1912 World Series at the Polo Grounds. Image via Wikimedia Commons
Baseball may be a long-standing tradition in New York City, but not so very long ago that seemingly innocent pastime was illegal on Sundays. As one of the infamous “blue laws” on the state books–that other beloved NYC pastime, shopping, was illegal as well–the ban was part of a sweeping statute from colonial times called the Statute for Suppressing Immorality. Enacted in 1778, it was the first state “Sabbath law.” Section 2145 of the revised New York State Penal code of 1787 outlawed all public sports on Sunday–so as not to “interrupt the repose of the Sabbath”–and wasn’t repealed until 1919.