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1656.1 Dutch Prohibit "Playing Ball," Cricket on Sundays in New Netherlands.
In October 1656 Director-General Peter Stuyvesant announced a stricter Sabbath Law in New Netherlands, including fine of a one pound Flemish for "playing ball," . . . cricket, tennis, ninepins, dancing, drinking, etc.
Source: 13: Doc Hist., Volume Iv, pp.13-15, and Father Jogues' papers in NY Hist. Soc. Coll., 1857, pp. 161-229, as cited in Manual of the Reformed Church in America (Formerly Ref. Prot. Dutch Church), 1628-1902, E. T. Corwin, D.D., Fourth Edition (Reformed Church in America, New York, 1902.) Provided by John Thorn, email of 2/1/2008.
See also:Esther Singleton, Dutch New York (Dodd Mead, 1909), as cited in Thomas L. Altherr, “There is Nothing Now Heard of, in Our Leisure Hours, But Ball, Ball, Ball,” The Cooperstown Symposium on Baseball and American Culture 1999 (McFarland, 2000), pp. 190. [Pages ix and 202 and 302 in Singleton touch on "ball-playing" in this period.]
The reference to cricket resulted from the translation of the Dutch word "balslaen" into "cricket." Others have apparently translated it as "tennis."Further, "ball-playing" is a translation from "kaetsen."
Singleton notes on p. ix that "Shrovetide was the Saturnalia of the lower classes," citing "joyous pastimes as all kinds of racing, and ball-playing in the streets. . ." On p. 202 she cites a stern 1667 ordinance discouraging Sunday play of "ball playing, rolling nine-pins or bowls, etc." On p. 302 she cites a January 1656 proclamation forbidding "all labour, tennis-playing, ball-playing," among other activities. Protoball does not see a ref to cricket in these sections.
Note: It would be useful to ascertain what Dutch phrase was translated as "playing ball," and whether the phrase denotes a certain type of game. The population of Manhattan at this time was about 800 [were there enough resident Englishmen to sustain cricket?], and the area was largely a fur trading post. Is it possible that the burghers imported this text from the Dutch homeland?
Can anyone out there google in Dutch?
1700.1 One of the Earliest Public Notices of a Cricket Match?
"Of course, there are many bare announcements of matches played before that time [the 1740's]. In 1700 The Postboy advertised one to take place on Clapham Common."
Note: An excerpt from a Wikipedia entry accessed on 10/17/08 states: "A series of matches, to be held on Clapham Common [in South London - LMc] , was pre-announced on 30 March by a periodical called The Post Boy. The first was to take place on Easter Monday and prizes of £10 and £20 were at stake. No match reports could be found so the results and scores remain unknown. Interestingly, the advert says the teams would consist of ten Gentlemen per side but the invitation to attend was to Gentlemen and others. This clearly implies that cricket had achieved both the patronage that underwrote it through the 18th century and the spectators who demonstrated its lasting popular appeal."
Thomas Moult, "The Story of the Game," in Moult, ed., Bat and Ball: A New Book of Cricket (The Sportsmans Book Club, London, 1960; reprinted from 1935), page 27. Moult does not further identify this publication.
Caveat: The Wikipedia entry is has incomplete citations and could not be verified.
Can we confirm this citation, and that it refers to cricket? Do we know of any earlier public announcements of safe-haven games?
1709.1 A Form of [Two-man and Four-man] Cricket Played in Virginia
In an April 25, 1709 diary entry, William Byrd, owner of the Virginia plantation Westover, wrote: "I rose at 6 o'clock and said my prayers shortly. Mr. W-l-s and I fenced and I beat him. Then we played at cricket, Mr. W-l-s and John Custis against me and Mr. [Hawkins], but we were beaten. I ate nothing but milk for breakfast . . ."
On May 6 of the same year he noted: "I rose about 6 o'clock and Colonel Ludwell, Nat Harrison, Mr. Edwards and myself played at cricket, and I won a bit [presumably an eighth of a Spanish dollar]. Then we played at whist and I won. About 10 o'clock we went to breakfast and I ate some boiled rice." Another undated entry showed that cricket was not just an early-morning pastime: "About 10 o'clock Dr. Blair, and Major and Captain Harrison came to see us. After I had given them a glass of sack we played cricket. I ate boiled beef for my dinner. Then we played at shooting with arrows...and went to cricket again till dark."
