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The question of the origins of baseball has been the subject of debate and controversy for more than a century. Baseball and the other modern bat, ball and running games, cricket and rounders, were developed from earlier folk games.

Americans played a version of the English game rounders in the early 19th century which they called “Town Ball.” In fact, early forms of baseball had a number of names, including “Base Ball,” “Goal Ball ” “Round Ball,” “Fletch-catch,” “stool ball,” and, simply, “Base.” In at least one version of the game, teams pitched to themselves, runners went around the bases in the opposite direction of today’s game, and players could be put out by being hit with the ball. Like today, a batter was called out after three strikes.

Few details of how the modern games developed from earlier folk games are known. Some think that various folk games resulted in a game called town ball from which baseball was eventually born. Others believe that town ball was independent from baseball. Information supplied through Wikipedia.

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