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Six-Player Town-ball Teams Play for Gold in Philly

Salience Prominent
Location Philadelphia
Game Town Ball
Immediacy of Report Contemporary
Age of Players Adult

[A]  "TOWN BALL. - The young men of Philadelphia are determined to keep the ball rolling . . . On Friday, 20th ult. (10/20/1857 we think) the United States Club met on their grounds, corner of 61st and Hazel streets . . . each individual did his utmost to gain the prize, at handsome gold ring, which was eventually awarded to Mr. T. W. Taylor, his score of 26 being the highest." Each team had six players, and the team Taylor played on won, 117 to 82.

[B] "In 1858, a Philadelphia correspondent with the pen name 'Excelsior' wrote to the New York Clipper . . . about early ball play in New York, , and called town ball, the Philadelphia favorite, 'comparatively unknown in New York.'"


[A] New York Clipper (November 1857--as handwritten in clippings collection; 1857, but no date is given). 

[B] John Thorn, Baseball in the Garden of Eden (Simon and Schuster, 2011), page 26. The date of this Clipper account is not noted.  

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Do we now know any more about this event?  Was it an intramural game?  Was a six-player side common in Philadelphia town ball?  Was a gold ring a typical prize for winning?

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Submitted by Craig Waff
Submission Note Facsimile provided September 2008.


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