Property:Digger Activity

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Pages using the property "Digger Activity"

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Bruce Allardice, June 2013 +<p><strong><em>Bruce Allardice</em></strong>’s paper on the spread of modern base ball in the American south has won a 2013 McFarland Award for the best history or biography for 2012.  The article, “The Inauguration  of This Noble and Manly Game Among Us,” appeared in <em>Base Ball’s</em> Fall 2012 issue (volume 6, number 2, pages 51-69).  Bruce uses extensive newly-found newspaper and other sources to dispel myths about the neglect of base ball by southerners and about the relative importance of northern influences in the spread of modern base ball in the South from 1859 on.  One judge wrote:   “Here's a very well researched piece that takes on the long-established ‘prison camp’ theory of dissemination. It represents exactly what we are looking for in an award winner; well written, thoughtful, convincing, and one that makes you wonder why this hadn't been proven before. It breaks new ground and should be cited for a long time to come.”</p>
Bruce Allardice, October 2013 +<p><strong>New Charting of Base Ball’s Spread, 1859-1870</strong></p> <p>Bruce Allardice has traced and charted the growth of base ball in the US from 1859 to 1870 as it is presently captured on the PBall site. See,_1859_-_1870. These data clearly show the moderating effect of the Civil War on (non-soldierly) ballplaying, and the dramatic "Base Ball Fever" spread of the game to new areas right after the war.</p> <p><em>Note:</em> A few Protoballers are venturing to chart the modern game’s earliest growth, from 1843 to 1859. Wish us luck as we try to determine which ones of the reported games were really played by modern rules.</p>


Craig Waff, December 2008 +<p>Craig has compiled an initial table of known “base ball” games – including those played by New York and Massachusetts rules and town ball games in Philadelphia and Cincinnati – played in the 1845 to 1860 period.  The table includes about 1000 games, about three times the number to be found in Peverelly (1866) and in Wright [2000], and incorporates generous samplings of text from newspaper accounts for many of them.  See his [[Games Tabulation]], which has links to lists for the greater New York area and 18 other regions.  For each game Craig supplies the date, location, source, and any significant game account excerpts.</p> <p>In the process of amassing the mega-table, Craig has found newspaper accounts of three early triple plays and what may be the first “over-the-fence” home run.  Craig is now researching the 1860 tours of the Brooklyn Excelsiors and is preparing essays on the Atlantic, Star, and Enterprise teams of Brooklyn for the Pioneer Project.</p>
Craig Waff, January 2008 +<p><span>Trained in the history of science, Craig is focusing for now on early ball in </span>New York<span> and </span>Brooklyn<span>, and on games played on ice skates in the mid-1800s.</span><span>  </span><span>He has been using the online databases of the </span><em>New York Times</em><span> and </span><em>Brooklyn Daily Eagle</em><span> to not only track the development of interest in astronomy in New York City and Brooklyn in the late 19th century, but also to collect systematically, for the PROTOBALL archives, copies of all baseball-related articles that appeared in these newspapers up to 1860.</span><span>  </span><span>During that search he discovered what may be the first recorded triple play </span>(occurring on 16 April 1859)<span>.</span><span>  </span><span>He is also researching the winter baseball games played with skates on ice from 1860 to 1887.</span><span><br /></span></p>
Craig Waff, May 2011 +<div class="source">[[Craig Waff]] contributed two essays to the <em>Special Protoball Issue</em> of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Base Ball </span>the spring:</div> <ul> <li> <div class="source">"<a title="1856 -- The New York Game in 1856: Poised for a National Launch">1856 -- The New York Game in 1856: Poised for a National Launch</a>."  <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Base Ball</span>. <strong>5</strong>(1):   114 - 117 (co-written with [[Larry McCray]].</div> </li> <li>"<a title="1860 -- Atlantics and Excelsiors Compete for the "Championship"">1860 -- Atlantics and Excelsiors Compete for the "Championship"</a>."  <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Base Ball</span>. <strong>5</strong>(1):   139 - 142.</li> </ul>
César Gonzalez, January 2008 +<p><span>César is exploring the origins of baseball in Mexico and Cuba.  His article “A New Perspective on Mexican Baseball Origins” appeared in the inaugural issue of <em>Base Ball.</em><br /></span></p>
César Gonzalez, January 2013 +<p>César introduced several new finds in his “March, Conquest, and Play Ball: The Game in the Mexican-American War, 1846-1848,” Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, volume 5, number 1 (Fall 2011), pp 13 – 22.</p>


