Early Baseball Milestones

What are your baseball origins? Where did you play your first game? Baseball traces its roots through the annals of history, well before the founding of Major League Baseball. This chronology, from Protoball (an extensive gathering of early materials documenting the origins of baseball), records the order of events related to the development of baseball starting in 2500 B.C. Enjoy, and share with us your own baseball milestones.

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  • 1801 - Joseph Strutt Says Stoolball Still Played in North of England; But He Slights Cricket

    1801.1

    Strutt, Joseph., The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England [London, 1801]. Need page reference [is on page 102 of 1903 edition]. Strutt's account does not portray stoolball as a running game, or one that uses a bat. Strutt also treats cricket [but only cursorily], trap-ball, and tip-cat . . . but not rounders or base-ball. David Block [page 183] points out that Strutt views a game he calls "club ball" as the precursor to this set of games, but notes that modern scholars are skeptical about this proposition.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1801 - Chapbook Includes Engraving Depicting Trap-Ball

    1801.2

    Youthful Recreations [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 184. Versions of this short book were published in Philadelphia in 1802 and 1810.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1801 - Book Portrays "Bat and Ball" as Inferior to Cricket

    1801.3

    "CRICKET. This play requires more strength than some boys possess, to manage the ball in a proper manner; it must therefore be left to the more robust lads, who are fitter for such athletic exercises. Bat and ball is an inferior kind of cricket, and more suitable for little children, who may safely play at it, if they will be careful not to break windows."

    Youthful Sports[London], pp 47-48., per David Block, page 184. An 1802 version of this book, published in Baltimore, is similar to the chapbook at #1801.2, but does not include trap-ball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1801 - Cricket Challenge in GA

    1801.4

    A New York paper copies a cricket challenge from a Savannah paper that notes "no legs before wickets."

    New YorkGazette and General Advertiser, March 18, 1801, page 3. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1801 - Sunday Ballplaying Eyed Everywhere: "Is This a Christian Country?"

    1801.5

    "A few weeks ago I saw on a Sunday afternoon, one party of boys playing at ball in Broad-street; another at the upper end of Pearl-street; and a third in the Park. Is this a Christian country? Are there no laws, human or divine, to enforce the religious observance of the Sabbath? . . . . Are our Magistrates asleep, or are they afraid of losing their popularity, if they should carry the laws into execution?"

    New York Evening Post, December 23, 1801, submitted 10/12/2004 by John Thorn. On 8/2/2005, George Thompson spotted a similar or repeat of this piece in the Evening Post, December 31, 1801, page 3 column 2.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1802 - Wordsworth Seems to Laud "Englishness" of Cricket

    1802.2

    "Here, on our native soil, we breathe once more./The cock that crows, the smoke that curls, that sound/Of bells; those boys that in yonder meadow-ground/In white-sleev'd shirts are playing; and the roar/Of the waves breaking on the chalky shore/ All, all are English . . ."

    From Wordsworth's sonnet "Composed in the valley near Dover on the day of Landing," [1802 and 1807] The Complete Poetical Works of Wiliam Wordsworth, Volume IV (Houghton and Mifflin, Boston, 1919), page 98 Accessed via Google Books on 10/20/2008..

    According to Bateman, this reference is shown to be cricket because Wordsworth's sister's diary later contains a reference to white-shirted players at a cricket match near Dover. See Anthony Bateman,"'More Mighty than the Bat, the Pen . . . ;' Culture,, Hegemony, and the Literaturisaton of Cricket," Sport in History, v. 23, 1 (Summer 2003), page 33, note 20: Bateman cites the diary entry as The Journals of Dorothy Wordsworth, vol. 2, E. de Selincourt, ed., (London, 1941), page 8. John Thorn [email of 2/3/2008] discovers that Dorothy Wordsworth's diary entry for July 10, 1820 observes: "When within a mile of Dover, saw crowds of people at a cricket-match, the numerous cambatants dressed in 'whitesleeved shirts,' and it was on the very same field where, when we 'trod the grass of England' once again, twenty years ago we has seen an Assemblage of Youths engaged in the same sport,so very like the present that all might have been the same! [footnote2:See my brother's Sonnet 'Here, on our native soil' etc.]"

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1802 - South Carolina Man Lists Ball-Playing Among Local Amusements

    1802c.1

    Drayton, John, A View of South-Carolina, As Respects Her Natural and Civil Concerns [W. P. Young, Charleston SC, 1854], p. 88. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 83.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1803 - Ontario Diarist Reports Joining Men "Jumping and Playing Ball"

    1803.1

    [Playter, Ely], "Extracts from Ely Playter's Diary," April 13, 1803, reprinted in Edith G. Firth, ed., The Town of York 1793 - 1815: A Collection of Documents of Early Toronto [The Champlain Society, Toronto, 1962], p. 248. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 85.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1803 - Cricket Club Forms, Lasts a Year in NYC

    1803.2

    An informal group called the "New York Cricket Club" is headquartered in New York City at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, No. 11 Nassau Street. The club flourishes for a year and then dies.

    Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: The source is a Chadwick Scrapbook clip. "St. George was preceded in NYC by a club whose headquarters were at the Old Shakespeare in Nassau St.- This group was called the New York Club- it flourished for a year or so, then died." George Thompson has located an announcement of a club meeting in the Daily Advertiser, March 23, 1803, page 3 column 3, and another that appeared in the Commercial Advertiser on July 2 [page 3, column 2], July 7 [page 3, column 3], and July 8 [page 3, column 3. In early 1804, the Evening Post, February 10, [page 34 column 3] called another meeting at the same Nassau Street address. Submitted to Protoball 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1803 - Cricket Reaches Australia

    1803.3

    "The first mention of cricket in Australia is in the Sydney Gazette of 8 January 1804. 'The late intense weather has been very favourable to the amateurs of cricket who have scarce lost a day for the last month.'"

    Egan, Jack, The Story of Cricket in Australia (ABC Books, 1987), page 6. It is believed that the players included officers and/or men from the Calcutta, which arrived in Sydney in December 1803. (Ibid., page 10.)

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1803 - Middlebury College VT Bans Ballplaying

    1803.4

    "To prevent, as far as possible, the damages before enumerated, viz. breaking of glass, &c. the students in College and members of the Academy shall not be permitted to play at ball or use any other sport or diversion in or near the College-building." A first offense brought a fine, a second offense brought suspension.

    "Of the location of Students, Damages, and Glass," in Laws of Middlebury-College in Midlebury [sic] in Vermont, Enacted by the President and Fellows, the 17th Day of August, 1803, page 14. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 35.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1803 - Vermont Paper Associates Adult Tradesmen with Ballplaying

    1803.5

    A letter to the editor of the Green Mountain Patriot takes issue with another writer who evidently thinks that "the farmer, the mechanic, and the merchant" should do more dancing when they attend local balls. They attend for another reason - "the same reason, whether criminal or lawful, that they meet together to play a game of ball, of quoits, or ride out on horseback." For "pleasing amusement."

    The Green Mountain Patriot (Peachum, VT), August 17, 1803.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1804 - SC School Opens, Students Play Town Ball and Bull Pen

    1804.1

    At Moses Waddell's "famous academy" established in Wilkington in 1804, "instead of playing baseball or football, boys took their recreation in running jumping, wrestling, playing town ball and bull pen."

    Meriwether, Colyer, History of Higher Education in South Carolina[Washington GPO, 1889], chapter II, page 39. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Note: The terminology in this source appears more current than 1804, and it would be wise to consider whether it accurately depicts 1804 events. In addition, Seymour's note does not make clear whether the play described occurred at the time of the establishment of the academy, or later in its history.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1804 - Another Chapbook, Another Trap-ball Engraving

    1804.2

    Youthful Sports[London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 185. Block reports that this book is quite different from the 1801 book by the same title.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1804 - A "Match at Ball" in Northwest Louisiana?

    1804.3

    In a listing of articles in North Louisiana History, we spy this citation: Morgan Peoples, "Caddoes Host 'Match at Ball," Volume 11, Number 3 (Summer 1980), pp. 353-36. Query: Can we retrieve the actual article and discover the particulars? Caddo Parish is just northwest of Shreveport LA. It appears that Caddo tribe was in this area, and we might speculate that the hosted games were Indian ballgames.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1804 - Hudson (NY) Bee Prints "The Laws of Cricket"

    1804.5

    A subscription search yields a 20 column-inch printing of cricket rules on May 8, 1804. The paper is The Bee, of Hudson, NY.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - Williams College Bans Dangerous Ball-playing

    1805.1

    The Laws of Williams College [H. Willard, Stockbridge, 1805], p. 40. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 42.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - Portland ME Bans "Playing at Bat and Ball in the Streets"

    1805.2

    The By Laws of the Town of Portland, in the County of Cumberland, 2nd Edition [John McKown, Portland, 1805], p. 15. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, note #69.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - Book of Games Covers Cricket, Trap-Ball

    1805.3

    Among the games described in this book are cricket and trap-ball, which has this concise account, in the form of a dialog: "you know, of course, that when I hit the trigger, the ball flies up, and that I must give it a good stroke with the bat. If I strike at the ball and miss my aim, or if, when I have struck it, either you or Price catch it before it has touched the ground, or if I have hit the trigger more than twice, without striking the ball, I am out and one of you take the bat, and come in, as it is called."

    The Book of Games, or, a History of Juvenile Sports: Practiced at the Kingston Academy [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 185.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - NY Gentlemen Play Game of "Bace:" Score is Gymnastics 41, Sons of Diagoras 34.

    1805.4

    "Yesterday afternoon a contest at the game of Bace took place on "the Gymnasium," near Tylers' between the gentlemen of two different clubs for a supper and trimmings . . . . Great skill and activity it is said was displayed on both sides, but after a severe and well maintained contest, Victory, which had at times fluttered a little form one to the other, settled down on the heads of the Gymnastics, who beat the Sons of Diagoras 41 to 34."

    New York Evening Post, April 13, 1805, page 3 column 1. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005. Note: So, folks . . . was this a ball game, some version of prisoner's base with scoring, or what? John Thorn [email of 2/27/2008] has supplied a facsimile of the Post report, and also found meeting announcements for the Diagoras in the Daily Advertiser for 4/11 and 4/12/1805.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - The Term "Bace" Not Related to Ballplaying, in Cornwall

    1805.5

    "BACE. Prisoner's bace (or base). A game so called. It is an ancient pastime mentioned in the records of Edward 3d (1327 to 1377.)"

    Jago, Fred W. P. The Ancient Language and the Dialect of Cornwall (Netherton and Worth, Truro, 1882), page 101. Note: cf #1805.4, above. Can we find other reference books on usages in Surrey, Sussex, London, etc.?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - In SC, Some Slaves Use Sundays for Ballplaying

    1805.6

    "The negroes when not hurried have this day [Sunday] for amusement & great numbers are seen about, some playing ball, some with things for sale & some dressed up going to meeting."

