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1846.22 Loss of "Fine Grassy Fields" for Base Ball and Quoits is Decried in Manhattan
Manhattan, New York
"The heavy rain-storm has taken off every vestige of snow in the upper part of the city, and the ground is settling and verging into a tolerable walking condition. A casual glance at the region between 23d and 40th streets yesterday, convinced us that the usual spring business in the way of Sunday amusements is to open on the most extensive scale in the course of a few weeks. Play-grounds, however, are becoming scarce below 40th street, and "the boys" are consequently driven further out. The city authorities (Corporations have no souls) are tearing down, filling up, grading and extending streets each way from the Fifth Avenue, and have destroyed all the fine grassy fields where the rising generation once set their bounds for base-ball and quoit-pitching. Some were there, yesterday, in spite of soft turf and little of it, trying their favorite games."
New York True Sun March 15, 1846
From finder Richard Hershberger:
"This is consistent with Peverelly's account, which has the proto-Knickerbockers playing at 27th street 1842-43, moving to Murray Hill (which is what, around 34th Street?) in 1844, and throwing in the towel and going to New Jersey in 1845. My guess is that this provoked the formation of the club, since the Elysian Fields ground needed to be paid for, with the club the vehicle for doing this."