43 Days to Go! Who Invented Softball?

Softball is a game that has a vast background, but the sport that has gained such popularity in the Chicago area actually was derived from football. The history of softball dates back to Thanksgiving Day of 1887, when several alumni sat in the Chicago, Illinois Farragut Boat Club, anxiously awaiting the outcome of the Yale versus Harvard football game. When Yale was announced as the winner, a Yale alumnus playfully threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard fan swung at the balled-up glove with a stick, and the rest of the group looked on with interest. George Hancock, a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade, jokingly called out, “Play ball!” and the first softball game commenced with the football fans using the boxing glove as a ball and a broom handle in place of a bat. Soon rules were created and leaked to nearby Chicago neighborhoods, so beginning the popularity of the game of softball.


The first picture taken of a softball team, Chicago 1897.
The first picture taken of a softball team, Chicago 1897.

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