    Edward Hooker, Diaries, 1805-1830: MS 72876 and 72877, Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford CT; per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), pages 29-30. Tom [ibid, page 29] describes Hooker as a recent Yale graduate who in 1805 was a newly-arrived tutor in Columbia, SC. Tom says "this may be the first recorded evidence of slaves [p29/30] playing ball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - Yale Grad Compares England's Ballgames with New England's

    1805.8

    "July 9 [1805, we think] . . . . The mode of playing ball differs a little from that practiced in New-England. Instead of tossing up the ball out of one's own hand, and then striking it, as it descends, they lay is into the heel of a kind of wood shoe; and upon the instep a spring is fixed, which extends within the hollow to the hinder part of the shoe; the all is placed where the heel of the foot would commonly be, and a blow applied on the other end of the spring, raises the ball into the air, and, as it descends, it receives a blow from the bat.

    "They were playing also at another game resembling our cricket, but differing from it in this particular, that he perpendicular pieces which support the horizontal one, are about eighteen inches high, and are three in number, whereas with us they are only two in number, and about three or four inches high."

    Benjamin Silliman, Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland, Volume 1 (Boston, 1812 - 1st edition 1810), page 245.

    Silliman thus implies that an American [or at least Connecticut] analog to trap ball was played, using fungo-style batting [trap ball was not usually a running game, so the American game may have been a simple form of fungo]. His second comparison is consistent with our understanding or how English cricket and American wicket were played in about 1800. However, it seems odd that he would refer to "our cricket" and not "our wicket: possibly a form of cricket - using, presumably, the smaller ball - was played in the US that retained the older long, low wickets known in 1700 English cricket.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - Belfast ME Had Ballplaying as Early as 1805

    1805.9

    "High Street, at Hopkins's Corner, was the favorite battle-ground for ball-players, as early as 1805."

    "Ball-playing seems to have been extensively practiced in 1820. At the town meeting that year, it was voted 'that the game of ball, and the pitching of quoits within [a specified area] be prohibited."

    Joseph Williamson, History of the City of Belfast (Loring Short and Harmon, Portland, 1877), page 764. Accessed 2/2/10 via Google Books search ("hopkins's corner" ball).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1805 - NH Versfier Recalls Ballplaying at Exeter

    1805c.7

    "Oh, then what fire in every vein, /What health the boons of life endear'd, /How oft the call, / To urge the ball / Across the rapid plain, / I heard."

    Jeremiah Fellowes, "Irregular Ode, Written Near _____ [sic] Academy," Reminiscences, Moral Poems, and Translations (Exeter NH, 1824), pages 144-146. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 41. The poetry, dedicated to the Principal of Phillips Exeter Academy, was accessed 11/17/2008 via Google Books search "fellowes moral." Fellowes, born I 1791, attended Exeter starting in 1803, and graduated from Bowdoin in 1810. The verse is about the Academy, and thus the poet is recalling events from c1805. See #1741c.1 for the first of several "urge the ball" usages.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1806 - British Children's Book Includes Scene of "Trap and Ball"

    1806.1

    English, Clara, The Children in the Wood, an Instructive Tale [Warner and Hanna, Baltimore, 1806], p. 29. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 56.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1806 - Children's Poem Traces Bouncing Ball

    1806.2

    "THE VILLAGE GREEN. "On the cheerful village green,/ Skirted round with houses small,/ All the boys and girls are seen,/Playing there with hoop and ball/ . . . ./Then ascends the worsted ball;/ High it rises in the air;/Or against the cottage wall,/Up and down it bounces there."

    Gilbert, Ann, Original Poems, for Infant Minds, 2 volumes (Kimber, Conrad, Philadelphia, 1806), vol. 2, page 120; Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, see pages 241 and 242. Altherr reports that "Gilbert described some sort of ball play as common on the village commons." (Ibid., page 241). Note: Can we determine Gilbert's wording in calling such play common? Does the clue that the ball was "worsted" (woolen, or made of wool cloth?) add a helpful clue as to the nature of the game played?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1806 - Mister Beldham Really Loads One Up on Cricket Pitch

    1806.3

    "Ball tampering has been around since time immemorial. The first recorded instance of a bowler deliberately changing the condition of a ball occurred in 1806, when Beldham, Robinson and Lambert played Bennett, Fennex, and Lord Frederisk Beauclerk in a single-wicket match at Lord's. It was a closely fought match, but Beauclerk's last innings looked to be winning the game. As Pycroft recalls in The Cricket Field:

    '"His lordship had then lately introduced sawdust when the ground was wet. Beldham, unseen, took a lump of wet dirt and sawdust, and stuck it on the ball, and took the wicket. This, I heard separately from Beldham, Bennett, and also Fennex, who used to mention it as among the wonders of his long life.'"

    Simon Rae, It's Not Cricket: A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game (Faber and Faber, 2001), page 199. Pycroft's account appears at John Pycroft, The Cricket Field: Or the History and Science of Cricket, American Edition (Mayhew and Baker, Boston, 1859), page 214 - as accessed via Google Books 10/20/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1806 - Minister from New England Plays Ball in Western Reserve [OH]

    1806.4

    Increase Tarbox, ed., The Diary of Thomas Robbins, D.D. 1796-1854, Volume 1 (Boston, 1886) pages 285 and 287. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 32.

    April 8: "Visited. Played a little ball."

    May: "Rainy. Played ball some."

    Tom says: "This may be the earliest recorded evidence of ball play in Ohio." Note: Protoball knows of no earlier reference. It would be helpful to know where Robbins lived. Robbins was 33 years old in 1806. See #1796.2 regarding his earlier diarykeeping, and #1833.11 for later ones. Volume 1 of this diary is not available via Google Books as of 11/15/2008. To view Volume 2, which has later New England references, use a Google Books "'robbins d. d.' diary" search.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1807 - Book Includes Promise to Bring Children "Bats, Balls &C"

    1807.1

    The Prize for Youthful Obedience [Jacob Johnson, Philadelphia, 1807], part II, page 16. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 59. Note: This book is an American edition book earlier published in London see #1800.6 above.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1807 - Games Recalled at Phillips Exeter Academy

    1807.2

    In about 1889, Col. George Kent wrote this verse in response to an inquiry about student games from 1807 at Exeter:

    "But pastimes and games of a much better sort,

    Lent aid to our outdoor and innocent sport,

    Such as marbles and foot ball, cat, cricket and base,

    With occasional variance by a foot race."

    Bell, Charles H., Phillips Exeter Academy [1883?], p. 102. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes. the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1807 - Lost Poet Remembers College Ballplay, Maybe in Baltimore

    1807.3

    Garrett Barry wrote in his sentimental verse "On Leaving College:"

    "I'll fondly tract, with fancy's aid,/The spot where all our sports were made./ . . .

    The little train forever gay,/With joy obey'd the pleasing call,/And nimbly urged the flying ball."

    Barry, Garrett, "On Leaving College," in Poems, on Several Occasions (Cole and Co., Baltimore, 1807), no page given: Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, see pages 240. Note: Can we determine from biographical information where and when Barry attended college? Is it significant that Barry reprises the phrase "urge the flying ball," seen as a cricket phrase in Pope [see #1730.1] and Gray [#1747.1]? Did Barry live/play in MD? 2008 update: John Thorn [email of 2/3/2008] discovers that others have been unable to determine exactly who the poet was, as there were three people with the name Garrett Barry in that area at that time. One of the three, who died at thirty in 1810, attended St. Mary's College in Baltimore.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1808 - Wall Streeters Are Bearish on Ballplaying "and Other Annoyances"

    1808.1

    The minutes of the NYC Common Council record a "Petition of sundry inhabitants in Wall Street complaining against the practice of boys playing ball before the Fire Engine House adjoining the City Hall, and other annoyances . . . "

    Minutes of the Common Council of the city of New York, 1784-1831, April 18, 1808, page 95 [Volume V.] Volume eighteen of manuscript minutes (continued) February 15, 1808 to June 27, 1808.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1808 - First Cricket Club in Boston is Established, Then Fades

    1808.2

    The first formally organized cricket club is established in Boston, Massachusetts.

    Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: The source is Chadwick Scrapbook, Volume 20. John has found a meeting announcement for the club in the Boston (MA) Gazette for November 17, 1808. Note: Ryczek dates this event as 1809 in Baseball's First Inning (2009), page 101.

    Richard Hershberger [email of 2/4/10] reports that the last mention of the Club he has found is an 1809 notice that the club's annual dinner will take place the following day. Source: New England Palladium, October 24, 1809.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Children's Book Describes Trap Ball and its Benefits

    1810.2

    Youthful Amusements [Johnson and Warner, Philadelphia, 1810], pp. 37 and 40. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 61. The same text later appeared in Remarks on Children's Play [Samuel Wood and Sons, New York, 1819], p. 32. Per Altherr ref # 64. This book describes thirty games and includes an engraving of trap-ball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Children's Book Recommends Regular Play with "Trap, Bat, Ball," etc.

    1810.3

    Youthful Recreations [Jacob Johnson, Philadelphia, 1810], no pagination. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 62.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Union College [Upstate NY] Students Play Baseball-Like Game

    1810.4

    "Union Students were playing a baseball-like game with a stick and ball of yarn in the old West College playground in 1810."

    Somers, Wayne, Encyclopedia of Union College History [Union College Press, Schenectady NY, 2003], page 89. Note: Somers reports in May 2005 that he is unable to find his original source for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Cricket a "Popular Recreation" in Sydney

    1810.6

    "Cricket had become a more popular recreation by 1810. . . . [The 1810 proclamation naming Sydney's Hyde Park noted that the area had been previously known as "'the Racecourse,' 'The Exercising Ground,' and 'The Cricket Ground,'"

    Egan, Jack, The Story of Cricket in Australia (ABC Books, 1987), page 10. Egan does not give a reference for the proclamation itself.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - "Poisoned Ball" Appears in French Book of Games

    1810c.1

    The rules for "Poisoned Ball" are described in a French book of boy's games: "In a court, or in a large square space, four points are marked: one for the home base, the others for bases which must be touched by the runners in succession, etc."

    Les Jeux des Jeunes Garcons [Paris, c.1810]. Per Henderson, note XXXXX Note: David Block, at page 186-187, dates this book at 1815 some of the doubt perhaps arising from the fact that the earliest [undated?] extant copy is a fourth edition. He notes that the French text does not say directly that a bat is used in this game; the palm may have been used to "repel" the ball.

    To See the Text: David Block carries a three-paragraph translation of text in Appendix 7, page 279, of Baseball Before We Knew It.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Abolitionist William Lloyd Garrison Plays Ball as Barefoot Youth

    1810c.7

    "[T]he lovely old town of Newburyport, Massachusetts, in which he spent the fist twenty-five years of his life, was ever dear to him. As a boy, barefoot he rolled the hoop through the streets, played a marbles and at bat and ball, swam in the Merrimack . . ."