Wright, Louis B., and Marion Tinling, eds., The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover 1709-1712 [Dietz Press, Richmond, 1941], pages 25-26 and 31. We have no page reference for the third mention of cricket, which appears in a short article on Smithsonian.com, as accessed 1/20/2007. Thanks to John Thorn for reference data [email of 2/1/2008].
1726.1 Cricket Crowd is Eyed Nervously as Possibly Seditious
An Essex official worries that a local game of cricket was simply a way of collecting a crowd of disaffected people in order to foment rebellion. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 16. Ford does not provide a citation for this account.
1737.3 Cricket Played in Georgia Town Square
Georgia planter William Stephens: "Many of our Townsmen, Freeholders, Inmates, and Servants were assembled in the principal Square, at Cricket and divers other athletick Sports."
A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, II, page 217, as cited in Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 4. Lester cites this account as the first mention of American cricket.
1744.1 First Laws of Cricket are Written in England
[A] Ford's crisp summary of the rules: "Toss for pitching wickets and choice of innings; pitch 22 yards; single bail; wickets 22 inches high; 4-ball overs; ball between 5 and 6 ounces; 'no ball' defined; modes of dismissal - bowled, caught, stumped, run out, obstructing the field."
The 5-ounce ball is, likely, heavier than balls used in very early US ballplaying.
[B] Includes the 4-ball over, later changed to 6 balls. [And to 8 balls in Philadelphia in 1790 -LMc]. The 22 yard pitching distance is one-tenth of the length of a furlong, which is one-eighth of a mile.
[A] John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 17.
[B] Cashman, Richard, "Cricket," in David Levinson and Karen Christopher, Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present [Oxford University Press, 1996], page 87.
The rules are listed briefly at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1744_English_cricket_season [as accessed 1/31/07]. The rules were written by a Committee under the patronage of "the cricket-mad Prince of Wales" -- Frederick, the son of George II.
For a recent review of the 1744 cricket rules and their relevance to base ball, see Beth Hise, "How is it, Umpire? The 1744 Laws of Cricket and Their Influence on the Development of Baseball in America," Base Ball (Special Issue on Origins), Volume 5, number 1 (Spring 2011), pages 25-31.
1744.2 Newbery's Little Pretty Pocket-Book Refers to "Base-Ball," "Stooleball, "Trap-Ball," Cricket
Cricket, English Base Ball
John Newbery's A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, published in England, contains a wood-cut illustration showing boys playing "base-ball" and a rhymed description of the game:
"The ball once struck off,/Away flies the boy/To the next destined post/And then home with joy."
This is held to be the first appearance of the term "base-ball" in print. Other pages are devoted to stool-ball, trap-ball, and tip-cat [per David Block, page 179], as well as cricket. Block finds that this book has the first use of the word "base-ball."
Little Pretty Pocket-Book, Intended for the Instruction and Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly [London, John Newbery, 1744]. Per Henderson ref 107, adding Newbery's name as publisher from text at p. 132. The earliest extant version of this book is from 1760 [per David Block].
Note: we may want reassurance that the "Base-ball" poem appeared in the 1744 version. According to Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, the 1767 London edition also has poems titled "Stoolball" [p. 88] and Trap-Ball.[p. 91]. According Zoernik in the Encyclopedia of World Sports [p.329], rounders is also referred to [we need to confirm this, as Rounders does not appear in the 1760 edition or the one from 1790.]. There was an American pirated edition in 1760, as per Henderson [ref #107]; David Block dates the American edition in 1762. He also notes that a 1767 revision features engravings for the four games.
1751.1 First Recorded US Cricket Match Played, "For a Considerable Wager," in NYC; New Yorkers Win, 167-80
"Last Monday afternoon, a match at cricket was play'd on our Common for a considerable Wager, by eleven Londoners, against eleven New Yorkers: The game was play'd according to the London Method; and those who got most notches in two Hands, to be the Winners: The New Yorkers went in first, and got 81; Then the Londoners went in, and got but 43; Then the New Yorkers went in again, and got 86; and the Londoners finished the Game with getting only 37 more."
