Known as an integral part of the American psyche, baseball has a sacred place in many people’s hearts across the country. However, it actually originates from England, where it was developed and first played. While it can seem pretty similar to the traditional commonwealth game of cricket, the two have different fundamental qualities that are explored below. We adopted baseball when it began to grow in popularity and made it our own. The role that baseball played in shaping American sports culture is huge, and gambling has always been at the forefront. For more information, check out MLB money lines.
Firstly, some similar qualities of cricket and baseball are surface-level fundamental roles that each team plays. To simplify, both games involve two teams; field and batting, or offensive and defensive. Offensive players begin the game by hitting a ball that has been bowled or thrown to them. There is the chance to hit it out of the field using wooden bats. Having hit the ball, the offensive player then runs between safe areas to score points at the risk of being caught out by the fielding team. Meanwhile, the fielding team is trying to catch the ball and return it to one of the “safe” positions that would call the player out if done in time. After enough batters have been struck out, teams switch positions. This is largely where the similarities between cricket and baseball end, because the finer details and intricacies of each game go on to vary and shape different cultures within history.
As mentioned earlier, both games were brought to England, where they were developed from common folk games. Within the Southeast, cricket was developed and commonly played by adults, whereas baseball came into light as a children’s game in the West of England. Within the 1800s, both games came to America. Until the Civil War, cricket was the more popular game. In spite of this, cricket is still played in Philadelphia today. Cricket remained popular within England and began to emerge in countries across the Commonwealth at a similar time.
Another way in which cricket and baseball are different is how the games are laid out. Teams in cricket have eleven players, while baseball typically uses nine. When on the opposing team, players hold cricket bats facing down, normally due to their heavier ball and bat combination. Baseball, however, involves the player pointing the bat towards the sky to show that they’re poised and ready for the ball. Traditionally, baseball is played in a diamond-shaped field with more foul areas than cricket. Meanwhile, a cricket field is typically rounder and consists of less rigid positions that need to be filled. The fielding structure is rather loose in comparison. Although these might seem like small differences, they all add up to create two different types of sports with their own surrounding cultures, fan bases, and unique sets of rules, traditions, and rituals.
The equipment is also different between baseball and cricket. The reason why players hold cricket bats to the ground is that the ball is heavier and the angle created makes it easier to cover a larger distance when batting. A standard cricket ball weighs 5.5-5.75 Ounces, while a baseball is around 5.25 ounces. This difference has also created a unique bat shape within the games. A standard cricket bat is flat but smaller than a baseball bat, although significantly heavier. Baseball bats are light and round, to offer that traditional image of American sports.
To summarize, baseball has long been a part of American culture, shaping the sporting world into what we know and love today, whereas cricket has been influential among Europeans who are typically older. While the debate about which sport is better will always be debated among sports fans, it must be agreed that the two have distinct similarities and have equally played their part in making professional sport the field of expertise that we know today. Both games require large amounts of patience, perseverance, and determination because they can last a long amount of time, with a lot of back-and-forth between teams. Being adaptable and able to think on their feet are essential qualities for both cricket and baseball. Cricket tends not to be so popular among today’s youth, predominantly because it is known as an older adults’ game, whereas young people across the country enjoy a game of baseball in the summer. The target audiences have always been a primary aspect of traditional sports, which is why some could argue that baseball is the more popular game of the two.
Within England, another school game that is commonly played that is based on folklore is rounders. This game involves manned fielding positions, holding a lightweight bat towards the sky, and running around posts within a diamond-shaped fielding area. The origins of this are unclear and professional leagues are hard to find, although it is the more similar of the two games when compared to baseball. There doesn’t have to be any level of debate or competition among the two, although it would be interesting to know which came first.