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Old 07-16-2004, 10:47 AM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: Rob L

I just got the new "National Pastime" and there was an incredible article by Randall Brown titled "How Baseball Began". Has anyone else seen it?

The article first summarizes a San Francisco newspaper article from 1887 titled "How Baseball Began - A Member of the Gotham Club of Fifty Years Ago Tells About It". That member is William Wheaton, a lawyer that was played with the Knickerbockers. According to the article, Wheaton, along with several other older Knickerbockers, played on the Gotham Base Ball Club in 1837 and it was actually the first organized baseball club. The rules stopped the use of "soaking" a base runner and required that they be tagged out at the bag or on the run. They formed the diamond and used bases made with sandbags. Balls were pitched instead of thrown to an area that the batter chose. After a few months of play, Wheaton apparently wrote the rules down.

The original newspaper article had enough detail for Randall Brown to research and confirm much of the information. According to Doc Adams, a Knickerbocker president at one time "some of the younger members of the New York Club (Gotham) got together to form the Knickerbocker club".

A very interesting article that, if true, even predates the Abner Doubleday myth.

Rob L

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Old 07-16-2004, 01:44 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: jay behrens

I've had my copy for several weeks and it was the first article I read. I was also aware of the info as it was widely discussed on the 19c mailing list. If you haven't signed up for any of the email lists, you should. The wealth of new information that is put forth is staggering.

Jay

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Old 07-16-2004, 06:10 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: Rob L

which mailing lists are you talking about? This type of story is pretty incredible. Too bad the media was making a big deal recently about the term base ball used in the late 1700s, when this is the real deal.

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Old 07-16-2004, 06:46 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: Paul

Sounds like Wheaton should replace Alexander Cartwright in the Hall of Fame. I know Cartwright did a lot to spread the game across the country and into Hawaii, but I thought his major claim to fame was writing down the first set of modern rules.

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Old 07-16-2004, 07:21 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: Max Weder

Rob L


Since it looks like you're already a SABR member, you can join the 19th century list by going to Yahoo and following the instructions from this link: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/19cBB/

The list is only open to SABR members, and is reason enough alone to join SABR (http://www.sabr.org)

Max

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Old 07-16-2004, 07:47 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: Hal Lewis

and I am awaiting permission from Paul Wendt to join the discussion group!

See you there, Max!

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Old 07-16-2004, 10:06 PM
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Default Interesting Article in SABR's National Pastime

Posted By: jay behrens

The SABR website should have contacts and info how to join all the various groups and their mailing lists.

Jay

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