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Newell Sees Baseball's Roots in MA

Salience Noteworthy

Writing on early baseball in the year 1883, W. W. Newell says:

"The present scientific game . . . was known in Massachusetts, twenty years ago, as the 'New York game.' A ruder form of Base-ball has been played in some Massachusetts towns for a century; while in other parts of New England no game with the ball was formerly known except "Hockey." There was great local variety in these sports."

Newell, William W., Games and Songs of American Children (Dover, New York, 1963 - originally published 1883) page 184. Note: The omission of wicket - and arguably cricket - from Newell's account is interesting here. The claim that hockey was seen as a ball game is also interesting.


The early forms of "hockey" (aka Bandy) were what we today would call Field Hockey, and WERE played with a ball rather than a puck. See Giden et al., "On the Origin of Hockey" [ba]

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