1856.19

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Five-Player Base Ball Reported in NY, WI

Salience Noteworthy
Location Wisconsin, New York
City/State/Country: Waukesha, Brooklyn, NY, United States
Game Base Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Youth
Text

Two games of five-on-five baseball appear in the Spirit of the Times, starting in 1856. The '56 game matched the East Brooklyn junior teams for the Nationals and the Continentals. The Nationals won 37-10.  In 1857, an item taken from the Waukesha (WI) Republican of June 6, pitted Carroll College freshmen and "an equal number of residents of this village. They played two games to eleven tallies, and one to 21 tallies. The collegians won all three games. Neither account remarks on the team sizes. Other five-on-five matches appeared in 1858.  

Sources

Spirit of the Times, Volume 26, number 39 (Saturday, November 8, 1856), page 463, column 3.

Spirit of the Times Volume 27, number 20 (June 27, 1857), page 234, column 2. 

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Query

Was 5-player base ball common then? Did it follow special rules? How do 4 fielders cover the whole field?

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Submitted by Craig Waff
Submission Note Facsimiles provided by Craig Waff, September 2008.



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