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Softball was invented on a blustery windy day in November 1887 in Chicago IL inside the Farragut Boat Club There a bunch of Yale and Harvard alumni anxiously awaited the results of the Harvard-Yale football game When the news came that Yale had defeated Harvard 17-8 one Yale supporter overcome with enthusiasm picked up an old boxing glove and threw it at a nearby Harvard alumni who promptly tried to hit it back with a stick This gave George Hancock a reporter for the Chicago Board of Trade an idea He suggested a game of indoor baseball Naturally Hancocks friends thought he was talking about playing a game outdoors not indoors Hancock however wasnt kidding Using what was available he tied together the laces of a boxing glove for a ball Using a piece of chalk Hancock marked off a home plate bases and a pitchers box inside the Farragut Boat Club gymnasium with the two groups divided into two teams The final score of the game was 41-40 but what was significant was that Hancock and his friends had invented a sport that would grow in popularity to where today more than 25 million people enjoy playing it in the United States and millions more internationally in more than 100 countries Hancocks invention eventually caught on in Chicago with the Farragut team challenging other gyms to games In the spring Hancock took his game outdoors and played it on fields not large enough for baseball It was called indoor-outdoor and Hancock emerged as the recognized authority in the 19th century Hancock appended 19 special rules to adapt the outdoor game to the indoor game The rules were officially adopted by the Mid Winter Indoor Baseball League of Chicago in 1889 Hancocks game gradually spread throughout the country and ultimately flourished in Minneapolis thanks to the efforts and ingenuity of Louis Rober a Minneapolis Fire Department lieutenant who wanted to game to keep his firemen
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