I came across this today on the Library of Congress’ digital library, and boy did it hit home. Page 279 (271 of the text):
It is a fact that Base Ball follows war. It followed war in the United States and it is one of the best and most efficacious peacemakers and civilizing influences devised to render soothing influences to the human mind. It is possible to work off a tremendous amount of steam in Base Ball, whether a spectator or a player. Steam thus distributed to the empty air prevents mischief that follows when it happens to be accumulated and there is no healthful vent for it.