Cooperstown, the Birthplace of Baseball?

Riikka Olson

Major League Baseball season officially opened on April 2 with games and much fanfare. Click here to see the schedule for 2017. As the birthplace of baseball, Cooperstown is getting ready to welcome thousands of eager baseball fans this spring and summer to visit the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the holy ground at the famous Doubleday Field, and many baseball gift shops, events, and tournaments.

Have you ever wondered why Cooperstown is considered the home of baseball? Was the game of baseball really invented here?

There’s the long answer, but shortly put, the legend goes that in 1839 Cooperstown native and future Civil War hero Abner Doubleday invented baseball as a young boy by sketching the rules of the game with a stick in the dirt (the site of which is the current 10,000-seat Doubleday Field). Whether that’s historically accurate may be questionable as others claim the game had evolved from the British game of rounders, and different versions of the game were played across the US for centuries. In 1904, a 7-person committee of prominent basketball figures set out to investigate the true origin of baseball, and based on various factors (including the personal recollection of a Colorado miner, as well as, according to some whispers, pressure from local influencers who wanted to increase property value in the area), the committee concluded that to the best of their knowledge, the sport was indeed invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, NY.

Today, it’s not so relevant whether the history is 100% true. What can’t be denied is that Cooperstown has evolved into a central hub for the world of baseball, and is home to the hallowed National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, famous fields, parks, exhibits, memorabilia and other essentials for every baseball fan. Cooperstown has become an inseparable part of baseball history.

Experience it for yourself: wax figures of baseball heroes in historic settings at the Heroes of Baseball Wax Museum, 60,000 square feet of historic exhibits, activities and fun on the three floors of the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, games and hall of fame events at the Doubleday Field, youth baseball tournaments at Cooperstown Dreams Park, games at the baseball resort Cooperstown All Star Village, and so much more! Just walking around the village, you'll be swept up by the spirit of the game. We're pretty confident Cooperstown will knock your expectations out of the park!