There is no quote that more accurately depicts baseball's importance to American culture than James Earle Jones in the movie Field of Dreams: "America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game -- it's a part of our past, Ray."
On June 19, 1846, America's Pastime was born. The first-ever baseball game ever played occurred in Hoboken, New Jersey, between the New York Nine and the Knickerbockers. The New York Nine would dominate the Knickerbockers 23-1 through four innings.
"On this day 1846, Alexander Joy Cartwright arranged a baseball game between the New York Knickerbockers and the New York Nine at Hoboken, New Jersey—the first baseball game to use the set of rules on which today's game is based." - World History
Aside from being labeled as the first game ever, many milestones were set during the game between the Nine and the Knickerbockers. Among the players in the game was Daniel Lucius "Doc" Adams, aka the inventor of the shortstop position. Adams used the "new" position to field short throws from the outfield, a play now called "cutting off".
"Baseball Anniversary. Today in 1846 in Hoboken, NJ the first game played under the Knickerbocker Rules saw the New York Nine (Gotham Club) defeat the Knickerbockers 23-1 at the Elysian Fields." - St. Abner
The Knickerbocker Club was essential to the formation of the rules of the league at the time, which also became the basis for the rules we see used today. The Knickerbocker Rules were formalized by William R. Wheaton and William H. Tucker, who were both officers in the club.
While the Knickerbockers would disband in the early 1870s, they would re-establish themselves as a basketball team, or as they are known today, the New York Knicks.
The longest game in baseball history
The longest game in the history of the sport occurred on May 1, 1920, during a meeting between the Brooklyn Robins and Boston Braves. After Brooklyn took a 1-0 lead in the 5th inning, Boston tied it in the 6th inning. What followed became a part of sporting history, as the game would continue for 20 scoreless innings.
Leon Cadore and Joe Oeschger both pitched the entire 26-inning game before the game was called off after darkness arrived at Braves Field. It remains to be seen just how long that game could have continued if nightfall never came.
Shockingly enough, both pitchers only recorded seven strikeouts each, a far cry from the average pitcher in modern times. Boston's only RBI came from third baseman Tony Boeckel, whereas Ivy Olson picked up the only one for the Braves.