Ballgame in Da Baca County in 1865

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Awaiting Review
Date of Game 1865 1864 to 1868
Location Da Baca County, NM, United States
NY Rules Unknown

The story is sketchy, but it appears possible that Navahos held at a reservation in NM in the 1860s may have been taught a form of base ball, and continued to play and modify the game for many years thereafter.

Under the heading "Games Derived from Europeans," Culin wrote in 1907 that there was a "Navaho game of baseball" played as late as the 1880s, and that "the Navaho learned the game from the whites when imprisoned at the Bosque Redondo." Navahos and Apaches were in confinement from 1864 to 1868.

Culin's informant (anthropologist Berard Haile) described [in about 1906] the game as having evolved from any form of base ball that we know of in the 1860s, to include one-out-side-out innings, plugging, an absence of foul ground, compulsory running on a fourth strike, multiple batters at bat at the same time.

The native Americans were supervised by soldiers detailed to Fort Sumner, which is about 160 miles E of Albuquerque in SE New Mexico.


Stewart Culin, Games of the North American Indians, 1907. Special thanks to John Thorn and Bruce Allardice for unearthing and researching this find.

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Found by John Thorn
Entry Origin Sabrpedia


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