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Base-ball Recalled at New York's Battery Grounds

Salience Noteworthy
Tags College, Pre-Knicks NYC, Pre-modern Rules
Location NY
City/State/Country: New York, NY, United States
Game Base-Ball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Youth

"Of those [students] of Columbia, I write advisedly - they were not members of a boat club, base-ball, or foot-ball team. On Saturday afternoons, in the fall of the year, a few students would meet in the 'hollow' on the Battery, and play an irregular game of football . . . As this 'hollow' was the locale of base-ball, "marbles," etc., and as it has long since been obliterated, and in its existence was the favorite resort of schoolboys and all others living in the lower part of the city, it is worthy of record"

Haswell recalls the Battery grounds as "very nearly the entire area bounded by Whitehall and State Streets, the sea wall line, and a line about two hundred feet to the west; it was of an uniform grade, fully five feet below that of the street, it was nearly uniform in depth, and as regular in its boundary as a dish."



Charles Haswell, Reminiscences of an Octogenarian of the City of New York (1816 to 1860) (Harper and Brothers, New York, 1896), pages 81-82. Citation supplied by John Thorn, email of 2/3/2008. Accessed 2/4/10 via Google Books search <octogenarian 1816>.

Discussed in John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden: The Secret History of the Early Game (Simon and Shuster, 2011), p. 62.  For a 2009 discussion of available knowledge about US baseball history prior to the Knickerbockers,  see John Thorn, "Origins of the New York Game," Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, vol. 3, no. 21 (Fall 2009), pp. 105-125.  


Haswell was 87 years old when this account was published in 1896.

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Submitted by John Thorn
Submission Note Email of 2/3/2008


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