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One of the most beloved aspects of baseball is its rich culture and history. As Opening Day 2017 approaches, let’s look back and see how baseball has evolved into the game that it is today.


Brief History

Out of several professional baseball leagues that cropped up in the 19th century, the National League was the most successful. It started in 1876 and featured the domineering Boston Red Stockings. In 1901, the American League followed with the Boston Americans. Both leagues participated in the World Series and outlived the other pro leagues. They remained separate entities until 2000.

Nowadays, the league is up to 30 franchises. One comes from Canada and 29 are in the United States. Teams play 162 games in the regular season, which puts MLB at the top of the attendance charts by a wide margin.


The Evolution of the Game

Over the years, baseball has evolved into an offensive game because it was deemed more entertaining for fans. There was the Dead-Ball Era in the early 1900’s when teams would average 43 home runs a season. Last season, two players hit 43 or more home runs.

Changes were made to the bats, balls and stadiums, making it harder for pitchers to dominate. For example, when Fenway Park opened in 1912, the distance from home plate to centre field was 488 feet. Today, it’s 420. 


Betting on MLB Baseball

Gambling was popular right from the get-go but unfortunately, there was a lot of corruption. Players weren’t paid much to play, so gamblers would happily pay them to fix games. In 1877, four players from a team in Louisville were found to be fixing games; they were permanently suspended. In the 1919 World Series, eight players from the Chicago White Sox were found guilty of throwing the game in one of the most memorable fixing schemes of all-time.

In 1927, Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis put forth rules to ensure that this never happened again. His changes did, in fact, clean up the game, which resulted in a lot more betting.  

Nowadays, betting is done mostly online, and because it’s easy to access, there are more betting options. With the advancement of technology, sportsbooks can offer a wider variety of bets, including propositional bets, alternate lines and even in-game betting.