The year was 1875. As America prepared for its centennial celebrations, in a tiny tavern in the rural New York town of Cooperstown, a small group of businessmen had gathered for lunch. It was summer. As the meal progressed, their discussions turned from business to the new sport sweeping the country.
"This game of baseball is most remarkable" observed one. "The sport has so captured the hearts of the population that baseball may soon become our great national pastime"
"Indeed," said another. "There is talk now of organizing the nation's first professional league. It will bring baseball to our greatest cities and to Americans everywhere. Gentlemen, it is an exciting time to be alive to witness it!" And all agreed.
Among those present was a 38-year-old brewer from the midwest. Leading salesman for his father-in-law's growing midwestern brewery, the young man had traveled east to develop markets for a new beer still in development. For months he had been privately assisting his father-in-law in the formulation of a hearty new brew which they dreamed might one day become America';s preferred beer brand. Renowned as a marketing prodigy, the young man listened intently as his companions in the east talked excitedly of the game.
Suddenly, from a darkened corner of the tavern, a ragged traveler stood and began to speak. Haltingly, the stranger introduced himself as one Alexander Doubleday. Remarkably, he professed to be the first cousin of Abner Doubleday, the man whom historians had long credited with originating the game of baseball. Yet as he spoke, the stranger shocked his listeners by strenuously asserting that it was he, and not his cousin Abner, who 36 years earlier had invented The Game of Baseball!
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