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Wicket Play in Rochester NY

Salience Noteworthy
Location New York State
Game Wicket
Age of Players Youth

"The immediate predecessor of baseball was wickets. This was a modification of cricket and the boys who excelled at that became crack players of the latter sport of baseball. In wickets there had to be at least eight men, stationed as follows: Two bowlers, two stump keepers or catchers, two outfielders and two infielders or shortstops. . . .

"The wickets were placed sixty feet apart, and consisted of two 'stumps' about six inches in height above the ground and ten feet apart. . . . The ball was as large as a man's head, and of peculiar manufacture. Its center was a cube of lead weighing about a pound and a half. About this were tightly wound rubber bands . . . and the whole sewed in a thick leather covering. This ball was delivered with a stiff straight-arm underhand cast . . . . Three out was side out, and the ball could be caught on the first bound or on the fly. . . .  if the ball could be fielded so as to throw the wicket over before [the batter] could touch the stumps, he was out."

The stumps are recalled as being ten feet long, so "the batsman standing in the middle had to keep a lively lookout."


Baseball Half a Century Ago, Rochester Union and Advertiser, March 21, 1903.

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Submitted by Priscilla Astifan


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