1836.11

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Recollections of a Jersey City Boy

Salience Noteworthy
Location Jersey City
City/State/Country: Jersey City, NJ, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Youth
Text

From John Thorne, July 28, 2015:

"This just in from Ben Zimmer, a Facebook friend who writes for the Wall 
Street Journal. Important, I think.

You might be interested in another early baseball example -- it's from 
the Jersey Journal from Jersey City (where I live!), written in 1871 but 
recalling a protoball club of the 1830s:

Jersey Journal, Dec. 13, 1871, p. 1, col. 3
"Recollections of a Jersey City Boy, No. 3."
While here let me say to the Champion Base Ball Club, for their 
information, that in eighteen hundred and thirty-six and seven we had a 
base ball club that could not be beaten. It was composed of such men as 
Jerry O'Meara, Peter Bentley, J.C. Morgan, Jos. G. Edge, &c....
I would rather get hit by any member of the club than by Bentley, for he 
was a south-paw or left-hander, and he used to strike and throw an 
unmerciful ball."

Bentley later became the town's mayor.

Sources

Jersey Journal, Dec. 13, 1871, p. 1, col. 3

Warning

John Zinn: It feels to me that the author is conflating a number of different things (his role, for example) into a club that played in the late 1830's.  However even if he is off by 10 years, a club of some kind in the late 1840's would be something new and, as John suggests, important.

Comment

John Zinn: The article in question is the third in a series that appeared in the Evening (Jersey) Journal late in 1871.  I've been able to find the first two (it's not clear if there were any more) and this is the only reference to base ball.  

John Zinn: Found two more articles by our anonymous author, but with a lot of biographical information suggesting very strongly that he is John W. Pangborn who happened to be the brother of the editor and founder of the Evening Journal.

 

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Submitted by Bruce Allardice



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