Baseball developed into a legitimate sport in the middle of the 19th century. Organized leagues between amateur teams began to form in the 1850’s. The first professional baseball team was the Cincinnati Red Stockings in 1869. Following, a league of professional teams developed as the National Association opened in 187l. It became apparent as more and more teams appeared that finding good players to fill these teams was and important task and scouts played and, continue to do, a major role in the development of the teams.
During the 19th Century of professional baseball, The National League was the first major league. In 1882 the American Association formed to compete with the National League. The AA league located players in locations where the NL did not occupy and also tried to bring fans by providing cheaper tickets, serving alcohol at the games and by having games on Sunday. Scouting became and art of word of mouth, usually from semipro teams in that area. In those early days, teams will fold easily and good players were picked up by opposing teams and offer them a contract.
Things started to change at the beginning of the 20th century. By 1901, both the National League and the American League consisted of eight teams each. Scouting still consisted of a lot of luck. Players were usually picked from the minor leagues in their cities. A scout will inform a team of a good player, and the player’s contract will be
Purchased from the minor league. However, in the 1920’s Branch Rickey developed the farm system, where one mayor league team will have an affiliation with several minor league teams. The major league team will then arrange these teams by playing level and move players up as improvement was seen.
Rickey was also influential in integrating the major leagues. Prior to 1947, the major leagues did not allow blacks and most non white players to play. After 1947, the scouts had a larger group of players to pick...