1830s.22

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Ballplaying Recurs in Abolitionist's Life -- From Age 10 to Harvard

Salience Noteworthy
Tags College, Famous, Harvard College
City/State/Country: Cambridge, MA, United States
Game Cricket, Wicket
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Text

You may think of Thomas Wentworth Higginson [b. 1823] as a noted abolitionist, or as the mentor of Emily Dickinson, but he was also a ballplayer and sporting advocate [see also #1858.17]. Higginson's autobiography includes several glimpses of MA ballplaying:

- at ten he knew many Harvard students - "their nicknames, their games, their individual haunts, we watched them at football and cricket [page 40]"

- at his Cambridge school "there was perpetual playing of ball and fascinating running games [page 20]".

- he and his friends "played baseball and football, and a modified cricket, and on Saturdays made our way to the tenpin alleys [page 36]".

- once enrolled at Harvard College [Class of 1841] himself, he used "the heavy three-cornered bats and large balls of the game we called cricket [page 60]." Note: sounds a bit like wicket?

- in his early thirties he was president of a cricket club [and a skating club and a gymnastics club] in Worcester MA. [Pages 194-195]

See also #1858.17

Sources

Source: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1898). Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), pages 33-34 and ref #29. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for <cheerful yesterdays>.

 

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