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Organized Round Ball in New England Morphs Toward the "MA Game"

Salience Noteworthy
Location New England
City/State/Country: Boston, MA, United States
Game Round Ball, Massachusetts Game
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Age of Players Adult

"'Base Ball in New England.' The game of ball for years a favorite sport with the youth of the country, and long before the present style of playing was in vogue, round ball was indulged in to a great extent all over the land. The first regularly organized Ball Club in this section was doubtless the Olympic Club, of Boston, which was formed in 1854, and for a year or more this club had the field entirely to themselves.

"In 1855 the Elm Trees organized, existing but a short time, however. In 1856 a new club arose, the 'Green Mountains,' and some exciting games were played between this Club and the Olympics. Up to this point the game as played by these clubs was known as the Massachusetts game; but it was governed by no regular code or rules and regulations . . .  ."



Wright, George, Account of November 15, 1904, for the Mills Commission: catalogued by the Mills Commission as Exhibit 36-19; accessed at the Giamatti Center in Cooperstown.


Note: We have other no evidence that the term "Massachusetts Game" was actually in use as early as 1854.  The earliest it is found is 1858.


There is a newspaper account of the Olympic Club from 1853, when it played the "Aurora Ball Club." See item 1853.17  As of 10/2014, this is the only known reference to the Aurora Club.

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