Baseball Speech

I: Origins of Baseball

Alexander Cartwright, the “Father of Baseball.”

Did you know that bat and ball games similar to Baseball can be traced as far back as 13th Century Romania? Games similar to Medieval Romnian game were played in the British isles, but they were known as “Stickball” or “Racquetball” but they were nowhere near the rules we have today. Baseball similar to the rules today was invented by Alexander Cartwright in New York in 1845, when he wrote the Knickerbocker Rules, and he is credited with the title “Father of Baseball.” 

II: Early Years and Dead Ball Era

Ray Chapman, who was killed by a ball in 1920.

The Sport was played in New England and in Union camps during the Civil War. Eventually, in 1876, the American Association (AA) and the National League (NL) joined to create Major League Baseball, but it wasn’t until 1903 (When The AA became the AL) that Major League Baseball was officially created. In the late 1800s the game saw a major rise in popularity, with great players such as Cy Young playing then. In the early 1900s, pitchers dominated the game, and it was known as the Dead Ball Era. This was mostly because pitchers were allowed to use foreign substances on balls until 1920, when Ray Chapman of the Cleveland Indians was hit by a pitch in the head and killed because he couldn’t see the ball because of the mud on it. (and they didn’t start wearing helmets until the 1960s.) 

III: Expansion Years 

The Astrodome in 1980.

Coming out of the Dead Ball Era, players started to hit more home runs, such as George “Babe” Ruth who hit 714 carrer home runs, the third most in history. In the mid 20th Century teams moved to new cities, such as the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, becoming the San Francisco Giants and the Los Angeles Dodgers. The New York Yankees dominated Baseball from the late 1940s to the early 1960s, with Manager Casey Stengel leading them to most of their victories from 1949-1963. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, domed stadiums and artificial turf were used in the stadiums. One of the first Stadiums like this was the Astrodome, which was the home of the Houston Astros from 1965-2000. It was sometimes called the “Eighth wonder of the World” because it was so hi-tech for the time. Its artificial grass was called “Astroturf”. Starting in 1961 with the Los Angeles Angels the MLB started the Expansion Years, and many new teams were created. The first two teams outside of the United States were The Montreal Expos in 1969, and the Toronto Blue Jays in 1977 but the Montreal Expos are no longer a team. This lasted all the way until 1998 when the Tampa Bay Rays, which were then called the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, were created. 

IV: The Steroid Era 

Barry Bonds, who hit the most home runs in M.L.B. history.

From the late 1990s to the early 2000s, players used steroids or other performance enhancing drugs to try to hit more home runs. This was known as the Steroid Era. The first player suspected of using steroids was Jose Canseco, who used them in the Early 1990s. Other players were suspected of using steroids, but Barry Bonds especially was suspected, because  he hit the most home runs in MLB history. In 2005, Steroids were outlawed by the MLB. Nowadays, just like the Dead Ball Era, pitchers use illegal foreign substances to try to get a better grip on the ball, the MLB has been checking pitchers for it more often. 

V: Conclusion

Baseball is now loved by millions of people in many different countries, like Korea, Japan, Cuba, Venezuela, but especially the United States, where baseball is known as “America’s National Pastime. I personally love baseball because it’s more complex than most other sports, and the patience a player has to have to play it correctly.You can’t just be good at one thing to play the game, but all parts of it. Many people say baseball is boring and slow but if you know the rules it’s very entertaining to play and to watch.

World War 1 Speech


The destroyed French city of Verdun in late 1916.

Of the 21 million people killed, 8 million were civilians. World War 1 was one of the bloodiest conflicts in human history, and was the worst war up to that time. During the war many of the soldiers either died or lost limbs and many civilians had their property stolen or destroyed.


A leveled road and forest in France.

    World War 1 lasted 4 years, 2 months, and 13 days. For most of the war soldiers had to stay in cramped trenches, where conditions were horrible. You had to worry about enemy snipers and soldiers who would sneak into your trench if you let your guard down. There were dead bodies, rats, and diseases. If you were attacking, you would charge over “no man’s land” where there was barbed wire and mud. Once you got closer to the enemy trench, they would unleash machine gun fire on you. Your commanders would send wave after wave, until you took the enemy trench. Usually only half of your men would return. If you were defending, days before the attack the enemy would send thousands of shells, and poison gas strikes at you. You would have to defend your trench until they retreated. 60-70 million people fought in the war and in France and Bulgaria over 20% of their populations either joined or were drafted. World War 1 was known as the “war to end all wars” by British author H.G. Wells, who thought that the League of Nations would prevent war from ever happening again. He was wrong. World War 1 ended nothing, in fact it is directly attributed to starting World War 2. 