    Wendell Phillips Garrison, "William Lloyd Garrison's Origin and Early Life, The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine Volume 30 (1885), page 592. Accessed via Google Books search 2/2/10 ("garrison's origin"). Newburyport MA is about 35 miles north of Boston and near the New Hampshire border.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Future Lord Prefers Studies to Rounders, Cricket

    1810c.8

    Young Thomas Babbington Macaulay "did not take kindly, his co-temporaries tell us, to foot-ball, cricket, or a game of rounders, preferred history to hockey, and poetry to prisoner's base."

    H. G. J. Clements, Lord Macaulay, His Life and Writings (Whittaker and Co., London, 1860), page 16. Accessed 2/2/10 via Google Books search (macaulay "2 lectures").

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1810 - Harvard Library Worker Recalls Bi-racial Ball Play in Harvard Yard

    1810s.5

    "During my employment at Cambridge [MA] the College yard continued without gates. The Stage passed through it; and though I was very attentive to the hour, I could not always avoid injury from the Stage horn. Blacks and Whites occasionally played together at ball in the College yard."

    William Croswell, letter drafted to the Harvard Corporation, December 1827. Papers of William Croswell, Call number HUG 1306.5, Harvard University Archives. Supplied by Kyle DeCicco-Carey, 8/8/2007. Kyle notes that Croswell was an 1780 Harvard graduate who worked in the college library 1812-1821.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - Book Printed in Philadelphia Gives Details of Trap Ball in England

    1811.1

    The Book of Games; Or, a History of the Juvenile Sports Practiced at Kingston Academy[Johnson and Warner, Philadelphia, 1811], pp. 15 - 20. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 63. This book appears to be a reprint of the 1805 London publication above.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - NYCC Calls Meeting - First Cricket Meeting Since 1804?

    1811.2

    The notice was signed by G. M'Enery, Secretary.

    New York Evening Post, September 3, 1811, page 3 column 4. Submitted by George Thompson 8/2/2005..

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - NY Paper Carries Notice for "English Trap Ball" at a Military Ground

    1811.3

    "At Dyde's Military Grounds. Up the Broadway, to-morrow afternoon, September 14, the game of English Trap Ball will be played, full as amusing as Crickets and the exercise not so violent:"

    New York Evening Post, September 13, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson 8/2/2005.

    Three days later: "The amusements at Dyde's to-morrow, Tuesday the 17th September, will be Rifle Shooting for he prize, and English Trap Ball. The gentlemen who have promised to attend to form a club to play at Trap Ball are respectfully requested to attend."

    New York Evening Post, September 16, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    And four days later, notice was made that "Trap Ball, Quoits, Cricket, &c." would be played at the ground. However, more space is now given to rifle and pistol shooting contests.

    New York Evening Post, September 20, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - Chapbook Shows Baseball-like Game Under "Trap-ball" Heading

    1811.4

    Remarks on Children's Play [New York], per David Block, page 185-186. Block reports that the trap-ball page included the usual rules for trap-ball, but that the accompanying woodcut depicts a game in which a batter receives a pitched ball, with no trap in sight.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - Bat-ball Recalled at Exeter

    1811.5

    "Next to football, baseball has always been the most popular sport at Exeter. Alpheus S. Packard, who entered in 1811, mentions "bat-ball" as played in his day."

    Crosbie, Laurence M., The Phillips Exeter Academy: A History [1923], page 233. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005. Crosbie does not, evidently, give a citation for Packard.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1811 - Women Cricketers Play for Large Purse

    1811.6

    Two noblemen arrange for eleven women of Surrey to play eleven women of Hampshire for a stake of 500 guineas a side.

    Ford, John, Cricket: and Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], pp. 20-21. Ford does not give a reference for this event.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1812 - Soldier Van Smoot's Diary Notes Playing Catch at New Orleans LA

    1812.2

    Peter Van Smoot, an Army private present at the Battle of New Orleans, writes in his diary: "I found a soft ball in my knapsack, that I forgot I had put there and started playing catch with it."

    Note: Citation needed. John Thorn, 6/15/04: "I don't recognize this one"

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1812 - NYC Council Finds Ball Playing Among "Abounding Immoralities"

    1812.3

    "Your Committee will not pretend to bring before the Board the long and offending catalogue of abounding immoralities . . . but point out some . . . . Among the most prevalent on the Lords Day called Sunday, are . . . Horse Riding for pleasure . . . Skating ['] Ball playing, and other Plays by Boys and Men, and even Horse-racing." Minutes of the Common Council of the city of New York, 1784-1831, March 18, 1812, page 72 [Volume VII.] Submitted by John Thorn 1/24/07

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1812 - Young Andrew Johnson Plays Cat and Bass Ball and Bandy in Raleigh NC

    1812c.1

    [At age four] "he spent many hours at games with boys of the neighborhood, his favorite being 'Cat and Bass Ball and Bandy,' the last the 'choyst' game of all." Letter from Neal Brown, July 15, 1867, in Johnson Mss., Vol. 116, No. 16,106.[Publisher?] Submitted by John Thorn, 6/6/04

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1813 - Newburyport MA Reminder - "Playing Ball in the Streets" is Unlawful

    1813.1

    "Parents and Guardians are also requested to forbid, those under their care, playing Ball in the streets of the town; as by this unlawful practice much inconvenience and injury is sustained." Newburyport [MA] Herald, May 4, 1813, Volume 17, Issue 10, page 1 [classified advertisement]. Submitted by John Thorn 1/24/07. Newburyport MA is about 35 miles north of Boston and near the New Hampshire border.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1813 - War of 1812 General in OH Said to Play Ball with "Lowest" Soldiers

    1813.2

    General Robert Crooks was in Ohio during the War of 1812 to deal with Indian uprisings. One published letter-writer was not impressed: "These troops despise every species of military discipline and all the maxims of propriety and common sense . . . . Gen. Crooks would frequently play ball and wrestle with the lowest description of common soldiers, his troops were never seen on parade . . . "

    "Extract of a Letter dated Marietta, Feb. 3, 1813," Washingtonian, May 5, 1813. Accessed via subscription search, 4/9/2009.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - German Book Apparently Shows a Batting Game

    1815.3

    Taschenbuch fur das Jahr 1815 der Liebe und Freundschaft [Frankfurt am Main] per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 186. Block reports that the April section of this yearly book has an engraving of children playing a bat-and-ball game. Note: Does the game appear to use bases?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - Six-Hour "Wicket" Match Played in Canada

    1815.4

    "On the 29th May, a grant [sic] Match of Wicket was played at Chippawa, Upper Canada, by 22 English ship wrights, for a stake of 150 dollars. The parties were distinguished by the Pueetergushene and the Chippawa party. The game was won in 56 runs by the former. It continued 6 hours.

    "The winners challenge any eleven gentlemen in the state of New York, for any sum they may wish to play for. The game was succeeded by a supper in honor of King Charles, and the evening in spent [sic] with great hilarity."

    Mechanics' Gazette and Merchants' Daily Advertiser, June 9,1815, reprinting from the Buffalo Gazette. Provided by Richard Hershberger, 7/30/2007. Note: It seems unusual for Englishmen to be playing wicket, and for wicket to field 11-man teams. Could this be a cricket match reported as wicket? Is it clear why a Buffalo NY newspaper would report on a match in "Upper Canada," or whereever Chippawa is? Do we know what a "grant match" is? A typo for "grand match," probably?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - Group at Dartmouth Ponders Worth of Ballplaying, Nocturnal Cowhunting

    1815.6

    Dartmouth College in Hanover NH had a religious society, the Religiosi. "In April, 1815, at one of the meetings, a 'conversation was held on the propriety, or rather the impropriety, of professed [Christians - bracketed in original] joining in the common amusement of ballplaying with the students for exercise.'" Shortly thereafter "there were many spirited remarks on the subject of nocturnal cowhunting, and the society was unanimous in condemning it." John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Rumford Press, Concord NH, 1913), page 564. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search of "'history of Dartmouth.'" Note: Did they condone diurnal cowhunting?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - US Prisoners in Ontario at End of War of 1812 Play Ball

    1815c.1

    Fairchild, G. M., ed., Journal of an American at Fort Malden and Quebec in the War of 1812 [private printing, Quebec, 1090 [sic; 1900?], no pagination. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 87.]

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - US Prisoners in England Play Ball - at Some Peril, It Turned Out

    1815c.2

    [1] [Waterhouse, Benjamin], A Journal of a Young Man of Massachusetts, Late a Surgeon on Board an American Privateer, Who Was Captured at Sea by the British in May, Eighteen Hundred and Thirteen, and Was Confined First, at Melville Island, Halifax, then at Chatham, on England, and Last, at Dartmoor Prison [Rowe and Hooper, Boston, 1816], p. 186. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 88. [2] "Journal of Nathaniel Pierce of Newburyport [MA], Kept at Dartmoor Prison, 1814 - 1815," Historical Collections of Essex Institute, volume 73, number 1 [January 1937], p. 40. Per Altherr ref # 89. [3] [Andrews, Charles] The Prisoner's Memoirs, or Dartmoor Prison [private printing, NYC, 1852], p.110. Per Altherr ref # 90. [4] Valpey, Joseph], Journal of Joseph Valpey, Jr. of Salem, November 1813- April 1815 [Michigan Society of Colonial Wars, Detroit, 1922], p. 60.

    A ball game reportedly led to the killing of nine US prisoners in April 1815: "On the 6th of April, 1815, as a small party were amusing themselves at a game of ball, some one of the number striking it with too much violence, it flew over the wall fronting the prison and the sentinels on the other side of the same were requested to heave the ball back, but refused; on which the party threatened to break through to regain their ball, and immediately put their threats into execution; a hole was made in the wall sufficiently large for a man to pass thro' - but no one attempted it." 500 British soldiers appeared, and the prisoners were fired upon en masse.

    "Massacre of the 6th of April," American Watchman, June 24, 1815. Accessed via subscription search 2/14/2009.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - RI Boy Did A Little Ball-Playing

    1815c.5

    Adin Ballou grew up in a minister's home, and his amusements were of the "homely and simple kinds, such as hunting, fishing, wrestling, wrestling, jumping, ball-playing , quoit-pitching . . .Card-playing was utterly disallowed. "W. Heywood, ed., Autobiography of Adin Ballou, 1803-1890 (Vox Populi Press, Lowell MA, 1896), page 13. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 30. The autobiography was accessed 11/15/2008 via Google Books search for "adin ballou." The book has no references to wicket, cricket or roundball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1815 - New Englander Writes of Ballyards in Virginia

    1815c.7

    "I saw a young man betted upon, for five hundred dollars, at a foot race. Indeed every thing is decided by a wager . . . . What would a northern man think, to see a father, and a sensible and respected one, too, go out with a company, and play marbles? At some cross-roads, or smooth shaven greens, you may a wooden wall, high and broad as the side of a church, erected for men to play ball against."

