The Doubleday Myth
Most everyone that comes to show interest in baseball growing up learns that Abner Doubleday is the inventor of baseball. Although you don’t hear many people speaking up and demanding the truth be told, Abner Doubleday was not the inventor and no records show he ever claimed to be. It is believed that in reality, baseball evolved from other stick and ball games. There was no exact moment you can point to and say that is when baseball as we know it was invented. We do have an idea of when individuals started to write down the rules and playing styles or promoting the game as we know it. Those men are Alexander Cartwright, Henry Chadwick, and Doc Adams. Those men are more of the pioneers than they are inventors, but should get the recognition that Abner Doubleday gets.
The big question is how did we end up recognizing Abner Doubleday? It’s a long story, but the short story is that in 1905 there was a discussion about the invention of baseball, whether it was invented or an evolution of other games. To settle the discussion, a commision was formed to get to the bottom of it. Unfortunately, the side that wanted to claim it was invented by an american was the side that created the commision. So when they got the answer that they were looking for from a 71 year old man in Colorado, they didn’t question it or fact check his story. The story presented was that this 71 year old man remembered seeing drawings and diagrams by Abner Doubleday when he was growing. Unfortunately, the information didn’t add up and no one questioned it, thus we are left with the belief that Abner Doubleday invented baseball even though he himself never claimed it.