One-minute review: The author believes that people prefer "creation myths" to the reality that most phenomena evolve. Baseball is an example. It was not started by Abner Doubleday, a man who didn't "know a baseball from a kumquat." It evolved from primitive stick-and-ball games played by working people even before
“…you can, honest Abe not withstanding, fool most of the people most of the time. How else to explain the long and continuing compendium of hoaxes—from the medieval shroud of Turin to Edwardian Piltdown Man to an ultramodern array of flying saucers and astral powers—eagerly embraced for their consonance with our hopes or their resonance with our fears?”
“Abner Doubleday, as we shall soon see, most emphatically did not invent baseball at
“This is an essay on the origins of baseball, with some musings on why beginnings [origins] of all sorts hold such fascination for us.”
Comment: This debunking is right up there with
Best American Essays of the Century. Editors: Oates and Atwan.