    "Arthur Singleton" (Henry Cogswell Knight), "Letters from the South and West," Salem [MA] Gazette, July 30, 1824. This paper extracted portions of a new book, which had been written between 1814 and 1819, by Knight, who was reared in Massachusetts and graduated from Brown in 1812. Online text unavailable 2/3/10. Query: The ballplaying facility as described seems uncongenial for cricket or a baserunning game, unless it was a form of barn-ball. Isn't a form of hand-ball a more likely possibility? Was handball, or fives, common in VA at this stage?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - Cooperstown NY Bans Downtown Ballplaying Near Future Site of HOF

    1816.1

    On June 6, 1816, trustees of the Village of Cooperstown, New York enact an ordinance: "That no person shall play at Ball in Second or West Street (now Pioneer and Main Streets), in this village, under a penalty of one dollar, for each and every offence."

    Otsego Herald, number 1107, June 6, 1816, p. 3. The Herald carried the same notice on June 13, page 3. Note: those streets intersect is a half block from the Hall of Fame, right?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - Norfolk VA Cricket Club Reported

    1816.10

    Richard Hershberger [emails of 1/28/09 and 2/4/10] reports seeing advertisements in the American Beacon for a Norfolk Cricket Club from 1816 to 1820:

    "CRICKET CLUB. A meeting of the Subscribers to this Club, will be held at the Exchange Coffee House, this evening at 6 o'clock, for the purpose of draughting Rules and Regluations for the government."

    American Beacon(Norfolk VA), October 25, 1816. Subsequent notices were for playing times.

    Note: In The Tented Field, Tom Melville writes that a 1989 book has the Norfolk Club being founded in 1803 in imitation of English customs (page 164, note 10). Patricia Click, in Spirit of the Times (UVa Press, 1989), page 119, cites the October 1, 1803 issue of the "Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald" [likely then the "Norfolk Herald"] in reference to an observation [page 73] about the social makeup of cricket clubs. Query: can we find out what the 1803 paper actually says about cricket, if anything?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - Worcester MA Ordinance Bans "Frequent and Dangerous" Ball Playing and Hoops"

    1816.2

    "Ball-playing" in the streets of Worcester, Massachusetts is forbidden by ordinance.

    Worcester, MA Town Records, May 6, 1816; reprinted in Franklin P. Rice, ed., Worcester Town Records, 1801 - 1816, volume X [Worcester Society of Antiquity, 1891], p. 337. Also appears in Henderson, p. 150 [No ref given], and Holliman, per Guschov.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - "German ballgame" described in Berlin book

    1816.4

    Flittner, Christian G., Talisman des Gluckes oder der Selbstlehrer fur alle Karten, Schach, Billard,Ball und Kegel Spiele [Berlin], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 187. This book's small section on ball games carries the Gutsmuths account of das Deutsche Ballspiel the German ballgame. Query: Does the game appear to uses bases?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - In "The Year Without a Summer," CT Lads Play Ball on Christmas Day

    1816.5

    "My father [Charles Mallory] arrived there [Mystic CT] on Christmas Day and found some of his acquaintances playing ball in what was called Randall's Orchard."

    Baughman, James, The Mallorys of Mystic: Six Generations in American Maritime Enterprise [Wesleyan University Press, 1972], page 12. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/19/2004.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - [Moved to 1820c.27 in version 11]

    1816.6

    Last Updated: December 6, 2011

  • 1816 - Lambert's Cricket Rules Published

    1816.7

    Lambert, William, Instructions and Rules For Playing the Noble Game of Cricket (1816).

    Bateman notes that 300,000 copies of this book were sold by 1865. Bateman, Anthony,"'More Mighty than the Bat, the Pen . . . ;' Culture,, Hegemony, and the Literaturisaton of Cricket," Sport in History, v. 23, 1 (Summer 2003), page 36.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - Troy NY Bans Ballplaying

    1816.8

    "[N]o person or persons shall play ball, beat knock or drive any ball or hoop, in, through, or along any street or alley in the first, second, third, or fourth wards of said city; and every person who shall violate either of the prohibitions . . . shall, for each and every such offense, forfeit and pay the penalty of ten dollars."

    Laws and Ordinances of the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonality, of the City of Troy. Passed the Ninth Day of December, 1816 (Parker and Bliss, Troy, 1816), page 42. Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 320.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1816 - Maine Town Outlaws Ball, Quoits, Sledding

    1816.9

    "[A]ny person who shall be convicted of sliding down any hill on sleighs, sleds, or boards . . . between Thomas Hinkley's dwelling house & Mr. Vaugh's mill . . . or any who shall play at ball or quoits in any of the streets . . . shall, on conviction, pay a fine of fifty cents for each offence . . . ."

    Hallowell [ME] Gazette, December 25, 1816. Hallowell is about 2 miles south of Augusta and 50 miles NE of Portland.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1817 - Visitor to Philly Tells of Cricket Play There

    1817.1

    "Being a commercial people, they have but few amusements: their summer pastimes are . . . fishing, batching, cricket, quoits, &c; . . . ."

    John Palmer, Journal of Travels in the United States of America and in Lower Canada, Etc [London, 1818], page 283. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1817 - Riddle Game Cites "Fourteen Boys at Bat and Ball"

    1817.2

    The Gaping, Wide-mouthed, Waddling Frog [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 187-188. This chapbook comprises a rhyme resembling the song "the Twelve Days of Christmas, and one verse includes "Fourteen Boys at Bat-and-Ball, Some Short and Some Tall." Block also reports that it contains an illustration of several boys playing trap-ball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1817 - Ball Play Banned in New York NY

    1817.3

    "New York City outlawed ball play in the Park, Battery, and Bowling-Green in 1817."

    Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 245. Altherr's citation [page 320]: "A law relative to the Park, Batery, and Bowling-Green," in Laws and Ordinances Ordained and Established by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonality of the City of New York (T. and J. Swords, New York, 1817), page 118.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1817 - In Brunswick ME, Bowdoin College Sets 20-cent Fine for Ballplaying

    1817.4

    "No student shall, in or near any College building, play at ball, or use any sport or diversion, by which such building may be exposed to injury, on penalty of being fined not exceeding twenty cents, or being suspended if the offence be often repeated."

    Of Misdemeanors and Criminal Offences, in Laws of Bowdoin College (E. Goodale, Hallowell ME, 1817), page 12. Citation from Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 315. The college is about 25 miles NE of Portland, and near the Maine coast.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1818 - Yale Student Reports Cricket on Campus

    1818.1

    A student at Yale University reports that cricket and football are played on campus [need cite]. Lester, however, says that he doubts the student saw English cricket, and that, given that the site is CT, it was probably wicket. Lester notes that wicket involved sides of 30 to 35 players, and was played in an alley 75 feet long, and with oversized bats.

    Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 7.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1818 - In Cricket, Well, It's . . ."One Man Out"

    1818.2

    Ford notes that "[William] Lambert, the leading professional of the time, banned from playing at Lord's for accepting bribes." Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 21. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1818 - "Baseball" at West Point NY?

    1818.3

    "Although playing ball games near the barracks was prohibited, cadets could play 'at football' near Fort Clinton or north of the large boulder neat the site of the present Library. [Benjamin] Latrobe makes curious mention of a game call 'baseball' played in this area. Unfortunately, he did not describe the game. Could it be that cadets in the 1818-1822 period played the game that Abner Doubleday may have modified later to become the present sport?"

    Pappas, George S., To The Point: The United States Military Academy 1802 - 1902 [Praeger, Westport Connecticut, 1993], page 145. Note: Pappas evidently does not give a source for the Latrobe statement. I assume that the 1818-1822 dates correspond to Latrobe's time at West Point.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1818 - Cricket Reported in Louisville KY

    1818.4

    "It is not unreasonable to speculate that as the immigrants came down the Ohio River . . . they brought with them the leisure activities hat had already developed in the cities along the Atlantic coast. There are reports of a form of cricket being played in the city as early at 1818."

    Bailey, Bob, "Beginnings; From Amateur Teams to Disgrace in the National League," [1999], page 1. Note: The original source of the 1818 reference may have been lost. Bob reports that he got the item from Dean Sullivan's master's thesis on baseball in Louisville, and that Dean cited Harold Peterson's The Man Who Invented Baseball, page 24. However, Peterson gives no source. Dead end?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1818 - English Immigrants from Surrey Take Cricket to IL

    1818c.5

    "There have been [p.295/p.296] several cricket-matches this summer [of 1819], both at Wanborough and Birk Prarie; the Americans seem much pleased at the sight of the game, as it is new to them." John Woods, Two Years Residence on th Settlement of the English Prarie, in the Illinois Country (Longman & Co., London, 1822), pp. 295-296.

    On page 148 of the book: "On the second of October, there was a game of cricket played at Wanborough by the young men of the settlement; this they called keeping Catherine Hill fair, many of the players being from the neighborhood of Godalming and Guildford." In 1818 [page 295]: "some of the young men were gone to a county court at Palmyra, [but] there was no cricket-match, as was intended, only a game of trap-ball."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - British Science Text Uses "Base-ball" Heuristic Example

    1819.1

    "Emily: In playing at base-ball, I am obliged to use al my strength to give a rapid motion to the ball; and when I have to catch it, I am sure I feel the resistance it makes to being stopped; but if I did not catch it, it would soon stop of itself.

    "Mrs B.: Inert matter is as incapable of stopping itself as it is of putting itself in motion. When the ball ceases to more, therefore, it must be stopped by some other cause or power; but as it is one with which your are as yet unacquainted, we cannot at present investigate its powers."

    Jane H. Marcet, Conversations on Natural Philosophy [Publisher?, 1819], page? Note: Mendelson, a retired professor at Marquette University, originally located this text, but attributed it to a different book by Mrs. Marcet. David Block found the actual 1819 location. He adds that while it does not precede the Jane Austen use of "base-ball" in Northanger Abbey, "I still consider the quote to be an important indicator that baseball was a popular pastime among English girls during the later 18th and early 19th centuries." David Block posting to 19CBB, 12/12/2006.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - Scott's Ivanhoe Mentions Stool-ball

    1819.2

    [The Jester speaks] "I came to save my master, and if he will not consent, basta! I can but go away home again. Kind service can not be checked from hand to hand like a shuttle-cock or stool-ball. I'll hang for no man . . . ."

    Scott, Walter, Ivanhoe; A Romance (D. Appleton and Co., New York, 1904), page 257. Reference provided by John Thorn 6/11/2007.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - Herefordshire: "Large Parties" Play Wicket ("Old-Fashioned Cricket")

    1819.3

    [Writing of the yeoman of the county:] "notwithstanding their inclination to religion, they meet in large parties upon Sunday afternoons to play foot-ball, wicket (an old-fashioned cricket), or other gymnastics."

    Source: "Manners and Customs of Herefordshire," The Gentleman's Magazine, February 1819. Submitted by Richard Hershberger 8/6/2007.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - In Hartford CT: Legislative Session Associated with Ball-playing?

    1819.4

    In a report on the new session of the Connecticut legislature: "In Hartford and the region about the same, those who usually play ball during the day and dance at night on such occasions, did not at this time wholly abandon the ancient uses of Connecticut."

