1856.4

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Seventy Games Played, All in New York City Area.

Salience Prominent
Location Greater New York City
City/State/Country: NYC, NY, United States
Game Base Ball
Age of Players Adult
Text

"In the summer of 1856 . . . there were 53 games in New York and the metropolitan area."

We know of only 7 match games, played among three base ball clubs, in 1853; the game had not grown significantly in the 8 years since the Knickerbocker rules had been agreed to.

Two summers later, however the game was clearly taking off.  While Harold Seymour knew of 53 games, we now have a record of 70 games played by 26 clubs (see the Protoball Games Tabulation compiled by Craig Waff).

The games were still played to 21 runs in 1856, with an average score of 24 to 12, aand they lasted about six innings.  1856 was the last year that the game would be confined to the New York area, as in 1857 it was beginning to spread to distant cities.  As had been forecast in a note in the Knickerbocker minuted for 1855, base ball was getting ready to become the national pastime.

 

 

 

 

Sources

Seymour, Harold, Baseball: the Early Years [Oxford University Press, 1989], p. 24. [No ref given.]

Craig Waff and Larry McCray, "The New York Game in 1856," Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 114-117.

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