With its inaugural season underway in 1876, baseball’s new National League quickly took hold. As the young nation grew, its new national pastime grew with it. By the turn of the century, professional baseball was an American fixture. By 1903 the National League champion Pittsburgh Pirates would meet Boston from the newly formed American League to give the world baseball’s first World Series.

By now the game of baseball increasingly focused on the skills of its athletes on the field. Having helped to develop and spread baseball’s nationwide popularity, Beer Can Baseball quietly began fading into obscurity as owners now encouraged their fans to come to their ballparks to enjoy simply watching the game.

For fans, tough times still lay ahead — notably the "Black Sox Scandal" of 1919. But the game by now was so deeply ingrained in the American way of life that it would not only survive its occasional difficulties, it would grow and prosper in spite of them. Whatever the world’s condition, one thing every American counted on every year was the playing of baseball’s fall classic.

Through worldwide depression, two World Wars and other major wars, assasinations and social upheaval, Americans still paused every autumn to enjoy the greatest event in sports — The World Series.

As the 1994 season dawned, the game of baseball seemed ready to enjoy unprecedented success. The previous season, 70.2 million fans packed 28 major league stadiums throughout North America, an all-time record. Fan interest had never been higher.

But trouble was brewing. The game which had survived every world crisis for 115 years would now prove the only thing it couldn’t handle was its own success. Facing once unimagined prosperity, owners and athletes found themselves locked in a death grip over control of baseball’s growing fortunes. Left on the outside looking in were — the fans.

The end came with a season suspending walk-out on August 12, 1994. Millions clung to hopes the strike would be brief. But talks soon broke down and the dreaded announcement finally came in September. For the first time in nearly a century, The World Series was cancelled.

Though the legendary Alexander Doubleday had years earlier declared that baseball was created for its fans, the fans were now shut out — and they mourned for the game they loved.

In the small college town of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, two friends and neighbors — Craig "Catfish" Fogel and Tom "Terminator" Miller — mourned along with them. Lifelong baseball fans, the two friends found themselves enjoying a brew together on the very night of the scheduled opening game of the cancelled World Series. "Terminator" began reminiscing, recounting for his friend the age-old baseball stories told him as a boy by his great-grandfather.

Enthralled as a youngster by his “Great-Grandaddy's" first-hand accounts of the game’s earliest days, he now repeated for his friend the tales of a long-forgotten era when it was the fans who had mattered most. Fondly, he recalled his great-grandfather’s stories of the spectators’ version of the game he had loved called, "Beer Can Baseball."

Suddenly "Catfish" turned to his friend. “Why not bring it back?” The men paused and looked at each other. Why not? Why not return to the era when the game of baseball was born...when the game was played for the sheer joy of it. Why not honor the memory of the players and the fans who played the game for the simple sport of it? The idea electrified them.

The two friends realized it could be the perfect time to resurrect the original “spectator” version of the game — on the very night the World Series had been taken from its millions of fans. Adopting the unplayed 1994 World Series as the official starting date for a new era in baseball, they dedicated themselves to reviving the memory of the men who had once played for the sheer joy of the spectators — and vowed to give the game back to the fans.

Now the search began for "The Original Beer Can Baseball." Night after night, weekend after weekend, the two searched age-old records. Crawled through hot dusty attics. Scoured obscure newspaper clippings. Researched private papers and weathered old scorecards. Even reassembled hand-scrawled family letters passed down through generations. Until finally...one night...they knew they had it...!

Finally, after months of painstaking research and grueling reconstruction, they had it. Miller and Fogel had recreated the original game which, legend says, generations earlier had launched America’s greatest pastime. The play. The rules. The magic. The excitement. After adding just a few twists to update the game for play in the modern era, this was finally it: The Original Beer Can Baseball.

And so the game embarks on another new passage along its storied journey through time as the rebirth of The Original Beer Can Baseball adds yet another chapter to the still unfolding pages of baseball's fabled traditions.

Those traditions continue today at the Beer Can Baseball World Headquarters in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania. Indeed, it is fitting that the game’s rebirth has begun in this picturesque town overlooking the scenic Susquehanna River. Historians long have noted baseball’s special connection to the historic waters of the Susquehanna. It was at the source of this placid river that the game of baseball was first played 115 years ago in Cooperstown, New York. A half century later along these shores — just a few hours down-stream — Little League Baseball was born in the heart of Pennsylvania's rolling endless mountains, in the city of Williamsport.

Those special connections live on. On the Susquehanna’s historic banks, Major League Baseball’s greatest legends are enshrined forever at the Hall-of-Fame in Cooperstown, and the world's greatest Little League teams have played for over half a century each summer in The Little League World Series in Williamsport.

And now just a few miles further downstream along those same fabled waters, the greatest Beer Can Baseball players are remembered for all time at The Beer Can Baseball Hall Of Fame, located in historic downtown Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.

Today fans are once again playing the original game that legend says started it all. For the sheer joy of it. For the excitement. With their friends. And with others around the world in international tournament play.

Finally, it's safe again for fans everywhere to enjoy the thrill of playing America’s favorite pastime. And the legendary Alexander Doubleday's infamous last words will never again be forgotten: Don’t Just Watch The Game Play The Game!®