When you think of Seinfeld, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Right: abject misanthropy. Or maybe, just maybe, Superman. But somewhere pretty high on the list, there’s gotta be baseball. There was baseball in the little-seen pilot, there was baseball in the universally viewed finale, and there was lots and lots of baseball in between.

In the pilot—at that point, in the summer of 1989, the show was called The Seinfeld Chronicles—Jerry’s apartment was packed with baseball: a catcher’s mask hanging from the coat rack next to the door; nearby, a couple of wood bats, a batting helmet, a fielder’s glove; a large Mets poster on the wall behind Jerry’s couch, with a baseball in a plastic cube just below. Before we meet Kramer for the first time, it’s 1 in the morning and Jerry’s just sitting down to watch the Mets game he taped. Of course, Kramer tells him what happened in the game: the Mets stunk.

So they redressed the set for the show’s first season (of only four episodes), but there were still tons of baseball Easter eggs: a Yankees jacket next to the door; a Mets cap atop Jerry’s computer; above the computer, what looks like an old baseball glove encased in Lucite; and on top of the refrigerator, a whole box of Donruss baseball cards! (Jerry’s bats are still in the apartment; they’ve just been moved to a little-seen corner of the set.)

Larry David and Jerry Seinfeld famously wanted to make a show about nothing. But it would also be a show with a lot of baseball, thanks to its co-creators. “Jerry and Larry are both big baseball fans,” says Jennifer Armstrong, author of the bestselling book Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything. Seinfeld and David both grew up in New York; Seinfeld loved the Mets, David the Yankees. “When they were young comedians,” Armstrong continues, “they talked all the time about baseball. And there are stories about Larry and Kenny Kramer—who became ‘Kramer’ on the show—bonding over baseball, how they’d have the game on TV, and wandering into each other’s apartment when something happened.”

Yes, the Knicks would come up a few times in the course of Seinfeld’s nine seasons. David Puddy, Elaine's on-again, off-again boyfriend, would paint his face for a New Jersey Devils game; Elaine and Kramer show up at a New York Giants game. But from the very beginning, baseball would be the sport of choice in what would become perhaps the greatest, most influential sitcom in television history. We talked to a number of former baseball players, Seinfeld actors, writers, directors, and a few choice observers to offer up their memories from filming the sitcom's most memorable scenes involving the national pastime. Pulling from the cast and crew's memories found on "Seinfeld: The Complete Series" DVDs, a memorable spring training visit to the broadcast booth, and exclusive interviews with Derek Jeter, Paul O'Neill, Ron Darling, Roger McDowell, Buck Showalter, and many more, we present The Oral History of Baseball on Seinfeld