Dan Selz, March 2007 +<p><span>Dan and associates are collecting information for a prospective documentary on the meaning of baseball for localities.</span><span>  </span><span>They have interviewed [[Priscilla Astifan]] about events in early </span>Rochester<span>.</span></p>
Daniel Biddle, December 2008 +<p>Daniel is completing a book with [[Murray Dubin]] on the civil rights movement in the US in the 19<sup>th</sup> century, tentatively titled <em>There Must Come a Change: Murder, Baseball and the Battle for Equality in Civil War America</em><strong>. </strong> The book, slated for 2010 release, will include a chapter covering black baseball and the effort to integrate pro baseball in the late 1860s by the Pythians in Philadelphia and what may be the first game between whites and blacks, played in 1869.</p>
David Arcidiacono, March 2007 +<p><span>David has been looking to confirm the report that baseball gloves were first used in an 1858 Massachusetts-rule game.</span><span>  </span><span>Old-timers later recalled that a ball with a bullet core was put in play, and that players then donned gloves to protect their hands.</span><span>  </span><span>Contemporary accounts haven’t yet confirmed this story.</span></p>
David Block, December 2008 +<p><span>David contributed an article to the spring 2008 issue of </span><em>Base Ball</em><span> on what is recognized as the earliest appearance of the word “base-ball,” the John Newbery’s 1744 </span><em>Little Pretty Pocket-Book.</em><span>  </span><span>David examines some remaining mysteries of this source (which gives us that ringing phrase, “the next destin’d post”) including whether we can claim 1744 as the year “base-ball” first saw print when no editions of the book are available prior to 1760, and whether the absence of a bat in the relevant woodcut means that the bat hadn’t yet joined the game – one can, of course, “bat” a ball with one’s hands, and the text only refers to a ball that is “struck off.”</span></p>
David Block, January 2013 +<p>David, a member of the MLB Committee on Origins, worked with Committee chair John Thorn to establish a record of the spread of baseball to foreign countries.  He continues to deepen his research on English base-ball from the 1740s to 1900.  He has now amassed about 150 references to the game.  He continues to doubt that a bat was uniformly used in early English base ball.</p>
David Block, June 2013 +<p><strong><em>David Block</em></strong> has found a new reference to English base ball dating to 1749.  He notes that it is the first known base ball game involving mature adults.  The only earlier references, believed to be printed in the 1744 first edition of the <em>Little Pretty Pocketbook </em>and a reported reference to play within the English royal family written by Lady Hervey in 1748, depicted juvenile play.  We learn of this fresh find in the June 12 issue of the <em>Daily Telegraph</em> in Britain.</p>
David Block, May 2011 +<div class="source">[[David Block]] contributed two essays to the "<em>Special Protoball is of <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Base Ball</span></em>," Guest-edited by Protoball functionary Larry McCray: </div> <div class="source"> </div> <ul> <li> <div class="source"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">"<a title="1609: Polish Workers Play Ball at Jamestown, Virginia: An Early Hint of Europe's Influence On Base Ball">1609: Polish Workers Play Ball at Jamestown, Virginia: An Early Hint of Europe's Influence On Base Ball</a>."  Base Ball. <strong>5</strong>(1):   5 - 9.</span></div> </li> </ul> <ul> <li> <div class="source"><span style="text-decoration: underline;">"<a title="1796 -- German Book Describes Das Englisch Base-ball: But Was It Baseball or Rounders?">1796 -- German Book Describes Das Englisch Base-ball: But Was It Baseball or Rounders?</a>."  Base Ball. <strong>5</strong>(1):   50 - 54.</span></div> <div class="source"> </div> </li> </ul> <p class="source" style="text-align: justify;"> </p> <div class="source"> </div> <div class="source"> </div>
David Block, November 2013 +<p>For a recent feature article on David by ESPN writer Brian Curtis, go to <a href=""></a>.  It describes "How one man is rewriting the history of the game — one diary at a time."</p>
David Block, October 2013 +<p><strong>Article Lauds David Block, Our Own "Karate-Chopper" of Base Ball Lore</strong></p> <p>A long, wry, and fairly reverent article on the amazing David Block can be found at</p> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"></span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">. </span></p> <p>Bryan Curtis’ "In Search of Baseball’s Holy Grail: How One Man is Rewriting the History of the Game – One Diary at a Time," was posted at the Grantland site on September 18, 2013.</p> <p>Protoball’s favorite nuggets from the Curtis article:</p> <p>[] "In a just world, Block would be an archeological hero. What Bill James did for 20th -century baseball, Block is doing for 18th-century baseball."</p> <p>[] "Said Tom Shieber . . . [David’s book] ‘Baseball Before We Knew It and its aftermath is to me probably the single most important baseball research of the last 50 years, if not more.’"</p> <p>[] "’When David started his work and I started my work, this [topic of origins] was the dark side of the moon,’ said [John] Thorn."</p> <p>[] "Block had confirmed that the Doubleday theory was bunk. But he had also discovered that the rounders theory was bunk. Everything we knew about baseball’s parentage was wrong."</p> <p>[] "Block is being painfully modest. Let me be immodest on his behalf. Block is a scholar on a lonely frontier. He is karate-chopping the wisdom of the ages. "</p> <p>Protoball later asked the author about the response to the article. Bryan Curtis’ reply: "The Block article attracted a very large amount of attention--larger, in fact, than my typical articles about star players. Which was wonderful, because David's more interesting than most of them."</p>
