Thanks for asking this question. It brings back a lot of memories.
And this morning I am recovering from my (first) Shingrix dose, so I am just sitting and reading. Typing will actually increase my activity level.
Mine was an itinerant childhood. Sort of a modified "army brat" existence. I played the game in Germany on a US base, between apartments, in 1957. Used a tennis ball to avoid defenestration. No shortage of kids there. But I had no team to root for. No team in Minnesota.
In 1960 we moved to Lafayette, Indiana (my father was a graduate student at Purdue)--a small home on a slab purchased for $1500 on the GI bill (nothing down).
My next door neighbor was a young boy about my age, maybe a year older, and he was a sports fanatic. We played basketball in the garage with a tennis ball and a basket of some sort. (Elgin Baylor was our idol). We bowled in his hallway. We played golf with one club and one ball in his back yard.
But most of all we played WHIFFLE BALL. And we did it with real lineups. He was always the Yankees (Booooo!!!), and I had to pick a team. No local team, so I picked (drum roll) the new team in my natal state, the Minnesota Twins. I got the lineup out of the paper, and somehow learned if each player batted left or right, Baseball cards helped.To this day I know the starting lineups for the Yankees and Twins of that era.
And I have followed every game every day of the Twins since then. First got to see them play an exhibition game in Philadelphia (we had moved east). I will never forget Don Mincher emerging from the dugout. I got Harmon Killebrew's autograph years later in Baltimore. Sad to say, I have never seen a game in Minnesota, but I have seen the Twins in Washington DC and Baltimore.
Sidebar note: living in Indiana, I picked up my first real basketball, and this became my favorite game to play.