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New "Original and Unusual" Manual Has New Slants on Rounders, Trap-ball

Salience Noteworthy
Game Rounders

The Every Boy's Book of Games, Sports, and Diversions [London, Vickers], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, pages 208 - 209. Not to be mistaken for the 1841 Every Boy's Book (see entry #1841.1, above), this book is called "original and unusual" by Block. For one thing, it includes two forms of trap-ball, the second being the "Essex" version referred to in the 1801 Strutt opus.

The book's description of rounders is unique in written accounts of the game. Rounders, it says, has holes instead of bases, can have from four to eight of them, runners starting game at every base [all with bats, and all running on hit balls], and outs are recorded if the fielding team throws the ball anywhere between the bases that form a runner's base path. Concludes Block: "In its four-base form, this version of rounders is remarkably similar to the American game of four-old-cat. Yes, the very game that Albert Spalding classified in 1905 as the immediate predecessor to town-ball, and which was part of his proof that baseball could not have descended from 'the English picnic game of rounders,' was, at least in this one instance, identified [sic?- LM] as none other than rounders." Note: Does the book identify rounders with old-cat games, or does Block so that?

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