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Round Ball, Played Near Boston, As Recalled in 1870s Celebrations
|Tags||Ball in the Culture, Newspaper Coverage, Pre-modern RulesBall in the Culture, Newspaper Coverage, Pre-modern Rules|
|City/State/Country:||Milford, Mendon, Medway, Holliston, Upton and Douglas, MA, United States|
|Game||Round BallRound Ball|
|Immediacy of Report||Retrospective|
|Age of Players||AdultAdult|
[A] "I was very much pleased to witness that old-fashioned game of ball played on the Fair grounds at Milford last week Tuesday afternoon. . . . It was certainly a lively game, interspersed with wit, humor, and a general good feeling."
Full text, including a 36-line poem, is in Supplementary Text, below.
[B] 1878 – "Round Ball Game. This game came off as advertised on the Town Park last Thursday afternoon. Below is the score for the respective sides:" [Box score shows Milford 25, Independents 12.]
[A] J. H. Cunnabel, Milford (MA) Journal, September 22, 1875.
[B] Milford Journal ,August 14, 1878
We have dated this entry as reflecting 1850s play of round ball. This dating is highly uncertain. One of the named participants (John Puffer), is identified by Joanne Hulbert as a participant in Holliston MA ballplaying in the 1850s.
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|Submitted by||Joanne Hulbert|
|Submission Note||Email of April 3, 2020|
|Has Supplemental Text||Yes|
<comments voting="Plus" />
September 22, 1875 – (Mendon) – I was very much pleased to witness that old-fashioned game of ball played on the Fair grounds at Milford last week Tuesday afternoon – the Madison House versus the Milford Hotel. Two Williams were in the field, both conspicuous for good looks, genial qualities and remarkable skill in the maneuvering tactics of that funny game. There was a large number of spectators and friends present, who seemed to take great interesting the exciting contest. It was certainly a lively game, interspersed with wit, humor, and a general good feeling.I had heard of that callFor the game of round-ball,So I went to the grounds after dinner;But the play had begun,And I knew there’d be fun,But I could not imagine the winner.
For the ball and the batWere both tit for tat,While good playing enlivened the game;There were Otis and Drake,Never made a mistake,And Doctor C. always the same.
Then the laughter grew loudAs it spread through the crowdJust like an acute epidemic;Then we heard the boys shout“We have just put ‘em out,”And “Bully for you, Mister Remick.”
We then heard it saidThat our jolly friend Fred,His heart all alive with expansion,In a true modern styleHe had bet quite a pileOn the boys that belong to the Mansion.
But the Milford Hotel,Like a beautiful belle,With all the good luck we could wish her –Now salutes her compeerWith a hearty good cheer,And a health to both Scammell and Fisher.
She remembers the hitsWhich gave the ball fits,And sent it where they hadn’t oughter,And such glorious fun,Just to see the boys run,Really tickl’d your humble reporter.J.H.C. (J. H. Cunnabel). Milford Journal, 9/22/1875