball equipment, it is imperative to discuss Albert Spalding and his contributions to the game. Spalding is the most important man in the world in regards to the history of baseball equipment. He was a pioneer whose vision was to start a sporting goods store to provide baseball players with the proper equipment, and to make a hefty business out of it. He was the first man to actually record the rules of baseball on paper, and in those rules he cleverly stated that the ball to be used must specifically be of the “Spalding” brand. This clearly exhibits his entrepreneurial skills at their finest. Throughout his career, Albert Spalding
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Kennedy 2 was a brilliant pitcher, who is credited for the demise of the National Association, Baseball’s first league. He convinced several other prominent players from the league to jump ship and join the Chicago White stockings of the National League in 1876, which basically crippled the National Association. While in Chicago, Spalding and his brother began their sporting goods franchise. Even today, the Spalding name is well recognized in the world of sporting goods and is turning a profit as we speak. In my opinion understanding Albert Spalding and his career is imperative to understanding the history of baseball equipment. Albert Spalding was born on September 12, 1850 in the rural town of Byron Illinois. At the age of twelve Albert’s father, James Spalding, passed away. This put a tremendous hurt on the family’s fortunes, and Albert was sent to live with relatives in Rockford, Illinois (Lamster 5). His mother hoped he would receive a better education, which would allow him to rise in the world and become successful. The separation from his mother, and the trauma of his father’s death placed a whole in Albert’s heart. He needed to find something to fill the void. Baseball, it turned out, was just the Novocain for the soul that Albert needed. Albert joined in the local Rockport games and was instantly a star. By the age of
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This note was uploaded on 04/06/2008 for the course HIST history 10 taught by Professor Solgittleman during the Spring '08 term at Tufts.

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History of Baseball Equipment - Patrick Kennedy History of...

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