Many people trace the history of baseball back to the stick-and-ball games of the ancient Egyptians. However, the tradition is far older than previously believed.
First, baseball, like life on Earth, emerged from the lowest lifeforms known to man. Here, magnified about 10,000 times is a modern example of the primeval scum from which baseball emerged...
As this primordial ooze quivered into the first single-celled organisms, baseball, too, came into existence. Captured on a microscope is a fossilized false-colored image of two protozoa playing baseball. The "pitcher" uses mitochondria as the ball, while the "batter" uses bacteria. Apparently the objective of this sport was simply to drive the mitochondria as far as possible without hitting other cells.
After 2 billion years of single-celled existence, life and baseball exploded during the Cambrian era. Below is a scientist's rendering of an early predator in Earth's ancient oceans using a mollusk as a bat.Approximately 400 million years ago, life came to the shores. Reptiles continued life's inherent pastime on land, adding the dimension of base running to the sport. It is worth noting that the Dimetrodon was the first creature to use a wooden bat. (Image of batter and catcher.)
Dinosaurs came next, and baseball continued to progress. The rules of baseball apparently became better defined during their reign. Fielding was introduced, as well as umpires. Fossil evidence reveals many violent attacks on opposing team members. One such incident, preserved for eternity, and brought to life by the genius of computers, told the story of an angered batter charging the pitcher.
The demise of the dinosaurs is as famous today as it was tragic 65 million years ago. What is less known is that baseball survived the saurian demise. Primitive mammals picked up the sport and passed it along to our earliest ancestors.
Mary Leaky uncovered the earliest tools of Homo habilis, she also discovered that these industrious hominids were passing along not just the sport, but were creating a complex social hierarchy and culture of baseball. The evidence also suggests that habilis taught the sport to their young, and began developing strategy. During this era, differences in bat styles emerged. Special thanks to Kevin Youkilis and Johnny Damon for their depiction of primitive man.
Four million years brings us to the present and the pinnacle of baseball has been achieved. The embodiment of baseball's perfection is best illustrated by the 2008 World Series Champions, the Philadelphia Phillies.
Baseball has proven hardy, even through the most trying times (including "snowball" Earth, the Permian extinction, New York Mets, Chicxulub meteor, New York Yankees, and Congressional investigations). As this sport is encoded in life's very DNA, it is apparent that it will continue long after Jamie Moyer decides to retire.