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How Did Base Ball Become Baseball? The Origin and Growth of the Sport

During the 19th century, the name of America’s National Pastime was always written as two distinct words: base ball. By the 20th century, the two words had been combined into one, but that was the least of the changes in the world of baseball. How did the sport begin? How did it spread beyond New York and become truly national in scope? What was the impact of the Civil War upon the growth of baseball? How did an amateur sport become a professional endeavor? Who were the African-American players who preceded Jackie Robinson by more than a half-century? This course traces the origin of baseball and its growth and evolution through the end of the 19th century, from a loosely-organized pastime to a multi-million dollar commercial endeavor.

About the instructor: Bill Ryczek has written seven books on sports history, including a trilogy on 19th century baseball, covering the years from its beginnings through 1875. He has also written about New York baseball and professional football during the 1960s, and has won several awards.  Bill previously taught a course on the history of baseball at Quinnipiac University.


You may register online or call (860) 581- 4660 for additional information. Space for each event is limited, so please register early.

Presented in Partnership with the
Wesleyan Institute for Lifelong Learning


April 18
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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