    Indiana Central, June 8, 1819, reprinting an article datelined New Haven CT from May 5. Accessed 4/9/09 via subscription search.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - Irving Surveys Pastimes at Fictional British School; Includes Tip-cat

    1819.5

    "As to sports and pastimes, the boys are faithfully exercised in all that are on record: quoits, races, prison-bars, tip-cat, trap-ball, bandy-ball, wrestling, leaping, and what-not."

    Washington Irving [writing as Geoffrey Crayon], Bracebridge Hall: Or, The Humourists (Putnam's, New York, 1888: written in 1819), page 332. Contributed by Bill Wagner, email o f March 25, 2009. Accessed via 2/3/10 Google Books search (bracebridge tip-cat). The setting is Yorkshire. Note: if cricket, base-ball, rounders, or stoolball were played at the fictional school, it was relegated to "what-not" status.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1819 - Ball Games Recalled in Southwestern WI

    1819.6

    At the close of the Civil War, a dispute on the actual age Joseph Crele, who claimed to be 139 years old, reached Milwaukee newprint: "Beouchard . . . says he has known Crele for 40 years. In 1819, at Prarie du Chien, Crele was one of the most active participants in the games of base ball, town ball foot races, horse races, &c, and yet at that time, by the claim made for him, he must have been 93 years old."

    MilwaukeeDaily Sentinel, April 4, 1865. As posted to the 19CBB listserve by Dennis Pajot, December 11, 2009. Prarie du Chien is about 90 miles west of Madison WI, on the Mississippi River. Note: it is interesting that Beouchard recalls two distinct games [and/or two distinct names of games] being played.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Bat/Ball Game Depicted in Children's Amusements

    1820.1

    A woodcut illustration of boys playing with a bat and ball appears in a book entitled Children's Amusements [New York and Baltimore]. David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 188, adds that it is unusual among chapbooks as "more space and detail are devoted to "playing ball" than to cricket, which at the time was a more established game." See also #1830.1.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Union vs. Mechanics - First Mention of Club Cricket?

    1820.16

    On June 19, 1820, the Union and Mechanic Cricket Clubs played two matches in Brooklyn. According to an account [a box score was also provided] in the New York Daily Advertiser of June 21, "this manly exercise . . . excited astonishment in the spectators by their great dexterity . . . . A great number of persons viewed the sport."

    Posted to 19CBB by Richard Hershberger, 7/31/2007. Richard noted: "this is the earliest example I know of named cricket clubs, and is not mentioned in Tom Melville's history [The Tented Field.] In am 1/30/2008 email, Richard added that this game was also reported in the New York Columbia of June 19, 1820 as having "all Europeans" on both sides. Note: does the David Sentence book cover this game? Do we know of any earlier club play; for instance, did the Boston Cricket Club [see #1808.2 above] ever take the field in 1808?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - "The Game of Ball" Banned in Area of Belfast ME

    1820.17

    "Ballplaying seems to have been extensively practiced in 1820. At the town meeting of that year, it was voted that 'the game of ball, and the pitching of quoits, within the following limits {main Street to the beach, etc] be prohibited.' High Street, at Hopkins Corner, was the favorite battle-ground for ball-players as early as 1805." Joseph Williamson, History of the City of Belfast in the State of Maine, From its First settlement in1770 to 1875 (Loring & Co., Portland, 1877), page 764. Note: Williamson does not provide original sources for the 1820 ordinance or for the 1805 claim.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Round Ball played in Upton, MA

    1820.2

    Henderson, p. 137, attributes this to Holliman, but has no ref to Holliman or to George Stoddard, who reported the game to the Mills Commission. Also quoted at Henderson, p. 150.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - English Cricketers Play Two-Day Match Again New Yorkers

    1820.3

    "The most outstanding cricket matches of the period were those in New York. In fact, the matches of note were played in that city. These contests took place between members of different clubs, and often the sport lasted for two days. Great was the interest if any English player happened to be present to participate in the sport. On June 16, 1820, eleven expert English players matched eleven New Yorkers at Brooklyn, the contest lasting two days." Holliman, Jennie, American Sports (1785 - 1835) [Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975], page 68.

    Holliman cites the New York Evening Post June 16, 1820. See also Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 5. Tom Melville, The Tented Field (Bowling Green U, Bowling Green, 1998), page 7, adverts to a similar Englishmen/Americans match, giving it a date of June 1, 1820. He seems to cite The New York Evening Post of June 19, 1820, page 2 for this match, and so June 16 seems like a likelier date.]

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Another English Chapbook Cites Trap-ball

    1820.4

    School-boys' Diversions: Describing Many New and Popular Sports [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 189. The woodcut shows a trap and bat in the foreground.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - A Wry View of Cricket Match on Yale Campus

    1820c.13

    "On the green and easy slope where those proud columns stand,

    In Dorian mood, with academe and temple on each hand,

    The foot-ball and the cricket-match upon my vision rise

    With all the clouds of classic dust kicked in each other' eyes."

    This verse is incorporated without attribution in Brooks Mather Kelley, Yale: a History (Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 1974), page 214. Kelley's commentary: "[Cricket] may have been a sport at Yale then [in the Colonial period]. The first clear reference to it, owever, is in one stanza of a poem about Yale life in 1818 to 1822." Ibid. Is Yale shielding us from some racy student rhymes? Oh, not to worry: From a rival Ivy League source we see that Lester identifies the poet as William Cromwell - John A. Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (U of Penn Press, Philadelphia PA, 1951), page7. Note: OK, so who was William Cromwell, and why did he endow so many chairs at Yale?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Ballplaying at Bowdoin College

    1820c.15

    Nehemiah Cleaveland and Alpheus Spring Packard, History of Bowdoin College with Biographical Sketches of the Graduates (Osgood and Company, Boston, 1882). Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 32.

    "The student of earlier years had not the resources for healthful physical recreation of the present day [1880s]. We had football and baseball, though the latter was much less formal and formidable than the present game" [Page 96]. Note: the precise time referenced here is hard to specify; but the authors graduated in 1813 and 1816, and the context seems to suggest the 1810-1830 period.

    Only one of the book's many sketches of alumni, however, mentions ballplaying of any type. The sketch for James Patten, Class of 1823, includes this: "He entered college at the mature age of twenty-four, was a respectable scholar, spoke with a decided brogue, and played ball admirably. . . . When last heard from he was an acting magistrate and a rich old bachelor." [Page 276] The sketch for Longfellow, who in 1824 wrote of constant campus ballplaying [see #1824.1], does not allude to sport.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Waterbury CT Jaws Drop as Baptist Deacon Takes the Field

    1820c.24

    "after the 'raising' of this building, at which, as was customary on such occasions, there was a large gathering of people who came to render voluntary assistance, the assembled company adjourned to the adjacent meadow (now owned by Charles Frost) for a game of baseball, and that certain excellent old ladies were much scandalized that prominent Baptists, among them Deacon Porter, should show on such an occasion so much levity as to take part in the game."

    Joseph Anderson, ed., The Town and City of Waterbury, Connecticut, from the Aboriginal Perioed to the Year 1895, Volume III (Price and Lee, New Haven CT, 1896), page 673n. Accessed 2/3/10 via Google Books search (Waterbury aboriginal III).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Octogenarian Recalls Frequency of Play, How Balls Were Made in NY

    1820c.26

    "If a base-ball were required, the boy of 1816 founded it with a bit of cork, or, if he were singularly fortunate, with some shreds of india-rubber; then it was wound with yarn frm a ravelled stocking, and some feminine member of his family covered it with patches of a soiled glove."

    Charles H. Haswell, Reminiscences of An Octogenarian of the City of New York (1816 to 1860) (Harper & Brothers, New York, 1897), page 77. Accessed 2/2/10 via Google Books search (haswell octogenarian).

    Haswell also reflected on Easter observances of the era. They were subdued, save for the coloring of eggs by some schoolboys. "For a few weeks during the periods of Easter and Paas, the cracking of eggs by boys supplanted marbles, kite-flying, and base-ball."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Columbia College (NY) Students, Locals, Play at Battery Grounds

    1820c.27

    "Of those [students] of Columbia, I write advisedly - they were not members of a boat club, base-ball, or foot-ball team. On Saturday afternoons, in the fall of the year, a few students would meet in the 'hollow' on the Battery, and play an irregular game of football . . . As this 'hollow' was the locale of base-ball, "marbles," etc., and as it has long since been obliterated, and in its existence was the favorite resort of schoolboys and all others living in the lower part of the city, it is worthy of record"

    Haswell recalls the Battery grounds as "very nearly the entire area bounded by Whitehall and State Streets, the sea wall line, and a line about two hundred feet to the west; it was of an uniform grade, fully five feet below that of the street, it was nearly uniform in depth, and as regular in its boundary as a dish."

    Charles Haswell, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian of the City of New York (1816 to 1860) (Harper and Brothers, New York, 1896), pages 81-82. Citation supplied by John Thorn, email of 2/3/2008. Accessed 2/4/10 via Google Books search (octogenarian 1816).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - English Village Green Had Cricket, Bass-Ball

    1820c.28

    A "rambling" railway passenger reflects as he passes through the English countryside: "The rambler sees a pretty white spire peeping out of the woodland before him . . . . The road leads to Stoke Green. Alas! We may lament for what is no more, and the name is a mockery. There was a village green some twenty years ago . . . . and the cheerful spot where the noise of cricket and bass-ball once gladdened the ear on a summer eve is now silent."

    Ah, the good old days. "Railway Rambles," Penny Magazine, Oct 23, 1841, page 412. Accessed 2/11/10 via Google Books search ("railway rambles" penny 1841). The location is evidently about 20 mi W of London. Source: Tom Altherr, "Some Findings on Bass Ball," Originals, February 2010, page 2.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Modified Version of Rounders Played in New England.

    1820c.6

    "About 1820 a somewhat modified version of the old English game of rounders was played on the New England commons, and twenty years later the game had spread and become "town ball." In 1833 the first regularly organized ball club was formed in Philadelphia with the sonorous title of "The Olympic Ball Club of Philadelphia." About 1850 the game gained vogue in New York."

