Strike as an English word (meaning to hit) is certainly older than strike as a baseball term (meaning not to hit), so what puzzles me is that the word adopted for the action is the exact opposite of the action.
Etymonline indicates that the first use is in the mid-19th century, but gives no indication of how it came to be used.
Can anyone shed any light on why such an ill-suited word was chosen for the action of not striking the ball? If it is is actually an appropriate word for this, why is it?
(Additionally, to be stricken by something, usually an illness I believe, means to be afflicted by it, and seems to be a metaphor for being hit by an disease.)
Edit: Interesting things to consider
In the context of the American court systemref (and probably elsewhere), strike is used to mean "remove". Similarly,
this is strike text.