Chronology:Indiana

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1850s.42 Indianans Play Town Ball, Two Old Cat

Location:

Indiana

Age of Players:

Juvenile

"There were several games of ball played when the weather would permit.  The first was town ball and was played somewhat after the style of baseball, but without outfielders.  The bases were much nearer together than in baseball.  There is no question that baseball is an outgrowth of the old town ball.

"Another ball game was called 'Two Old Cat,' in which there was a batter at each end, and when one of them hit they exchanged places, and either could be put out before he reached the other plate.  As I remember only four could play at once."

Sources:

 

Judge Ivory George Kimball, Recollections from a  Busy Life 1843 to 1911 (The Carnahan Press, 1912), page 31. Reported in Originals, volume 4, number 11 (November 2011), page 3.

Comment:

Finder Tom Altherr asks whether there are other known examples of town ball lacking outfielders.   One possibility is that the use of a soft ball and young batsmen combined to make long hits so rare as not needing an outfield.

Decade
1850s
Item
1850s.42
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1860.33 Base Ball Beats Football to South Bend IN

Location:

Indiana

Game:

Base Ball

"In 1860, South Bend was introduced to baseball for the first time and since then has continued to play the game as both an amateur and professional sport. . . .Area businessman Henry Benjamin introduced baseball to the city, forming a union which has lasted 125 years. . . . Benjamin decided to hold tryouts in the spring of 1860 to select South Bend's first organized team. That first team was called the Hoosiers. The Hoosiers were active as a team from 1860 to 1863."

 

Sources:

John M. Kovach, From Goosepasture to Greenstockings: South Bend Baseball 1860 - 1890 (Greenstocking Press, South Bend, 1985), pages 4-6. (no ref. given). Accessed at the Giamatti Center at the Hall of Fame.

Year
1860
Item
1860.33
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1860.35 All-Out-Side-Out Town Ball Played in Indiana

Location:

Indiana

Game:

Town Ball

Age of Players:

Adult

"Town Ball at Evansville, Ind. - A match of Town Ball was contested between the married and single members of the Evansville [IN] Town Ball Club, on the 26th ult. [5-inning box score is presented.] The correspondent, to whom we are indebted for the above report, says that the rules and regulations of the game of town ball, vary a great deal. There, an innings is not concluded until all are out . . . The club, it is thought, will adopt base ball rules, such as are played in the East." 

Sources:

New York Clipper, facsimile from the Mears Collection (date omitted from scrapbook source, confirmed as June 9, 1860

Comment:

Evansville is in southernmost IN, near the Kentucky border.

Year
1860
Item
1860.35
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