This was the first recorded cricket match played in New York City, and took place on grounds where Fulton Fish Market now stands, "by a Company of Londoners - the London XI - against a Company of New Yorkers." (The New Yorkers won, 167-80.)
New YorkPost-Boy, 4/29/51. Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: John reports that the sources are multiple: clip from Chadwick Scrapbooks; see also, "the first recorded American cricket match per se was in New York in 1751 on the site of what is today the Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan. A team called New York played another described as the London XI 'according to the London method' - probably a reference to the 1744 Code which was more strict that the rules governing the contemporary game in England. Also, and dispositively, from Phelps-Stokes, I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1922), Volume IV, page 628.Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4A or 6A); [CRICKET] Match on Commons April 29, 1751; and finally, Phelps Stokes, V. 4, p. 628, 4/29/1751: "…this day, a great Cricket match is to be played on our commons, by a Company of Londoners against a Company of New-Yorkers. New-York Post-Boy, 4/29/51." The New Yorkers won by a total score of 167 to 80. New York Post-Boy, 5/6/51. This game is also treated by cricket historians Wisden  and Lester .
Also see New York Gazette, May 6, 1751, page 2, column 2, per George Thompson..
1751.3 New Yorkers Beat London Players in "Great Cricket Match", 167-80
“…this day, a great Cricket match is to be played on our commons, by a Company of Londoners against a Company of New-Yorkers. New-York Post-Boy, 4/29/51.
The game played for “a considerable Wager,” there being 11 players on each side, and “according to the London Method: and those who got most Notches in two Hands, to be the Winners.” The New Yorkers won by a total score of 167 to 80. New York Post-Boy, 5/6/51.
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1922), Volume IV, page 628.
1754.1 Marylanders Play "Great Cricket Match for a Good Sum"
"We hear that there is to be a great cricket match for a good sum played on Saturday next, near Mr. Aaron Rawling's Spring, between eleven young men of this city [Annapolis] and the same number from Prince George's County [now a Washington suburban community]"
Bradford's Journal, August 1, 1754, as cited in Lester's A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951), page 5.
1754.2 Ben Franklin Brings Copy of Cricket Rules Back to U.S.
Several sources, including the Smithsonian, magazine, report that "The rules of the game on this side of the Atlantic were formalized in 1754, when Benjamin Franklin brought back from England a copy of the [ten year old - LMc] 1744 Laws, cricket's official rule book." Simon Worrall, "Cricket, Anyone?" Smithsonian Magazine, October 2006. The excerpt can be found in the seventh paragraph of the article [as accessed 10/19/2008] at:
Lester adds this: "Benjamin Franklin was sufficiently interested in the game [cricket] to bring back with him from England a copy of the laws of cricket, for it was this very copy which was presented to the Young America Club . . .on June 4, 1867." Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (U Penn, 1951), page 5. Caveat: we have not located a contemporary account of the Franklin story.
1760s.1 Harvard Man Recalls Cricket, "Various Games of Bat and Ball" on Campus
Writing of the Buttery on the Harvard campus in Cambridge MA, Sidney Willard later recalled that "[b]esides eatable, everything necessary for a student was there sold, and articles used in the play-grounds, as bats, balls, &c. . . . [w]e wrestled and ran, played at quoits, at cricket, and various games of bat and ball, whose names perhaps are obsolete."
Sidney Willard, Memories of Youth and Manhood [John Bartlett, Cambridge, 1855], volume 1, pp 31 and 316. Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 44.
1762.2 Salem MA Ordinance Outlaws Bat-and-Ball, Cricket
". . . no Person shall use the Exercise of playing or Kicking of Foot-ball, or the Exercise of Bat-and-Ball, or Cricket . . . within the Body of this Town, under a Penalty of One Shilling and Six Pence."
By-Laws and Orders of the town of Salem MA, July 26, 1762.
