Baseball is a sport which was primarily developed in the United States in the early 19th century. Legend has it that the sport was invented by Abner Doubleday in Cooperstown, New York, but that legend has been largely discredited, and Doubleday should instead be recognised for being an American Civil War hero. The sport is based on several earlier British sports, such as rounders and cricket, which were popular in the 17th and 18th century. After its early development in the United States, professional teams and leagues were later formed, especially the National Association of Professional Base Ball Players in 1871, the first formal professional organisation. Five years later, in 1876, this organisation was replaced by the National League of Professional Baseball Clubs.
Baseball later spread to many nations, notably Japan, Australia, and also to many Latin American countries, including Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Cuba's first professional league was formed in 1878, only two years after the National League in the United States. Many Latin Americans have played in the American Major League
Preview for Team China
China is a minnow in the baseball world and has never qualified for the Olympics before. But the home Games gives it a precious opportunity to take on elite teams such as Cuba, Japan and the US. The Chinese players, coached by former Major League Baseball all-star Jim Lefebvre, are eager to put on a good show in the sport's Olympic farewell after it was voted out of the 2012 Games along with softball.
(China Daily August 1, 2008)