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Revising Baseball's History

Discussion in 'Sports Forum' started by robycop3, Mar 15, 2011.

  1. robycop3

    robycop3 Well-Known Member
    Site Supporter

    Jul 31, 2000
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    On Mar. 1, John Thorn was named baseball's new official historian, & his research into the origin of the game has uncovered.

    Many believe it was invented by Abner Doubleday(1819-1893) who invented it at Cooperstown in 1839, but at that time, he was a cadet at West point. However, there IS a possibility that another "Abner", a common surname in that time/place, was a noted baseball player. (There's NO record that Doubleday, a career soldier, ever played baseball.) Doubleday fired the first shot in defense of Ft. Sumter, & was pivotal on the first day of the Battle of Gettysburg, when he found himself in command of 1 Corps when its commander, Gen. Reynolds, was killed. His corps of some 9500 men held off some 16000 Confederates long enough 4 the resta the army 2 take up its famed defensive positions outsida town.

    After retiring from the army in 1873, Doubleday became a prolific writer. This, plus his Civil War service, made him fairly famous in the late 19th century. But he never mentioned baseball whatsoever in any of his writings.

    Early in his military career, he did some surveying work. This coulda also started the baseball legend about him. But it appears that,in reality, he had nothingta do with baseball. It's unknown nif he ever attended a game.

    OTOH, another "inventor", Alexander Cartwright(1820-1892), most certainly DID play baseball. However, his first "love" was firefighting. Along with some others, he formed the Knickerbockers Base Ball Club in 1842, from firemen in his Knickerbocker Engine Company. With Cartwright as "chairman", they drew up some rules & refined the childrens' game of "town ball" into a more-disciplined game played by adults.

    There were enough firemen & locals 2 keep play within the club 4 several years, & it was not until 1846 that the Knicks played against another club, under their rules, the "New York Nine", who walloped the Knicks, 21 to 1.

    Cartwright became a "49er" during the Ca. gold rush, but ended up in Hawaii, where he organized the first Honolulu Fire Dept. & served as its chied for 13 years. There's no record of his having had anything 2 do with baseball there, where he spent the resta his life. However, Congress officially recognized him as the inventor of modern baseball in 1953.

    Mr. Thorn has added the names Daniel Lucius Adams, William Rufus Wheaton and Louis Fenn Wadsworth 2 the mix, who were teammates/firemen with Cartwright, suggesting those men had been playing games under those rules before Cartwright headed the committee that wrote the rules. Thorn believes Wadsworth actually laid out the infield in its diamond shape.These men continued 2 organize/play baseball after Cartwright headed west, but their names became lost in the mix as baseball's popularity took off.

    Mr. Thorn is seeking proper recognition 4 them, & seeking 2 end the Doubleday baseball legend.

    Here R the original rules as written by Cartwright & associates:

    1. Members must strictly observe the time agreed upon for exercise and be punctual in their attendance.

    2. When assembled for practice, The President, or Vice President in his absence, shall appoint an umpire, who shall keep the game in a book provided for that purpose, and note all violations of the By-Laws and Rules during the time of exercise.

    3. The presiding officer shall designate two members as captains, who shall retire and make the match to be played, observing at the same time the players put opposite each other should be as nearly equal as possible; the choice of the two sides to be then tossed for, and the first in hand to be decided in a like manner.

    4. The bases shall be from "home" to second base, 42 paces; from first base to third base, 42 paces, equidistant.

    5. No stump match shall be played on a regular day of exercise.

    6. If there should not be a sufficient number of members of the club present at the time agreed upon to commence exercise, gentlemen not members may be chosen in to make up the match, which shall not be broken up to take in members that may afterwards appear; but in all cases, members shall have the preference, when present at the making of the match.

    7. If members appear after the game is commenced they may be chosen in if mutually agreed upon.

    8. The game to consist of 21 counts, or aces; but at the conclusion of an equal number of hands must be played.

    9. The ball must be pitched, and not thrown, for the bat.

    10. A ball knocked out of the field, or outside the range of first or third base, is foul.

    11. Three balls being struck at and missed and the last one caught is a hand out; if not caught is considered fair, and a striker is bound to run.

    12. A ball being struck or tipped and caught either flying or on the first bound is a hand out.

    13. A player running the base shall be out, if the ball is in the hands of an adversary on the base, or the runner is touched with it before he makes his base; it being understood, however, that in no instance is a ball to be thrown at him.

    14. A player running who shall prevent an adversary from catching or getting the ball before making his base is a hand out.

    15. Three hands out, all out.

    16. Players must take their strike in a regular turn.

    17. All disputes and differences relative to the game, to be determined by the Umpire, from which there is no appeal.

    18. No ace or base can be made on a foul strike.

    19. A runner cannot be put out in making one base, when a balk is made by the pitcher.

    20. But one base allowed when a ball bounds out of the field when struck.

    (A "hand" is a half-inning, an "ace" is a run scored, a turn at-bat was often called a "strike".)
    #1 robycop3, Mar 15, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2011
  2. Andy T.

    Andy T. New Member

    Apr 8, 2005
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    Interesting stuff...