David Nevard, March 2007 +<p>David has researched and written <em>Wikipedia</em> pieces on [ Town Ball] and [ the Massachusetts Game], and has also written a brief overview of the class of safe haven games for the site.  Next: he will try to understand, and explain, what those “old-cat” games were all about.</p>
Debbie Shattuck, August 2013 +<p>On July 19, <strong><em>Deb Shattuck</em></strong> presented “Bloomer Girls:  Women Baseball Pioneers” at the Triple Play Baseball Festival at Yachats on the Oregon Coast. The presentation is based on her forthcoming dissertation at the U of Iowa.  The festival was the work of former MLB pitcher -- and geneticist -- Dave Baldwin.</p>
Debbie Shattuck, February 2013 +<p><strong><em><span style="text-decoration: underline;">[[Debbie Shattuck]]</span></em></strong> is at work on her book-length dissertation, <span style="text-decoration: underline;">Bloomer Girls: Women Baseball Pioneers.</span>  She has upcoming talks on women and early base ball in Cleveland, in Madison County, New York, and in St. Louis this year.</p>
Debbie Shattuck, June 2013 +<p><strong><em>Debbie Shattuck’s</em></strong> initial <em>NDPost</em> offering on the distaff side of ballplaying appears in the June 2013 issue of the <em>Next Destin'd Post</em>.  She is working to publish her forthcoming thesis on women baseball pioneers with the University of Illinois Press, with a target date of 2015.</p>
Debbie Shattuck, October 2013 +<p><strong>Deb Shattuck’s Online Talk about Women and Base Ball</strong></p> <p>Deb Shattuck’s thesis work on the history of women’s base ball continues, and you can see a lot of it at</p> <p><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"><span style="font-family: Times New Roman,Times New Roman; font-size: medium;"></span></span><span style="font-size: medium;">. This 80-minute talk includes much new information on female play prior to 1870, some of it altogether new to Protoball. Deb writes: "my talk was a compilation of the work done by those before me (David Block, Dorothy Mills, John Thorn, and the many contributors to the Protoball and 19cBB group) who have generously shared their research findings with me and other researchers. When I finally finish my book (later this year, fingers crossed) I hope to make my research available to as wide an audience as possible. I will begin by filling in the blanks on the Protoball site; after that I hope to work with SABR and the Women in BB Committee to create a searchable database of every female player and team we can find." </span></p> <p>Deb’s talk, "Bloomer Girls," was delivered on July 19 at the Yachats Academy of Arts and Sciences on the Oregon Coast. Her forthcoming PhD dissertation at the U of Iowa covers women base ball pioneers.</p>
Dennis Pajot, December 2008 +<p><span>Dennis is working on a monograph on the history of baseball in </span>Milwaukee<span> from its earliest appearance in the late 1850s.</span><span>  </span><em>The Rise of Milwaukee Baseball: The Cream City from Midwestern Outpost to the Major Leagues, 1859-1901 </em><span>is slotted for publication by McFarland in 2009.</span></p>
Dorothy Seymour Mills, October 2013 +<p><strong>Dorothy Mills’ Recent Contributions</strong></p> <p>Dorothy Seymour Mills is publishing "Who Ever Heard of a Girls’ Baseball Club?" She writes: "Everyone needs to know that women and girls have been part of the baseball culture as long as men and boys – and not just as fans, but as players, umpires, and even club owners." The electronic book’s title is taken from a writer who "didn’t realize that girls and women have been playing baseball since at least the 1860s – in long skirts, of course."</p> <p>Dorothy has been asked to submit four articles on baseball history to the National Pastime Museum’s website at The first one, "Those Nimble American Girls," should appear shortly.</p>


Eric Miklich, December 2008 +<p><span>Eric joined the Vintage Base Ball Association’s Rules and Interpretations Committee in summer 2008.</span><span>  </span><span>He remains active in </span>Bethpage<span> </span>NY<span>’s 19</span><sup>th</sup><span> Century Base Ball Program, the oldest in the </span>US<span>.</span><span>  </span><span>Eric’s fine website, </span><a href=""></a><span>, has several items pertinent to the origins of base ball, including a detailed listing of rule changes starting in 1854, the early evolution of ballplaying equipment, and treatment of the baseball’s predecessor games.</span></p>
Eric Miklich, January 2008 +<p>Eric, author of a compendium of 19th Century rule changes, is currently researching information on the history of pitching deliveries for an article for his website, <a href=""></a>.  Eric is hoping to release a new book on base ball in the 1860’s by next summer.  This book, written in part with the perspective of someone with extensive VBB experience, will offer suggestions of why certain rules evolved as they did.</p>
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