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As the Civil War ended, the thoughts of many Northern soldiers turned to a game that some had learned about for the first time during the war--baseball. Their newfound interest in the sport, combined with the postwar economic boom and the resultant growth of many cities, took the game from one practiced by a few amateur clubs in New York City before the war to a professional sport covering almost the entire northeastern United States. Researched from primary sources, the game of the late 1860s is described season-by-season: the fields, the crowds, the strategy, the rules, the style of play, and the confusing struggles to crown a national champion, with all the chicanery and machinations of the contenders. Such landmark events as the Washington Nationals' pioneering 1867 tour and the Cincinnati Red Stockings' undefeated 1869 season are covered.