How did recreation baseball start in our country
Public schools, recreational centers, Y.M.C.A.'s, and Y.W.C.A.'s, with their numerous teams found it almost impossible to provide adequate playing space and the equipment necessary for regulation baseball or indoor baseball. These demands soon called for another variation of the game, one that could be played out of doors; and one that could be played by boys and girls, men and women, old and young.
As early as 1909 the larger metropolitan areas were promoting playground ball, and a National Amateur Playground Ball Association of the United States was formed in that year. It is surprising to note the similarity of their rules to the ones used today. One notable difference was the fact that base runners might hit and then run the bases clockwise or counterclockwise, succeeding base runners necessarily following their selection.
In 1927, the National Recreation Association appointed a committee, headed by Ernest W. Johnson of St. Paul, Minnesota, to draw up a set of rules. for a modified game of baseball that could be played on a small area of a playground. Recreation executives adopted these rules and the game became very popular.
Soon there arose in various sections of the country combinations of regulation baseball and indoor baseball. These games were all very similar to our national sport' but, to suit particular needs, varied slightly in rules; size of diamond used, circumference and weight of the ball, the type of cover on the ball, and the weight and length of the bat. These games were known under such names as "Kitten Ball," "Recreation Ball," "Twilight Ball," "Softball," "Playground Ball," "Lightning Baseball," "Diamond Ball," "Army Ball," "Navy Ball," "Pumpkin Ball," "Indoor-Outdoor" and "Mush Ball."