The earliest form of baseball was played in ancient Mesopotamia. Called Dak-tar, the object of the game was for the players to project their own personal failings and fears of death onto their children.
At various times, the game has been known as bases-ball, based-ball, basted-ball, butter-ball, churn-ball, hide-the-goblin, flip cup, Sacajawea, and water polo.
Early incarnations of baseball required every square inch of the playing field to be covered by a person. By the late 1700s, rosters for each team were whittled down to a lean 85.
Alexander Cartwright was considered the father of baseball not because he codified the game’s modern rules, but because he sired enough illegitimate children to field an entire league’s rosters.
Abner Doubleday did not invent baseball in Cooperstown, NY, as legend has it. The West Point graduate was given the honorary title of the game’s inventor in recognition of his service when defeating The Great Child Labor Rebellion of 1871.