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If You Build It...
In the late nineteenth century, and into the twentieth, baseball entered American life through a variety of mediums. Some industrious entrepreneurs saw the game as a potential boon to their business ventures, and they developed machines and gadgets to supply the burgeoning demand for equipment. Others used baseball as a recreational outlet while enduring the boredom and depression of federal incarceration. And, as the nation entered World War I, the federal government exploited the popularity of professional baseball players to promote Liberty Loan drives. All of these efforts contributed to building the popularity of baseball and establishing it as the National Pastime.
Baseball Patent

Baseball Patent

1876

Photograph of a Prison Baseball Team

Prison Baseball Team

ca. 1916

Prison File for Robert Fay

Baseball Privileges

1916-1922

WWI Loan Drive

Players Aid WWI Loan Drive

1917