Baseball is America's game, the one game Americans confidently claimed as their own, so it was with some surprise that I recently learned that baseball, believed to have been invented in America in the 1790s, had actually been played in Britain at least as early as 1755. Consequently baseball appears to be another one of the world's dozen or so most popular sports to have been invented by Brits.
The Telegraph reports that a diary was recently found which describes the game of baseball "being played by a teenager in Guildford in 1755. . .The handwritten entry was discovered in the diary of lawyer William Bray". His diary records playing the game with teenage friends.
It is also reported that America Major League Baseball has accepted that the diary contained the earliest known reference to baseball, but I doubt they will take this lying down.
Whatever its origins, Americans have loved and shaped baseball for two centuries.
But it has never gone global, as have so many other British games - football (soccer), rugby, tennis, golf and cricket.
In news that might not be welcomed by all cricket fans, we read yesterday that "ESPN Star Sports a joint venture between Walt Disney Co.'s ESPN and News Corp.'s Star, paid $975 million for the exclusive, 10-year commercial rights for a new international cricket league based on a faster-moving, shorter version of the famously lengthy game".