December 13, 1768, The Essex Gazette (Salem, MA), Volume 1, Issue 20, p. 81.
(“Following is an Extract of the By-Laws and ORDERS of the Town of Salem, of the 26th of July, A.D. 1762, approved by His Majesty’s Court of General Sessions of the Peace holden at said SALEM in the same month, and now published by Order of the Select-Men, viz.)
(Detailed source received from Brian Turner, 8/31/2014.)
Brian Turner, 8/31/2014, notes that the wording of this order could be taken to mean that the game itself was seen as a form of cricket, and was not a distinct game.
1766.1 Cricket Balls Advertised in US by James Rivington
In 1766 "James Rivington imported battledores and shuttlecocks, cricket-balls, pillets, best racquets for tennis and fives, backgammon tables with men, boxes, and dice."
Singleton, Esther, Social New York Under the Georges [New York, 1902], page 265. [Cited by Dulles, 1940.] Caveat: Singleton does not provide a source at this location; however, from context [see pp. 91-92] her direct quotation seems likely to be taken from a contemporary Rivington advertisement. Caution: John Thorn is unable to find online evidence of cricket ball imports before 1772, per email of 2/2/2008.
1766.2 Cricket [or Wicket?] Challenge in CT
"A Challenge is hereby given by the Subscribers, to Ashbel Steel, and John Barnard, with 18 young Gentlemen . . . to play a Game of BOWL for a Dinner and Trimmings . . . on Friday next." Connecticut Courant , May 5, 1766, as cited in John A. Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 6. Note: is "game of bowl" a common term for cricket? Could this not have been a wicket challenge, given the size of the teams?
1767.2 North-South Game of Cricket in Hartford CT
"Whereas a Challenge was given by Fifteen Men South of the Great Bridge in Hartford . . . the Public are hereby inform'd that that Challenged beat the Challengers by a great majority. And said North side hereby acquaint the South Side, that they are not afraid to meet them with any Number they shall chuse . . . ." Source: "Hartford and Her Sons and Daughters of the Year The Courant was Founded," Hartford Daily Courant, 10/25/1914. The original Courant notice was dated June 1, 1767. Sleuthwork provided by John Thorn, email of 2/2/2008.
1770s.1 British Soldiers Seek Amusements, Rebels Yawn
"the presence of large numbers of British troops quartered in the larger towns of the [eastern] seaboard brought the populace into contact with a new attitude toward play. Officers and men, when off duty, like soldiers in all ages, were inveterate seekers of amusement. The dances and balls, masques and pageants, ending in Howe's great extravaganza in Philadelphia, were but one expression of this spirit. Officers set up cricket grounds and were glad of outside competition. . [text refers to cock-fighting in Philadelphia, horseracing and fox hunts on Long Island, bear-baiting in Brooklyn].
"There is little indication, however, that the British occupation either broke down American prejudices against wasting time in frivolous amusements or promoted American participation and interest in games and sports."
Krout, John A., The Pageant of America: Annals of American Sport (Oxford U Press, 1929), page 26.
1776c.3 Revolutionary War Officer Plays Cricket, Picks Blueberries
"The days would follow without incident, one day after another. An officer with a company of Pennsylvania riflemen [in Washington's army] wrote of nothing to do but pick blueberries and play cricket." David McCullough, 1776 (Simon and Schuster, 2005), page 40. McCullough does not give a source for this item. Provided by Priscilla Astifan, 19CBB posting of 8/5/2008 and email of 11/16/2008. McCullough notes that the majority of the army comprised farmers and skilled artisan [ibid, page 34].
1778.5 Cricket Game To Be Played at Cannon's Tavern, New York City
"The game of Cricket, to be played on Monday next, the 14th inst., at Cannon's Tavern, at Corlear's Hook. Those Gentlemen that choose to become Members of the Club, are desired to attend. The wickets to be pitched at two o'Clock"
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: from Phelps-Stokes, Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4aA or 6A); also, Vol. V, p.1068 (6/13/1778): Royal Gazette, 6/13/1778. Later, the cricket grounds were "where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground " Royal Gazette, 6/17/1780.
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1068.
