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Exhibition Baseball Americana

World’s Champions 1905–1906, Owosso, Michigan West Side Indoor Base Ball Team. Photograph, 1906. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress (025.00.00)
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Indoor Baseball: The Birth of Softball

Softball was unexpectedly born on Thanksgiving Day 1887, after friends gathered at the Farragut Boat Club in Chicago realized the greater potential of whacking a boxing glove with a stick. One of the participants, George Hancock, further developed “indoor baseball” and athletes throughout the upper Midwest played it to stay in shape during winter. With its larger balls, shorter bats, and smaller diamond, the game quickly moved outdoors and, in 1926, was renamed “softball.”

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