Two British soldiers inside a trench with a Vickers Machine Gun.

    In the end World War 1 cost the lives of 17,611,000 people. The war didn’t solve anything and it was one of the starting factors of World War 2. The World would only have to wait 25 years for another World War. 

The Infamous but Unknown Insurrection: The New York City Draft Riots of 1863

By Zeke
May 10, 2021

The New York City Draft Riots took place from July 13 – July 17, 1863 in New York City, New York. Irish Immigrants and other white New Yorkers felt like they had been somehow scammed by their government, and now they were forced to fight a war to supposedly “free the slaves,” while competing with freed blacks in New York for low-wage jobs. These riots were more like a revolt or insurrection than a protest, and police, army, and navy were sent in to fire on the mob. Even though they’re unknown by most people, these were the worst riots in American history and the bloodshed was quelled only after four harsh days of fighting in the streets.

Colonial New York City

New York City Slave Revolt of 1712.

New York City was founded as the Dutch colony New Amsterdam in 1609, and after sparring over the city for decades, it was finally ceded to the British in 1674. It had a surprisingly large slave trade industry, and in 1703, 42% of all households owned slaves. In 1712, there was a slave revolt which resulted in the death of nine whites. Seventy suspects were arrested, and then were burned to death and placed on the breaking wheel (a form of torture where the victim’s limbs were broken and then he was strung on a wheel and left to die). There was another slave revolt in 1741, and more than 350 suspects were hung, scorched to death, or gibbetied (a torture method where the victim is left in a public to starve or die of thrist).

Leading up to the riots

New York outlawed slavery in 1830, however, in the 1850s and early 60s, the city’s poor population and Irish immigriants were angry at Republicans and the rich of the city, but especially at the blacks for “stealing” their employment oppurtinunities. When War Between the States broke out in 1861, New York City was at first ready to fight the “traitors” in the South, but when Lincoln’s War wasn’t over quickly, the citizens of New York became anti-war. After the Emancipation Proclamation was delivered on September 22, 1862, trying to change the meaning of conflict from preserving the Union to supposedly freeing the slaves, and the enrollment act (the draft) was also passed on March 22, 1863, the people of New York were enraged with their government which was forcing them to fight for the men they hated: The Republican politicians, the wealthy, and the freed blacks. 

The first day (July 13, 1863)

Police Superintendent John Alexander Kennedy.

On the morning of July 13, 1863, rioters sacked a draft station on 3rd avenue. At 9:30 a.m., Police Superintendent Kennedy left headquarters to inspect the situation by himself, and went where the mobs were on foot. They recognized him and tried to kill him, but six of his men were nearby and saw that he was in danger, so they tried to help him but were overwhelmed by the bloodthirsty crowd. The mob then proceeded to drag him into an alley, beat him almost to death, and stab him several times, and tried to drown him in a mud puddle. The Superintendent barely got away and was rushed to the station. 

The mob grows

Later in the day, rioters cut down telegraph wires. Around 10:00 a.m., 50 police men approached the enrollment office but were too late. The rabble were on top of buildings and hurled rocks and stones down on the police, and in retaliation, the police sent a volley of fire at the irate Yankees, killing and wounding several. Still, the police ran away, and some survivors were caught by the hoard and thrown off a bridge. When the mob got to 46th street, they were quickly surrounded by Sergeant Robert A. McCredie and 14 officers, who tried to attack them with their clubs, but the rioters sent the bluecoats running and only 5 out of 14 of the police were not injured. Cruelly, wounded police who were left in the streets were stoned to death. It was now the afternoon of July 13, and there had been 20 skirmishes so far in which the police had lost every time. Moreover, evey well-dressed person was either beaten or killed by the mob.

The battle at the armory and the banks

The Armory before the riots.

Four-hundred men of the New York National Guard were sent to the armory to protect the guns and ammo there, where they were met by a  mob of 5,000 who threw rocks and shot through the windows at the army and police inside. The rioters tried to get in the front entrance, but the army sent a volley of fire with their rifles, killing several and wounding a good amount. Eventually, the army and police saw that there was no hope of defending the armory and escaped through the back entrance, which allowed the mob to steal the guns and ammo and burn the place to the ground. Meanwhile, a massive mob advanced towards Wall Street to burn down the banks but was stopped by a hefty force of police who were armed only with clubs. Many rioters and police were killed and a lot more were wounded. This fight finally ended at 5 p.m. 

