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"Massachusetts Run-Around" Recalled

Salience Noteworthy
Tags Holidays
Location Western New York
City/State/Country: MA, United States
Game Massachusetts Run-Around, Town Ball
Immediacy of Report Retrospective
Holiday Town Meeting Day

"This [Massachusetts Run-Around] was ever a popular game with us young men, and especially on Town Meeting days when there were great contests held between different districts, or between the married and unmarried men, and was sometimes called Town Ball because of its association with Town Meeting day."

"It was an extremely convenient game because it required as a minimum only four on a side to play it, and yet you could play it equally as well with seven or eight. . . . There were no men on the bases; the batter having to make his bases the best he could, and with perfect freedom to run when and as he chose to, subject all the time to being plugged by the ball from the hand of anyone. It was lively jumping squatting and ducking in all shapes with the runner who was trying to escape being plugged. When he got around without having been hit by the ball, it counted a run. The delivery of the ball was distinctly a throw, not an under-hand delivery as was later the case for Base Ball. The batter was allowed three strikes at the ball. In my younger days it was extremely popular, and indulged in by everyone, young and old."



T. King, letter to the Mills Commission, November 24, 1905; accessed at the Giamatti Center, HOF.


The game of "run around" is mentioned in the Sycamore (IL) True Republican, May 29, 1878

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Did King grow up in MA?  Do we know why this ref. is dated c1855?

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