According to the United States Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (US-SGMA), those English immigrants who had settled in New York spent their free time playing cricket in the 1700s.
Up the coast in Boston, cricket was also played by English immigrants, notably those who considered themselves as gentry.
But Boston had begun quite early on to acquire both a plebean and an Irish flavor. The game of rounders, an earlier form of cricket which seems to have been favored by the Irish, as well as by English children in the 16th century, became the game of choice among the youth.
The Boston cricketers of the time encouraged "Rounders" as a secondary diversion, and even allowed it to be played in their cricket fields by those who preferred an alternative to the more formal sport of cricket.
So "early baseball", i.e. " US Rounders", grew up in the USA under cricket's benign umbrella. It stayed that way for about the first hundred years of its existence.