    Barbour, Ralph H., The Book of School and College Sports [D. Appleton and Co., New York, 1904] page 143. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Thanks to Mark Aubrey for locating a pdf of the baseball section of this text, June 2007. Barbour does not provide sources for his text.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Another English Chapbook, Another Engraving of Trap-ball

    1820c.7

    Juvenile Recreations [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 189. Accompanying the Trapball engraving: "Then Master Batt he did decide,/That they might one and all,/Since Rosebud fields were very wide,/Just play Trap bat and ball,/Agreed said all with instant shout,/Then beat the little ball about."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Another Chapbook - This One Celebrates the Fielder

    1820c.8

    Juvenile Sports or Youth's Pastimes [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 189. The accompanying text: "With bat and trap, the Youth's agre'd/To send the ball abroad with speed,/While eager with his open hands,/To catch him out his playmate stands."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Cricket is Gradually "Cleaned Up;" Club Play Strengthens

    1820s.11

    Writing of this period, Ford summarizes: "Much single-wicket cricket was played, and wager matches continued, but from the mid 1820s both these features gradually disappeared from the scene as cricket was 'cleaned up.' Of equal importance the game at club level spread and grew strong." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 22. Ford does not give citations for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Boys Are Attracted to Sports of "Playing Ball or Goal" in Bangor ME

    1820s.12

    Paine, Albert Ware, "Auto-Biography," reprinted in Lydia Augusta Paine Carter, The Discovery of a Grandmother [Henry H. Carter, Newton MA, 1920], p. 240. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 77. Note: Dean Sullivan [7/29/2004] observes that Harold Seymour puts the year of play at Bangor at 1836, citing both pages 198 and 240 of The Discovery of a Grandmother. Payne was born in 1812, and was not a "boy" in 1836, so this event needs further examination. This item needs to be reconciled with #1823c.4 below.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - New England Lad Recalls Assorted Games, Illicit Fast Day Ballplaying

    1820s.14

    Alfred Holbrook was born in 1816. His autobiography, Reminiscences of the Happy Life of a Teacher (Elm Street, Cincinnati, 1885), includes youthful memories that would have occurred in the 1820s.

    "The [school-day] plays of those times, more than sixty years ago, were very similar to the plays of the present time. Some of these were "base-ball," in which we chose sides, "one hole cat," "two hole cat," "knock up and catch," Blackman," "snap the whip," skating, sliding down hill, rolling the hoop, marbles, "prisoner's base," "football," mumble the peg," etc. Ibid. page 35. Note: was "knock up and catch" a fungo game, possibly?

    "Now, it was both unlawful and wicked to play ball on fast-day, and none of my associates in town were ever known to engage in such unholy enterprises and sinful amusements on fast-days; [p 52/53] but other wicked boys, with whom I had nothing to do, made it their special delight and boast to get together in some quiet, concealed place, and enjoy themselves, more especially because it was a violation of law. Not infrequently, however, they found the constable after them. . . ." "Soon after, this blue law, perhaps the only one in the Connecticut Code, was repealed. Then the boys thought no more of playing on fast-days than on any other." Ibid, pp 52-53.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Syracuse NY Ball Field Remembered as Base Ball Site

    1820s.18

    David Block reports: "In the lengthy 'Editor's Table' section of this [The Knickerbocker] classic monthly magazine, the editor described a nostalgic visit that he and two old school chums had taken to the academy that they had attended near Syracuse. 'We went out upon the once-familiar green, as if it were again 'play time', and called by name upon our old companions to come over once more and play 'base-ball.' But they answered not; they came not! The old forms and faces were gone; the once familiar voices were silent.'" Source: "Editor's Table," The Knickerbocker (S. Hueston, New York, 1850), page 298. Contributed by David Block 2/27/2008. The Editor, Lewis Gaylord Clark, was born in 1810, and attended the Onondaga Academy. He was thus apparently recalling ball-playing from sometime in the 1820s. Query: Can we get better data on Clark's age while at the Academy?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Ball-Playing in Ontario

    1820s.19

    "Contrary to the once commonly held belief that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in 1839, a form of the game existed in Oxford County [ON] during the early decades of the nineteenth century that used a square playing field with four bases and eleven players a side." Nancy B. Bouchier, For the Love of the Game: Amateur Sport in Small-Town Ontario, 1838-1895 (McGill-Queens University Press, 2003), page 100. Note: Dating this item to the 1820's is a best guess [we are asking the author for input], based on additional evidence from N. Bouchier and R. Barney, "A Critical Evaluation of a Source on Early Ontario Baseball: The Reminiscence of Adam E. Ford," Journal of Sport History, Volume 15 number 1 (Spring 1988). Players remembered as attending the 1838 event included older "greyheaded" men who reflected back on earlier play - one of whom was on the local assessment roll in 1812.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Horace Greeley Lacks the Knack, Fears Getting Whacked

    1820s.20

    "Ball was a common diversion in Vermont while I lived there; yet I never became proficient at it, probably for want of time and practice. To catch a flying ball, propelled by a muscular arm straight at my nose, and coming so swiftly that I could scarcely see it, was a feat requiring a celerity of action, an electric sympathy of eye and brain and hand . . . . Call it a knack, if you will; it was quite beyond my powers of acquisition.

    Horace Greeley, Recollections of a Busy Life (J. B. Ford, New York, 1869), page 117. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 30. Tom places the time as the early 1820s. Greeley, born in New Hampshire in 1811, was apprenticed a Poultney VT printer in about 1825. His book was accessed 11/15/2008 via Google Books search "greeley recollections owen." Poultney VT is on the New York border, about 70 miles NNW of Albany NY. Greeley does not mention the game of wicket or round ball.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - College Prez Was a Klutz at Ball and Cricket

    1820s.21

    "I could not jump the length of my leg nor run as fast as a kitten . . . . At ball and cricket I 'followed in the chase not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry.'"

    Harriet Raymond Lloyd, ed., Life and Letters of John Howard Raymond, Late President of Vassar College (Ford, Howard and Hulbert, New York, 1881), page 38. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 34. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for "'john howard raymond.'" Raymond, born in New York in 1814, summered as a boy in Norwalk CT.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - MA Boy Played One Old Cat, Base Ball in Early Childhood

    1820s.22

    "In my early boyhood I was permitted to run at large in the [Williamstown MA] street and over broad acres, playing 'one old cat,' and base ball (no scientific games or balls as hard as a white oak boulder in those days) excepted when pressed into service to ride the horse to plough out the corn and potatoes."

    Keyes Danforth, Boyhood Reminiscences: Pictures of New England in the Olden Times in Williamstown (Gazlay Brothers, New York, 1895), page 12. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 38. The book was accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search "'pictures of new.'" Danforth, born in 1822, became a judge. Williamstown MA is in the NW corner of the commonwealth, and lies about 35 miles E of Albany NY.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Town Ball Came to Central IL in the 1820s.

    1820s.23

    "This game [bullpen, the local favorite] was, in time, abandoned for a game called "town ball;" the present base ball being town ball reduced to a science."

    The History of Menard and Mason Counties, Illinois (Baskin and Company, Chicago, 1879), page 252. Contributed by Jeff Kittel, January 31, 2010. Jeff notes that the author was in this passage describing educational conditions in the early 1820s. The two counties are just north of Springfield IL.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - In Western MA, Election Day Saw Town vs. Town Wicket Matches

    1820s.25

    "'Election Day' was, however, the universal holiday, and the prevailed amongst the farmers that corn planting must be finished by that day for its enjoyment. It was a day of general hilarity, with no prescribed forms of observation, though ball playing was ordinarily included in the exercises, and frequently the inhabitants of adjacent towns were pitted against one another in the game of wicket. Wrestling, too, was a common amusement on that day, each town having its champions."

    Charles J. Taylor, History of Great Barrington (Bryan and Co., Great Barrington MA, 1882), page 375. Accessed 2/3/10 via Google Books search (taylor great barrington). Note: this passage is not clearly set in time; "1820s" is a guess, but 1810s or 1830s is also a possibility.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - Town Ball Recalled in Eastern IL

    1820s.5

    "In the early times, fifty or sixty years ago, when the modern games of croquet and base-ball were unknown, the people used to amuse themselves with marbles, "town-ball" - which was base-ball in a rude state - and other simple pastimes of a like character. Col. Mayo says, the first amusement he remembers in the county was a game of town-ball, on the day of the public sale of lots in Paris, in which many of the "young men of the period engaged."

    The History of Edgar County, Illinois (Wm. LeBaron, Chicago, 1879), page 273. Contributed January 31, 2010, by Jeff Kittel. Paris IL is near the Indiana border, and about 80 miles west of Indianapolis.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1820 - In Middletown CT, "Wicket" Recalled, but Not Base Ball.

    1820s.9

    Delaney, ed., Life in the Connecticut River Valley 1800 - 1840 from the Recollections of John Howard Redfield [Connecticut River Museum, Essex CT, 1988], p. 35. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 82.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - New York Book Has Bat and Ball Poem

    1821.1

    Little Ditties for Little Children [New York, Samuel Wood and Sons], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 190. "Come on little Charley, come with me and play/And yonder is Billy, I'll give him a call,/ Do you take the bat, and I'll carry the ball . . . "

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - Cricket Not New in SC

    1821.2

    "The members of the old cricket club are requested to attend a meeting of [sic?] the Carolina Coffee House tomorrow evening."

    Charleston Southern Patriot, January 23, 1821, per Holliman, American Sport 1785 - 1835, page 68.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - Schenectady NY Bans "Playing of Ball Against the Building"

    1821.3

    The Schenectady City Council banned "playing of Ball against the Building or in the area fronting the Building called City Hall and belonging to this corporation . . . under penalty of Fifty cents for each and every offence . . . ." Note: citation needed. Submitted by David Pietrusza via John Thorn, 3/6/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - A Three-Times-and-Out Rule in ME Cricket?

    1821.4

    "'Three times and out' is a maxim of juvenile players at cricket."

    Maine Gazette, November 20, 1821; submitted by Lee Thomas Oxford, 9/2/2007. Note: What can this reported rule possibly mean? Were beginning cricketers given three chances to hit the bowled ball in ME? John Thorn, email of 2/3/2008, points out that three swings was sometimes an out in wicket, and that the Gazette may have erred.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - NY Mansion Converted to Venue Suitable for Cricket, Base, Trap-Ball

    1821.5

    In May and June 1821, an ad ran in some NY papers announcing that the Mount Vernon mansion, was now open as Kensington House. It could accommodate dinners and tea parties and clubs. What's more, later versions of the ad said: "The grounds of Kensington Hose are spacious and well adapted to the playing of the noble game of cricket, base, trap-ball, quoits and other amusements; and all the apparatus necessary for the above games will be furnished to clubs and parties."

    Richard Hershberger posted to 19CBB on Kensington House on 10/7/2007, having seen the ad in the June 9, 1821 New YorkGazette and General Advertiser. Richard suggested that "in this context "base is almost certainly baseball, not prisoner's base." John Thorn [email of 3/1/2008] later found a May 22, 1821 Kensington ad in the Evening Post that did not mention sports, and ads starting on June 2 that did.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1821 - Fifty-cent Fine in New Bedford for Those Who Play at Ball

    1821.6

    "Any person, who shall, after the first day of July next, play at ball, or fly a kite, or run down a hill upon a sled, or play any other sport which may incommode peacable citizens and passengers in any [illegible: street?] of that part of town commonly called the Village of Bedford" faces a fifty-cent penalty.

