1850s.24

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In NYC - Did "Plugging" Actually Persist to the mid-1850s?

Salience Noteworthy
Location New York City
Game Rounders, Base Ball
Text

John Thorn feels that "while the Knick rules of September 23, 1845 (and, by William R. Wheaton's report in 1887, the Gothams practice in the 1830s and 1840s) outlawed plugging/soaking a runner in order to retire him, other area clubs were slow to pick up the point."


"Henry Chadwick wrote to the editor of the New York Sun, May 14, 1905: 'It happens that the only attractive feature of the rounders game is this very point of 'shying' the ball at the runners, which so tickled Dick Pearce [in the early 1850s, when he was asked to go out to Bedford to see a ball club at play]. In fact, it was not until the '50s that the rounders point of play in question was eliminated from the rules of the game, as played at Hoboken from 1845 to1857.'"
 

"The Gotham and the Eagle adopted the Knick rules by 1854 . . . but other
clubs may not have done so till '57."

Sources

Henry Chadwick, letter to the editor, New York Sun, May 14, 1905.  See also John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden (Simon and Schuster, 2011), page 112.

Query

We invite further discussion on this point. The text of the Wheaton letter is found at entry #1837.1 above.

Submitted by John Thorn



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