Did You Know? In the beginning of baseball, the ball was less lively, and the ballparks usually had very large outfields, so most home runs were of the inside-the-park variety. The first home run ever hit in the NL and hit by Ross Barnes of the Chicago White Stockings in 1876. Home runs over the fence were rare and only happened in ballparks where the fence was close. Hitters were also discouraged from trying to hit home runs, being that if they tried to do so they would just fly out. This was a big deal in the 19th century, because in the early days a ball caught after one bounce was still an out.