    "By-Laws for the Town of New-Bedford," New Bedford [MA] Mercury, August 13, 1821. Accessed by subscription search May 5, 2009.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1822 - Round Ball Played in Worcester

    1822.1

    "Timothy Taft, who is living in Worcester, October 1897, played Round Ball in 1822. The game was no new thing then. I think Mr. Stoddard is right about the game being played directly after the close of the Revolutionary War [see entry #1780c.4]. At any rate, if members of your Commission question the antiquity of the game (Round Ball) we have Mr. Taft still living who played it 83 years ago, and we have corroborative testimony that it was played long before that time."

    Letter from Henry Sargent, Worcester MA, to Mills Commission, June 10, 1905. Henderson, on page 149, quotes the Commission's press release as referring to a Timothy Tait, which seems likely a reference to Taft. In this letter Sargent also reports that in Stoddard's opinion, "the game of Round Ball or Base ball is one and the same thing, and that it dates back before 1845."

    Note: do we have that Mills Commission release that Henderson cites?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1822 - Round-Arm Bowling Disallowed at Lord's Cricket Ground

    1822.2

    Ford reports that "John Willes of Kent is "no-balled" for "throwing" at Lord's for round-arm bowling. Nevertheless William Lillywhite James Broadbridge and others continue this practice. John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 21. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1822 - Cricket Clubs, "Other Ball Clubs" Welcomed at Philadelphia PA Facility

    1822.3

    In an advertisement about an outdoor recreation establishment run by John Carter Jr. on the western bank of the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia PA is included the sentence "Gentlemen are informed that the grounds are so disposed as to afford sufficient room and accommodation for quoit and cricket and other ball clubs." It doesn't say what these "other ball clubs" are playing. Saturday Evening Post, June 22, 1822, Vol. 1, Issue 47, page 003. Submitted by Bill Wagner 1/24/2007.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1822 - Trap Ball Advertised at Inn

    1822.4

    "TRAP BALL. This entertaining game and pleasing exercise may be enjoyed every Monday afternoon, at the Traveller's Rest, in Broad Street, between Chestnut and Walnut. Traps, Bats, and Balls may be had for select parties or promiscuous companies at any time. Refreshments of the first quality at the Bar."

    Saturday Evening Post [running ad, summer 1822]. Provided by Richard Hershberger, email of June 26, 2007. The location is Philadelphia PA.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1822 - Ball-playing Disallowed in Front of Hobart College Residence

    1822.5

    "The rules for Geneva Hall in 1822 are still preserved. The residents were not allowed to cut or saw firewood, or play ball or quoits, in front of the building."

    Warren Hunting Smith, Hobart and William Smith; the History of Two Colleges (Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva NY, 1972. Provided by Priscilla Astifan, email of 2/4/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - National Advocate Reports "Base Ball" Game in NYC

    1823.1

    The National Advocate of April 25, 1823, page 2, column 4, states: "I was last Saturday much pleased in witnessing a company of active young men playing the manly and athletic game of 'base ball' at the Retreat in Broadway (Jones') [on the west side of Broadway between what nowadays is Washington Place and Eighth Street]. I am informed they are an organized association, and that a very interesting game will be played on Saturday next at the above place, to commence at half past 3 o'clock, P.M. Any person fond of witnessing this game may avail himself of seeing it played with consummate skill and wonderful dexterity.... It is surprising, and to be regretted that the young men of our city do not engage more in this manual sport; it is innocent amusement, and healthy exercise, attended with but little expense, and has no demoralizing tendency."

    National Advocate, April 25, 1823, page 2, column 4. As discussed by its modern discoverer George Thompson, in George A. Thompson, Jr., "New York Baseball, 1823," The National Pastime 2001], pp 6 - 8.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Base-ball Listed Among Games Played in Suffolk

    1823.2

    Moor, E., Suffolk Words and Phrases [Woodbridge, England], p. 238. Per RH ref 123 and Chadwick 1867. The listed games played in Suffolk include cricket, base-ball, kit-cat, Bandy-wicket, and nine holes. Note:: But not trap-ball? Moor muses: "It is not unpleasing thus to see at a glance such a variety of recreations tending to excite innocent gaiety among our young people. He is no friend to his fellow creatures who desire to curtail them; on the contrary I hold him a benefactor to his county who introduce a new sport among us."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Don't Play Ball Inside the House!

    1823.3

    Good Examples for Boys [New York, Mahlon Day], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 190. A boy breaks a hand mirror with indoor ball play. With illustration.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Providence RI Bans "Playing Ball" in the Streets

    1823.5

    "The Town of Providence have passed a law against playing ball in any of their public streets; the fine is $2. Why is not the law enforced in this Town? Newport Mercury, April 26, 1823, Vol. 62, Issue 3185, page 2. Submitted by John Thorn 1/24/2007.

    In August 2007, Craig Waff [email of 8/17/2007] located the actual ordinance:

    "Whereas, from the practice of playing ball in the streets of the town, great inconvenience is suffered by the inhabitants and others: . . . no person shall be permitted to play at any game of ball in any of the publick streets or highways within the limits of this town."

    Rhode-Island American and General Advertiser Volume 15, Number 60 (April 25, 1823), page 4, and Number 62 (May 2, 1823), page 4.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Students Play Baseball at Progressive School in Northampton MA

    1823.6

    In their recollections during the 1880s, John Murray Forbes and George Sheyne Shattuck describe playing baseball during the years 1823 to 1828 at the Round Hill School in Northampton MA. This progressive school for young boys reflected the goals of its co-founders, Joseph Green Cogswell and George Bancroft; in addition to building a gymnasium, the first US school to do so, Round Hill was one of the very first schools to incorporate physical education into its formal curriculum.

    Forbes was writing his recollections in 1884, as reported in Letters and Recollections of John Murray Forbes, Sara Forbes Hughes, editor [Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1899], vol. 1, page 43. Shattuck is quoted in Edward M. Hartwell, Physical Training in American Colleges and Universities [GPO, 1886], page 22. Discovered by Brian Turner and submitted 7/16/2004.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Ditty: "You Take the Bat, and I'll carry the Ball"

    1823.7

    "Now bright is the morning, how fair is the day,/Come on little Charlie, come with me and play/And yonder is Billy, I'll give him a call,/Do you take the bat, and I'll carry the ball./But we'll make it a rule to be friendly and clever/Even if we are beat, we'll be pleasant as ever,/'Tis foolish and wicked to quarrel in play,/So if any one's angry, we'll send him away."

    Little Ditties for Little Children (Samuel Wood and Sons, New York, 1823), page 9. An illustration shows two players and one watcher. One player is using a spoon-shaped bat. No ball or trap is visible. From the Origins file at the Giamatti Center at the HOF.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - "Impoisoned Ball" Described in London Book

    1823.8

    "THE IMPOISONED BALL. Eight should play at this game; and the method is as follows:

    "Make a hole, and mark it so as to know it again; then draw, to see who is to throw the ball; that done, he must endeavor to put it into one of the holes, and the person's hole it enters must take the ball and throw at a player, who will endeavor to catch it; the person touched must throw it at another, and he who fails in either of these attempts, or he who is touched, is obliged to put into the hole which belongs to him, a little stone, or a piece of money, or a nut, or any thing to know the hole by. This is called a counter. He who first happens to have the number of counters fixed upon, is to stand with his hand extended, and every player is to endeavor to strike the hand with the ball."

    School-boys' Diversions: Describing the Many New and Popular Sports (Dean and Munday, London, 1823), pp 20-21. The MCC has annotated its copy "1820?" Pub date e-sleuthed by John Thorn, email of 2/3/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Young Man Recalls "More Active Sports of 'Playing Ball' or 'Goal.'"

    1823c.4

    "Really time flies fast. Tis but a day it seems since we three were boys . . . . But a day seems to have elapsed since meeting with our neighboring boys, we . . . engaged ourselves in the more active sorts of "playing ball" or "goal."

    Carter, L. A., The Discovery of a Grandmother [H. H. Carter, Newtonville MA, 1920], pp 239-240. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. From this note, the excerpts appear to be from a journal kept in 1835-1836 by Albert Ware Paine, born 1813. Note: This item needs t be reconciled with #1820S.12 above.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1823 - Kentucky Abolitionist Played Base-ball

    1823c.9

    "I had ever been devoted to athletic sports - riding on horseback . . . playing base-ball, bandy, foot-ball and all that - so I had confidence in my prowess." C. Clay, The Life of Cassius Marcellus Clay; Memoirs, Writings and Speeches, Volume 1 (Brennan and Co., Cincinnati, 1886), page 35. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 31. Clay was 13 years old and at a KY College in 1823. His book, which makes no other reference to ball-playing, was accessed 11/15/2008 via a Google Books search for "life of cassius."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - Longfellow on Life at Bowdoin College: "Ball, Ball, Ball"

    1824.1

    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, then a student at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, writes: "This has been a very sickly term in college. However, within the last week, the government seeing that something must be done to induce the students to exercise, recommended a game of ball now and then; which communicated such an impulse to our limbs and joints, that there is nothing now heard of, in our leisure hours, but ball, ball, ball."

    Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, letter to his father Stephen Longfellow, April 11, 1824, in Samuel Longfellow, ed., Life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow with Extracts from His Journals and Correspondence [Ticknor and Company, Boston 1886],volume 1, p. 51. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.

    Reprinted in Andrew Hilen, ed., Henry Wadsworth Longefellow, the Letters of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, vol. 1 1814 - 1836 [Harvard University Press, 1966], page 87. Submitted by George Thompson, 7/31/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - Children's Book Calls Cricket "Noblest Game of All," and Trap-ball is Pleasing Too

    1824.2

    Juvenile Pastimes or Sports for the Four Seasons [London, Dean and Munday], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 191. For cricket: "Cricket's the noblest game of all,/ That can be play'd with bat and ball." For trap-ball: "This is a pleasing, healthy sport,/ To which most boys with glee resort."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - English Novel Cites Base-ball as Girls' Pastime, Limns Cricket Match

    1824.3

    Mitford, Mary Russell, Our Village [London, R. Gilbert], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 191. "Better than playing with her doll, better even than base-ball, or sliding or romping, does she like to creep of an evening to her father's knee." Block notes that this novel was published in New York in 1828, and Tom Altherr [email of April 2, 2009] adds that there were Philadelphia editions in 1835 and 1841.

    Bateman also states that Our Village, which was initially serialised in The Lady's Magazine between 1824 and 1832, contains the first comprehensive prose description of a cricket match." See Bateman, Anthony,"'More Mighty than the Bat, the Pen . . . ;' Culture,, Hegemony, and the Literaturisaton of Cricket," Sport in History, v. 23, 1 (Summer 2003), page 34. Note: It would be good to confirm when the baseball and cricket references were first published, given the conflicting data on serialization and book publication.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - Fondly Remembering the First Ballplaying Richie Allen

    1824.4

    Stanzas to the Memory of Richard Allen; The Atheneum; or, Spirit of the English Magazines (1817-1833), Boston, August 16, 1824, vol. 1, Issue 10, page 379.

    "What! School-fellow, art gone? . . .

