Baseball is probably the most watched sport in America today. The way the game is played is two teams are formed with 9 players each. The pitcher will try to haul the baseball to the batter. The pitcher is trying to strike out the batter, three strikes and your out but the batter can hit the ball. The other 8 person playing with the pitcher are the 1st baseman, 2nd baseman, 3rd baseman, shortstop, left fielder, center fielder, right fielder and the catcher which catches the ball that the pitcher throws unless the batter hits the ball.
People will argue where the sport was originated but the real origin of baseball lies here in the good old United States. The game was played here back to the early part of the 19th century, but back then it was all white baseball no other players could play until the 60s and 70s came around where they allowed all players to try out and could play if they were good enough.
The National League was formed in 1876 where they started first playing baseball. After that more leagues and teams were added on and they started to play more and more of baseball and soon it grew to what we now know today as baseball. With Barry bonds and Alex Rodriguez hitting home runs every time up to bat, the players are getting better but the game is still the same. Maybe they need to start making the fields larger so it makes it harder for those good players to get a lot of home runs.
After the world wars baseball was a world wide sport and everyone wanted to play it. By then there were so many teams that they could have a baseball world series which didn't start till later on down the road. There were baseball teams from all over the world like Puerto Rico, Cuba, Netherlands, Australia , Africa, south Africa, Europe, England, great Brittan, anywhere that you could think of as a country there was a baseball team for it that's how popular baseball got after the world wars ended. If you wanted to play all you had to do in those days was go try out and if you could run and catch the ball with ease and actually hit the ball when you batted you were going to be on the team.
That's just how it was back in those days; they just wanted players so they could player each others teams and have something to talk about every day. Back then all you heard talk about all day was baseball. Now today all you hear about is news about the Iraq war and occasionally talk of baseball. The big talk on baseball at the moment is the steroid issue.
Michael Jeffery Jordan is probably one of the most well known names in the world of basketball. He was born on February 17, 1963 in New York City. Jordan was responsible for making National Basketball Association or the NBA famous, during the 1980s and 1990s. He is the fourth child of his parents, James R. Jordan, Sr. and Deloris Jordan.
As he developed his interest for basketball the high school he went to wouldn;t let him play because of his height, a few months later he went from being 5'11" to 6'3". He then got a basketball scholarship in 1981 from the University of North Carolina because of his impressive records in school. In the 1982 NCAA Championship game he made the game winning jump shot, as which he says is the turning point in his career and what made him what he is today.
He then started his pro career in 1984 when he signed with the Chicago Bulls. When he turned pro he was soon a public icon and he was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated with the headline, "A Star Is Born". He won the NBA championship from 1991 to 1993 and was then known as the best basketball player around. Although many people disliked him, many loved to see him dunk from the free throw line. As that is what he was most famous for doing in those times and what gave him the nickname of Air Jordan. This is also the name of the signature shoes that just about every kid wants.
In October 1993, he took a temporary leave to go play baseball but wasn't really good at it at all and the only reason he even left basketball was because of the loss of his father, he joined back in 1995 again. He then won it again by winning the NBA championships from 1996 to 1998. He then took another break again in 1999 to return back again in 2001, but this time he would join the Washington Wizards. He played with the team till 2003.
Michael Jordan was part of two award winning gold medalist Olympic teams. His first team won the first gold medal in the 1984 Summer Olympics and the second one was in the 1992 Summer Olympic Games. He set a record in NBA by making the highest career regular season scoring average of 30.1 points per game. He was the best that ever lived I think and he was my favorite player for a number of years until Carmelo Anthony and Labron James started to play in the NBA. He will always be remembered as making history and he will always be the one who first dunked from the free throw line. Even though he was a small guy once he grew fast into the NBA.
Many people may immediately think of collectible cards when thinking of sports memorabilia but the fact of the matter is there are a lot of other options available in this fun hobby. There is also a wide range of sports that one can find collectibles for.
When I was growing up there was a show called the "Wide World Of Sports", this is so true today. With the internet many sports from around the world have become even more popular and as a result there are even more people who are collecting items from sports and sports stars all over the world who they may have never heard of before the existence of the internet. You can collect items from such diverse sports as football, baseball, soccer, NASCAR, and even the UFC or Ultimate Fighting Championships.
As with other collectibles sports memorabilia must be preserved in pristine condition in order to be valuable. No one is going to give big money for baseball cards that are frayed or dog eared for example. This is why you will see many serious collectors who will have their items in air tight containers which are then stored in fireproof and moisture proof vaults. I have seen some people who have had the forethought to save items for their grandkids, not many people think of that but those who do often leave them with a valuable heirloom.
The hobby of collecting sports memorabilia covers an enormous array of diverse items that one can collect from the old baseball cards found in bubble gum packs to actual uniforms that a particular sports star wore such as a Wayne Gretzky hockey uniform or Emmit Smith's football jersey. Baseballs from the time of Babe Ruth bring enormous sums of money when they have been signed and authenticated. Homerun record baseballs are valuable as well.
If one collects books or magazines these can be valuable as well especially with magazines when one has every issue ever released going back for decades. I used to have a huge collection of bodybuilding magazines going back for over 20 years and I had every issue, when I decided to part with them the collection was quite valuable because it was so complete.
Even items that are not thought of as sports related but endorsed by sports stars can be worth quite a lot. Old Wheaties boxes with sports stars on the have been prized as collectibles. Action figures that are made is a sports stars likeness also make for fun items to collect. Just always be sure to protect the items if you are looking for them to increase in value, as I said before collectibles only become valuable when kept pristine.