Marc Rovner, a title insurance attorney with more than 29 years of legal experience, oversees the entire legal department of BETA Abstract, LLC, as senior staff attorney and director of business development. An avid sports fan, Marc Rovner of East Rockaway, New York, enjoys playing baseball and has been part of a men’s baseball team since 1993.
Many historians agree the game of baseball evolved from rounders, a British game that involved two teams who ran safely to a base after hitting a ball with a bat. Early documentation of the game has been found during the late 1700s and early 1800s. During these early stages of the sport, small towns formed teams while large cities created baseball clubs.
Alexander Cartwright, the father of baseball, created the first official rules for the sport in 1845. These rules, written for Cartwright’s New York baseball club, the Knickerbockers, have largely remained the same over the years.
By 1846, the first recorded baseball game occurred. This game pitted the Knickerbockers against another New York baseball club. Although the Knickerbockers lost, this event began the growth of amateur baseball. Eventually, 25 amateur teams got together to discuss the rules of competitive games and they formed the National Association of Baseball Players, the first organized baseball league, in 1857.
Although the number of baseball clubs dropped during the Civil War, the sport remained a popular hobby among Union soldiers and rapidly picked up speed once the war was over. In 1868, more than 100 baseball clubs had been formed and started charging admission to their games on a regular basis.
In 1869, the first professional baseball team, the Cincinnati Red Stockings, was formed and paid players quickly became the norm within the sport.