View Single Post
Old 08-26-2019, 12:16 PM
Acsenray is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: U.S.A.
Posts: 36,912
Originally Posted by Sangahyando View Post
I'm from the Old World not the New, and my interest in sports is all but zero; however, something was brought to mind for me by current exchanges in MPSIMS, about Abner Doubleday and baseball. Things may be additionally clouded for me, by Harry Turtledove's alternative-history series where the Confederacy wins the Civil War in 1862, and successfully secedes. Please could folk enlighten me, as to the real world: does baseball thrive and have a big following in the south-eastern USA -- the area of the former Confederate States; or -- long memories and all that -- is it disliked there (a "Yankee" sport etc. etc.), thus "happening" there little or not at all?

(In Turtledove's "Southern Victory" universe, baseball is always a rather weird "niche" sport confined strictly to New England -- everywhere else in the USA and CSA, American football reigns sole and supreme; with detail differences in rules, between the two nations.)
Today there's no regional stigma associated with baseball. Baseball began as a variation of rounders in Northeastern cities in the 19th century. But its popularity spread fast after the Civil War, with barnstorming teams and such. By the early 20th century, baseball was being played all over the country.

Baseball started as an urban game, but soon enough, many of the best players were coming from rural areas.

The first major league team in the Deep South didn't happen until the 1960s, but baseball had been played at lower levels all over the south, and many of the players for the largely northeastern major league teams were southerners.

But it's a plausible alternative history that you describe. If the Confederacy had won the war, maybe the ongoing tensions and rivalries would have prevented the cultural and commercial traffic that allowed baseball to become popular nationwide.
*I'm experimenting with E, em, and es and emself as pronouns that do not indicate any specific gender nor exclude any specific gender.

Last edited by Acsenray; 08-26-2019 at 12:17 PM.