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The Eagle Club's Field Diagram - A Real Diamond

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Club Constitutions/Bylaws
Location Greater New York City
City/State/Country: nyc, ny, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

John Thorn has supplied an image of the printed "Plan of the Eagle Ball Club Bases" from its 1854 rulebook.



"Revised Constitution, by-laws and rules of the Eagle Ball Club," (Oliver and Brother, New York, 1854).


It seems possible that he who designed this graphic did not intend it to be taken literally, but it sure is different. Folks around MIT here would call it a squashed rhombus. Using the diagram's own scale for 42 paces, and accepting the questionable guess that most people informally considered a pace to measure 3 feet, the four basepaths each measure 132 feet. But the distance from home to 2B is just 79 feet, and from 1B to 3B it's 226 feet (for football fans: that's about 75 yards). Foul ground ("Outside Range" on the diagram) leaves a fair territory that is not marked in a 90 degree angle, but at . . . wait a sec, I'll find a professor and borrow a protractor, ah, here . . . a 143 degree angle.

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Do we have evidence that the Eagle preferred, at least initially, a variant playing field? Or did the Eagle Club just assign this diagramming exercise to some Harvard person?

Is this image published in some recent source?

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Submitted by John Thorn
Submission Note Emails of 9/2/2009 and 2/11/2010


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