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From One Ol' Cat to Baseball



From One Ol' Cat to Baseball
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   grades 4 to 6
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5.97

Vocabulary
     challenging words:    offering, committee, running, basis, wherever, paddle, batter, roots, however, secretary, english, several, onto, refer, become, against
     content words:    Abner Doubleday, William Pagula, Hole Cat, In America, One Ol, Johann Guts Muths, New York, Alexander Joy Cartwright, Knickerbocker Rules, National Association


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From One Ol' Cat to Baseball
By Jane Runyon
  

1     All that most children need is a stick and a rock, and they will play a game. They might throw the rock at a tree. They might hit the rock with the stick to see how far it will go. Children have been doing this for thousands of years. When more than one person wanted to play with the stick and ball, it became a competition.
 
2     For many years, most Americans believed that the modern day game of baseball was invented by a man named Abner Doubleday. A committee of men back in 1839 decided that Doubleday had written the rules and regulations for the game. It has been found, however, that this conclusion is not true.
 
3     The basic game of baseball can be traced back to the 1300's. A poem was written in 1330 by a man named William Pagula. In the poem, he voiced his dislike for a game played stoolball. It is thought that stoolball was played by milkmaids as they waited for the cows to be brought in for milking. A milking stool was placed on the ground. The batter stood in front of the stool trying to protect it from the pitcher. A ball was pitched by another player. The batter could use her hand or a stick to try and keep the pitcher from hitting the stool. If the batted ball was caught by another player, or if the pitcher hit the stool, the batter was out.
 
4     Different variations of stoolball were created. In some games, a wooden paddle was used instead of a stick. In other versions, more milking stools were placed on the playing field. The batter could score points by running around the stools before the ball could be retrieved. English settlers brought this game to America in the 1600's. The Americans put their own rules to the game.
 
5     Other folk games had similarities to modern baseball. A game called Cat and Dog had the players throwing a small piece of wood called a cat into a hole. An opposing player tried to keep the wood from going into the hole by hitting it with a stick. If more than two people were playing, two holes were dug and the batter ran between the holes. The other players tried to keep the runner from putting the cat into either hole.

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