    Thou wert the blithest lad, that ever/ Haunted a wood or fish'd a river,/ Or from the neighbour's wall/ Filch'd the gold apricot, to eat/ In darkness, as a pillow treat, / Or 'urged the flying ball!'"/ Supreme at taw! At prisoner's base/ The gallant greyhound of the chase!/ Matchless at hoop! and quick,/ Quick as a squirrel at a tree . . .

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - Ballplaying Now Condoned at Dartmouth College

    1824.5

    During 1824 the village of Hanover NH authorized "the playing at ball or any game in which ball is used on the public common in front of Dartmouth College, set apart by the Trustees thereof among the purposes for a playground for their students." John K. Lord, A History of the Town of Hanover New Hampshire [Dartmouth Press, Hanover NH, 1928], page 23. Submitted by Scott Meacham 8/21/2006.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1824 - Great Jurist Recalls Schoolboy Baseball and Phillips Academy in MA

    1824.6

    "[At Phillips] Bodily exercise was not, however, entirely superseded by spiritual exercises, and a rudimentary form of base-ball and the heroic sport of foot-ball were followed with some spirit." Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., "Cinders from the Ashes," The Works of Oliver Wendel Holmes Volume 8 (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1892), page 251. He went on to recollect visiting the school in 1867, when he "sauntered until we came to a broken field where there was quarrying and digging going on, our old base-ball ground." Ibid, page 255.

    This essay originally appeared in The Atlantic Monthly Volume 23 (January 1869). page 120. Note: see item #1829c.3 below for Holmes' Harvard ballplaying.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Cricket Reaches Tasmania

    1825.10

    References to Tasmanian cricket date back to 1825, the year the colony gained its independence from New South Wales, but there is no detailed mention of matches before 1832."

    Egan, Jack, The Story of Cricket in Australia (ABC Books, 1987), page 16

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Cricket Prohibited On or Near English Highways, We Mean It

    1825.11

    Among many column-inches listing things that should never happen on or near a highway, we find: "or fire or let off or throw any squib, rocket serpent, or other firework whatsoever, within eighty feet of the center of such road; or shall bait or run for the purpose of baiting any bull, or play [p. 167/168] at football, tennis [an indoor game then, as far as we know LMc] , fives, cricket, or any other game or games upon such road, or on the side or sides thereof, or in any exposed situation near thereto, to the annoyance of any passenger or passengers . . . " Wm. Robinson, The Magistrate's Pocket-Book; or, and Epitome of the Duties and Practice of a Justice of the Peace (London, 1825), section 87, pp 167-168. Provided by John Thorn, 2/8/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - 1906 Baseball History Sees Rounders in US, 1825-1840

    1825.13

    "'Rounders,' from which modern baseball is generally believed to have derived its origin, was a very simple game - so simple, in fact, that girls could play it. It was played with a ball and bats and was practiced in this country as early as 1825 [p. 437] . . . Rounders was popular between 1825 and 1840, but meantime there had been many other forms of ball playing. [.p 438]"

    George V. Tuohey, "The Story of Baseball," The Scrap Book (Munsey, New York, 1906), pp. 437ff. Caution: Tuohey gives no evidentiary support for this observation, and the Protoball sub-chronology [http://retrosheet.org/Protoball/Sub.Rounders.htm] for rounders shows no firm evidence that a game then called rounders was popular in the US.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Bass-Ball Challenge Issued in Delhi [NY] Gazette

    1825.2

    The following notice appears in the July 13, 1825 edition of the Delhi Gazette: "The undersigned, all residents of the new town of Hamden, with the exception of Asa Howland, who has recently removed into Delhi, challenge an equal number of persons of any town in the County of Delaware, to meet them at any time at the house of Edward B. Chace, in said town, to play the game of Bass-Ball, for the sum of one dollar each per game . . . ."

    Delhi NY Gazette, July 12, 1825, reprinted in Dean A. Sullivan, Compiler and Editor, Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825 - 1908 [University of Nebraska Press, 1995], pp. 1 - 2. Note: George Thompson has conducted research on the backgrounds of the listed players: personal communications, 11/3/2003. He found a range of players' ages from 19 to the mid-30's. It is held in PBall file #1825.2.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Writer Follows Strutt's Theory That Club-ball Was the Source Game

    1825.3

    Aspin, J., Picture of the Manners, Customs, Sports and Pastimes of the Inhabitants of England [London, J. Harris] per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 191. Aspin's book reappeared in 1835 as Ancient Customs, Sports, Pastimes of the English, with the same material on ball play. Note: Are later games mentioned or listed by Aspin?

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1825 - Base Ball Called One of the College Sports as Early as 1825.

    1825.5

    "What we know as Base Ball was played in its primitive form as far back as the beginning of the last [19th] century, and many of the oldest inhabitants remember seeing it played. It was one of the college sports as early as 1825."

    Francis C. Richter, Richter's History and Records of Base Ball; The American Nation's Chief Sport [McFarland, 2005], page 4. Originally published in 1914. Cited as Richter, History and Records , page 12, by Harold Seymour - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Seymour notes that Richter was editor of Sporting Life in 1906.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Wicket Bat Reportedly Long [and Still?] Held in Deerfield MA Collection

    1825.8

    The Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association reported that, as of 1908, it retained a wicket bat dating from 1825-30. Submitted by John Thorn, 1/13/2007. Note: John is trying to ascertain whether the bat remains in the collection.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Ballplaying Planned on Saturdays in Hartford CT

    1825.9

    "BALL PLAYING: There will be Ball playing in Washington Street, a few rods South of the College, every Saturday afternoon, through the season, the weather permitting, Bats Balls and Refreshments provided by Emmons Rudge." American Mercury [Hartford CT] , April 12, 1825. Submitted by John Thorn, 9/29/2006.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Thurlow Weed Plays Base-Ball in Rochester NY

    1825c.1

    "A baseball club, numbering nearly fifty members, met every afternoon during the ball playing season. Though the members of the club embraced persons between eighteen and forty, it attracted the young and old. The ball ground, containing some eight or ten acres, known as Mumford's meadow . . . ." Weed goes on to list prominent local professional people, including doctors and lawyers, among the players.

    Weed, Thurlow, Life of Thurlow Weed [Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1883], volume 1, p. 203. Per RH ref # 159.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Rochester Senior: "How the Game of Ball Was Played"

    1825c.12

    Writing in 1866, a man ("W") in Rochester NY described the game he had played "forty years since." That game featured balls made from raveled woolen stockings and covered by a shoemaker, a softer ball - "not as hard as a brick" than the NY ball, no fixed team size, soft tosses from the pitcher who took no run-up, "tick" hitting, the bound rule, plugging, a mix of flat and round bats. He suggests organizing a throw-back game to show 1860's youth "what grey heads can do."

    "W," "The Game of Base Ball in the Olden Time," Rochester Evening Express (July 10, 1866), page 3, column 4. Provided by Priscilla Astifan, 2006. To read the full text, go here. Note: the writer does not say where he played these games, mentioning that he moved to Rochester three years before.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Future Ohio Governor is "Best Ball Player at the College"

    1825c.14

    John Brough was the Governor of Ohio from 1864 to 1865. At the age of 11 his father died and he took on work as a type-setter. In 1825 he "entered the Ohio University, at Athens, where he pursued a scientific course, with the addition of Latin . . . . He was fleet of foot and the best ball player at college."

    Whitelaw Reid, Ohio in the War: Her Statesmen, Generals and Soldiers Volume 1 (Moore Wilstach and Baldwin, Cincinnati, 1868), page 1022. Accessed 2/5/10 via Google Books search ("ohio in the war"). Athens OH is in Eastern Ohio near the WV border, and about 70 miles SE of Columbus.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - John Oliver Plays Base Ball in Baltimore

    1825c.4

    "John W. Oliver recalls having baseball in Baltimore, Maryland. His family moved from England when he was three. "He remembers very distinctly having played the game of Base Ball when a boy. He states that his earliest recollection of the playing of the game was when he was about ten years of age, and at that time the game was played in this manner: The batter held the ball in one hand and a flat stick in the other, tossed the ball into the air and hit on the return, and then ran to either one, two, or three bases depending on the number of boys playing the game. If the ball was caught on the fly or the batter hit with the ball while running the bases, he was out. These bases, so called, at that time, were either stones or pieces of sod was removed [sic], or bare places where grass was scraped off. He remembers seeing the game played frequently while an apprentice boy, but always in this manner, never with a pitcher or a catcher, but sometimes with sides, which were chosen somewhat in the manner in which they are now chosen by boys; that is, by one catching a bat in his hand and another placing his hand on top, alternating in this manner until the last one had hold of the end of the bat, which he swung around his head. I never saw the game played with stakes or poles used for bases instead of stones or sods. Never heard of a game of Rounders. One Old Cat, Two Old Cat, Three Old Cat have seen played, but never have taken part in it myself."

    Full text of Mills Commission summary of information from John W. Oliver, Editor, Yonkers Statesman, under date of September 26, 1905. From the Giamatti Center at Cooperstown. Note: we wish we could ascertain what were Oliver's own words, given the artlessness of this summary. Oliver was about 90 when debriefed in 1905.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - Cricket Played at Southern Outings

    1825c.6

    In the South, "cricket was played even at the end of house raisings and trainings. The game was played along with quoits and other games of skill and strength. Parties were formed to go on fishing trips and picnics, and during the outing, cricket was one of the games played." Jennie Holliman, American Sports 1785 - 1835 (Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975), page 68.

    Holliman here cites The American Farmer, vol. 8, no 143 (1825), which John Thorn found online [email of 2/9/2008], and which does not make a strong case for cricket's ubiquity. This piece suggests that an ideal way to spend a Saturday near Baltimore is to have a fishing contest until dinnertime, and "after dinner pitch quoits, or play at cricket, or bowl at nine-pins." "Sporting Olio," American Farmer, Containing Original Essays and Selections on Rural Economics, July 22, 1825, page 143.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1825 - American Chapbook Reprises Couplets on Cricket, Trap-ball

    1825c.7

    Sports and Pastimes for Children [Baltimore, F. Lucas, Jr.], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 191. The verse for cricket and trap-ball is taken from the English Juvenile Pastimes [1824, above].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1829 - Philadelphians Play Ball

    1829.1

    A group of Philadelphians who may eventually organize as the Olympic Ball Club begin playing town ball in Philadelphia, PA, but are prohibited from doing so within the city limits by ordinances dating to Colonial times. A site in Camden, New Jersey is used to avoid breaking the laws in Philadelphia. Caution: this unsourced item, retained from the original chronology of 70 items, has been seriously questioned by a researcher familiar with Philadelphia ballplaying. This group may correspond to the eighteen ropemakers whose ball play is cited in “A Word Fitly Spoken,” published in The American Sunday School Magazine of January 1830, pp. 3-5.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

Legend

Note: ID numbers for milestone entries include the (often approximated) year of the observation, followed by serial number reflecting the order it was added. A date is approximated when an ID is denoted with a "C".