The Most Important Year in Baseball History

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A couple of years ago I wrote a short series of articles that delved into three of the most important years in baseball history. All three were legitimate contenders, each making its own case as being the most important.

I get a lot of visitors meandering to our site and skimming my column, Peculiar Side of Sports History, and this series is among the most read. Further, I have received feedback either supporting one or the other, or offering a new contender.

I wanted to open up the debate again as I feel I may have shortchanged several important events in baseball history, not giving them their just due. I have included a snippet of each of my arguments I made in my original series (click on the links for the full stories), and have added a poll on the bottom to, hopefully, come up with a more conclusive winner. With your help, perhaps we can arrive at a conclusion together.

I encourage you to vote in the poll, but more importantly, I’d like to read your comments in the section below. To make this interactive, I will slowly be adding your comments into the article under the year you support. Feel free to leave your Twitter name so I can give you a shout-out.


1869 – Baseball goes “pro” (click for full story)

“Why 1869?  Well, for starters the first professional baseball team was formed in that year.  While that alone is enough to have garnered a nod from me, the year was so important for several reasons.”

“The first professional baseball team was established in 1869 – the Cincinnati Red Stockings.”

“The first game the Cincinnati Red Stockings played was against the Great Westerns, also of Cincinnati. 

“Another historic event from 1869 was actually not really baseball related – in that year the Transcontinental Railroadwas completed.  The obvious impact on baseball had to do with travel, which of course was very, very slow at that time.”

1920 – Ruth is sold to the Yankees (click for full story)

“We don’t need to do a play-by-play of every year he had with the Yankees to understand how he impacted the game.  He was an icon, a superstar, and one of the country’s most recognizable names.  The crowd loved him, and he loved them.  Shortly after Ruth’s arrival, Yankee Stadium was built to house the swelling crowds and that’s how it became the “House that Ruth Built.”  Ruth became the first baseball mega-star, transcending sports, and becoming a big name in pop culture of the time.”

1947 – Jackie Robinson helps to break colour barriers (click for full story)

“On April 15, 1947, the sporting world stood still.  Out of the dug-out came a man who forever changed sports.  Jackie Robinson assumed his position at first base.  Over 26.000 people showed up that day, and 16,000 of them were black.”


Which was the most important year in baseball’s history? in LastWordOnSports’s Hangs on LockerDome