The orphanage 

Rioters burning the orphanage.

Simultaneously, a mob of 3,000 people attacked the Colored Children’s Orphan Asylum on 43rd and 44th streets. It housed 500 children, but 233 were there on July 13, and all were under 12 years old. The superintendent of the orphanage saw the rioters coming so he locked the front door, and he and the children escaped through the back exit which allowed the mob to break in. Luckily, none of the children were hurt, but the building was burned. When the fire department arrived, they tried to put out the fire, but the Chief Engineer was beaten by the ferocious gang. Throughout the evening and night of July 13, the throng continued attacking African-American and rich residents of the city. 

The second day (July 14, 1863)

Fighting on the Second day of the riots.

On the morning of July 14, hotels and other buildings were burned by the mob, while naval and army reinforcements were called to the chaotic city. Veterans of previous wars were recalled to the army for more help. The streets were dangerous the second day, lynched people both black and white could be seen on every lamppost, and half of the city was on fire. At 10:00 a.m., the cabal and the army had a chaotic battle at 34th and 35th streets, and many lives were lost and people mamed. Later, the 11th New York army regiment commanded by Colonel Henry O’Brien shot at the mob with artillery, which resulted in the death of many rioters. For the rest of the morning, the fires and the killing of blacks and the rich persisted. The city was strewn with debris, flames and smoke, and the bodies of dead and dying people. 

Deadly afternoon

The mob lynching a black man.

By this point, most of the rioters had guns and were engaged by the police at 2nd Avenue. Even though the police had mostly clubs, they still sent the unhinged crowds running with only a few police casualties and none killed. They wounded and killed many rioters, and even took out mob leader Henry Hedden. There was more bloodshed later in the day, with one engagement leaving 21 rioters dead alone. The afternoon of the second day was the harshest fighting of the riots, and the mob again focused on black civilians. They were lynched by the dozens, and not even the elderly and young children were spared. At the harbor, black sailors were hung and their bodies burned, and some were also stoned and beaten to death. 

The death of Colonel O’Brien and the Derricksons

The Riots dragging Colonel O’Brien through the street.

An exhausted Colonel O’Brien was walking alone to his house, when he was captured by rioters who tortured him almost to death and dragged him outside by his hair and left him for dead on the street. A friendly man attempted to give the Colonel water, but the mob sacked and burned the man’s house, engulfing it in flames. After the rioters were gone, other neighbors tried to help O’Brien. They rushed him to the hospital, but he was already dead. Those who aided were brutalized and their houses were set ablaze. Later that night, the Derrickson family were attacked in their house by a band of rioters. Mrs. Derrickson, who was white, was beaten and stabbed half to death with an axe. Luckily, she was saved by a squad of helpful German immigrants, but her young mixed-race son was lynched and his body burned.

The third day (July 15, 1863)

Fighting on July 15.

By the early morning of July 15, the rioters continued to destroy African-American homes and churches. At 9 a.m., they started lynching blacks on 32nd street as Colonel Thaddeaus Mott arrived with his men. The mob tried to pull him off his horse, but the army fired cannons into the crowd, killing dozens and wounding many more. There was more fierce fighting throughout the morning. For example, at one battle 40 rioters were killed and many more were wounded with soldiers also suffering bad casualties. There was more violence into the afternoon. Colonel Jardine was mortally wounded by a rioter’s gun later that evening. Other wounded soldiers who lay dying on the street were finished off. There was more sharp fighting, and the mob shot at the police and army in volleys. 

The fourth day (July 16, 1863)

On the morning of July 16, there were not as many rioters in the streets as before, and more and more troops were pouring into the city. There were a few skirmishes that were mostly won by the police and army. By the afternoon, most of the suspects were rounded up, and by evening all violent activity in the streets was gone. 


New York City after the riots.

Overall, the riots claimed many lives of civilians, rioters, police, and army. The official government number of deaths is 120 killed and 2,000 wounded, but many of the fatalities were not reported and the dead simply buried along the roadsides. Many other sources estimated much higher death tolls. However, most original media reports were between 1,000 and 2,000 deaths and almost 8,000 wounded, making it the deadliest riot in American history. The revolt caused about 1 billion dollars in property damage in today’s money. This infamous insurrection is unknown by most people but is vital to understanding the Civil War and its aftermath.