Via historian Michael Beschloss in the New York Times (he's a must-follow on Twitter, by the way) comes this image of Civil War soldiers playing baseball at Fort Pulaski, Ga., way back yonder in 1862 ...
(Image: Western Reserve Historical Society)
As Beschloss notes, the baseball portion of this image (the upper part) was an accident, as the photographer -- one Henry P. Moore -- was attempting to focus on the in-formation Union soldiers of the 48th New York State Volunteer Infantry in the foreground. Sure enough, though, you can make out the "hurler" and the "striker" playing this, our baseball in the distance.
(Wink of CBS eye: @theiri)