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Indianans Play Town Ball, Two Old Cat

Salience Noteworthy
Location Indiana
Game Town Ball, Old-Cat Games
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Juvenile

"There were several games of ball played when the weather would permit.  The first was town ball and was played somewhat after the style of baseball, but without outfielders.  The bases were much nearer together than in baseball.  There is no question that baseball is an outgrowth of the old town ball.

"Another ball game was called 'Two Old Cat,' in which there was a batter at each end, and when one of them hit they exchanged places, and either could be put out before he reached the other plate.  As I remember only four could play at once."



Judge Ivory George Kimball, Recollections from a  Busy Life 1843 to 1911 (The Carnahan Press, 1912), page 31. Reported in Originals, volume 4, number 11 (November 2011), page 3.


Finder Tom Altherr asks whether there are other known examples of town ball lacking outfielders.   One possibility is that the use of a soft ball and young batsmen combined to make long hits so rare as not needing an outfield.

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Submitted by Tom Altherr
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