History of Baseball
Baseball is a team sport, a bat-and-ball game, in which a hard ball is thrown by a defensive player called a pitcher, and an offensive player called a batter attempts to hit it with a tapered, cylindrical, smooth stick called a bat. The ball itself is also called a baseball. Scoring is accomplished by the batter running and touching a series of four markers on the ground called bases. Baseball is sometimes called hardball to differentiate it from the closely related sport of softball and other similar games. Baseball is thought to be a direct descendant of cricket, rounders, and town ball though the game's true origins are uncertain. The earliest known mention of the sport is in a 1791 Pittsfield, Massachusetts town-bylaw banning the playing of it within 80 yards of the town meeting house.
In the United States, baseball has long been regarded as the unofficial national pastime; the total attendance for Major League games is roughly equal to that of all other American professional team sports combined. Although three of the four most popular sports in North America are ball games (baseball, basketball and American football), baseball's popularity grew so great that the word "ballgame" in the United States almost always refers to a game of baseball, and "ballpark" to a baseball field.
History of softball
Softball is a team sport in which a ball is thrown by a player called a pitcher and hit by an offensive player called a batter with a round, smooth stick called a bat. The ball itself is also called a softball. Scoring is accomplished by the batter running and touching a series of four markers on the ground called bases. Softball is a direct descendant of baseball (sometimes referred to as hardball to differentiate the two), but differs from it in several ways. The ball is always pitched (thrown to the batter) underarm while in baseball the ball may be released in any position and is usually thrown overarm or sidearm. The ball is larger, less dense, and heavier than a baseball. The playing field is normally smaller. The game is seven innings long, as opposed to nine in baseball.
Softball is the most popular participant sport in the United States. An estimated 56 million Americans will play at least one game of softball during a year. The first version of softball was invented in Chicago, Illinois in 1887 by George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, as a winter version of baseball. The softball name dates from 1926 (in addition to indoor baseball, kitten ball, and diamond ball, names for the game included mush ball, and pumpkin ball). Standard rules were agreed on only after the formation of the Amateur Softball Association in 1933.