1820s.9

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In Middletown CT, "Wicket" Recalled, but Not Base Ball.

Salience Noteworthy
City/State/Country: Middletown, CT, United States
Game Wicket
Age of Players Juvenile, Youth
Text

"[In the summer] ball was the chief amusement, and if the weather permitted (and my impression is that it generally did permit) the open green about the meeting-house and the school-house was constantly occupied by the players, little boys, big boys, and even men (for such we considered the biggest boys who consented to join the game) . . . . These grown-up players usually devoted themselves to a game called 'wicket,' in which the ball was impelled along the ground by a wide, peculiarly-shaped bat, over, under, or through a wicket, made by a slender stick resting on two supports.  I never heard of baseball in those days."   -- John Howard Redfield

Sources

Delaney, ed., Life in the Connecticut River Valley 1800 - 1840 from the Recollections of John Howard Redfield (Connecticut River Museum, Essex CT, 1988), p. 35. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It, pp. 246-247 and ref #86.

Comment

The description of field play of wicket seems a little odd; as if the stick-handlers's aim was to score by dislodging a wicket, and thus resembling field hockey. Were two separate games conflated in memory? 

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