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Bat/Ball Game Depicted in Children's Amusements
|Tags||Chapbooks for Juveniles, HazardChapbooks for Juveniles, Hazard|
|Immediacy of Report||Contemporary|
|Age of Players||JuvenileJuvenile|
A woodcut illustration of boys playing with a bat and ball appears in a book entitled Children's Amusements . The book contains an illustration of ball playing (page 9) and this text (page 10):
"Playing ball is much practised by school boys and is an excellent exercise to unbend the mind, and restore to the body that elasticity and spring which the close application to sedentary employment in their studies within doors, has a tendency to clog, dull or blunt. But, when practised as is the common method, with a club or bat great care is necessary, as sometimes sad accidents have happened, by its slipping from the hand, or hitting some of their fellows. We would therefore, recommend Fives as a safer play in which the club is not used and which is equally good for exercise. The writer of this, beside other sad hurts which he has been witness of in the use of clubs, knew a youth who had his skull broke badly with one, and it nearly cost him his life."
Children's Amusements, [New York, Samuel Wood, 1820], p. 9.
David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 188, adds that it is unusual among chapbooks as "more space and detail are devoted to "playing ball" than to cricket, which at the time was a more established game."
While the text does not explicitly mention or show base-running, David Block thinks of this as an early account of English base ball.Edit with form to add a comment
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