Phelps Stokes cites Royal Gazette, 6/13/1778 and that a later 1780 note that the cricket grounds were "where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground" (Royal Gazette, 6/17/1780.)
1778.7 Cricket Club To Play at New York Tavern
Vol. V, p.1068 (6/13/1778): “The game of Cricket, to be played on Monday next, the 14th inst., at Cannon’s Tavern, at Corlear’s Hook. Those Gentlemen that choose to become Members of the Club, are desired to attend. The wickets to be pitched at two o’Clock” Royal Gazette, 6/13/1778.
Later, the cricket grounds were “where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground.” Royal Gazette, 6/17/1780.
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1068.
1779.1 Cricket Played On Grounds near NYC's Brooklyn Ferry.
August 9, 1779, match between Brooklyn and Greenwich Clubs: "A Set of Gentlemen" propose playing a cricket match this day, and every Monday during the summer season, "on the Cricket Ground near Brooklyn Ferry." The company "of any Gentleman to join the set in the exercise" is invited. A large Booth is erected for the accommodation of spectators:" New York Mercury, 8/9/1779
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1922), Volume IV, page 1092.
1780.1 NYC Press Cites Regular Monday Cricket Matches Again
A cricket match is advertised to be played on this day, and continued every Monday throughout the summer, "on the Ground where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground."
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1111, also citing New York Mercury, June 19, 1780.
Regular Monday matches had been noted in the previous summer: see Chronology entry 1779.1
1780.2 Challenges for Cricket Matches between Englishmen and Americans
On August 19, 11 New Yorkers issued this challenge: "we, in this public manner challenge the best eleven Englishmen in the City of New York to play the game of Cricket . . . for any sum they think proper to stake." On August 26, the Englishmen accepted, suggesting a stake of 100 guineas. On September 6, the news was that the match was on: "at the Jew's Burying-ground, WILL be played on Monday next . . . the Wickets to be pitched at Two O'Clock." We seem to lack a report of the outcome of this match.
Royal Gazette, August 19, 1780, page 3 column 4; August 26, 1780, page 2 column 2; and September 6, 1780, page 3 column 4.
Also cited in I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1115.
1780.8 Regular Monday NYC Cricket Matches Planned Again.
A cricket match is advertised to be played on this day, and continued every Monday throughout the summer, “on the Ground where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground.” New York Mercury, June 19, 1780
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1111.
1780.9 Americans and Englishmen Encouraged to Meet on NYC Cricket Field
Challenges for cricket matches between ‘Americans’ and ‘Englishmen” are issued through the newspaper Royal Gazette, 8/19. 8/26, 1780.
The cricket field is at the Jews’ Burying ground.” Royal Gazette, 9/6/80.
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1115.
1782.1 Cricket Match Scheduled for the Green, Near Shipyards,
Cricket is to be played on July 15th "on the green, near the Ship-Yards." Royal Gazette, 7/13/1782, page 1 column 2. Submitted by John Thorn 6/15/04 and extended by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.
1782.4 Cricket To Be Played Near NYC Shipyards
Cricket is to be played “on the green, near the Ship Yards.” Royal Gazette, 7/13/1782
I. N. Phelps Stokes, The Iconography of Manhattan Island, 1498-1909 : compiled from original sources (New York, Robert H. Dodd), 1926), Volume V, page 1150.
1790.5 John Adams Refers to Cricket in Argument about Washington's New Title
"Cricket was certainly known in Boston as early as 1790, for John Adams, then Vice-President of the United States, speaking in the debate about the choice of an appropriate name for the chief officer of the United States, declared that 'there were presidents of fire companies and of a cricket club.'" John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 5.
1791.1 "Bafeball" Among Games Banned in Pittsfield MA - also Cricket, Wicket
In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, in order to promote the safety of the exterior of the newly built meeting house, particularly the windows, a by-law is enacted to bar "any game of wicket, cricket, baseball, batball, football, cats, fives, or any other game played with ball," within eighty yards of the structure. However, the letter of the law did not exclude the city's lovers of muscular sport from the tempting lawn of "Meeting-House Common." This is the first indigenous instance of the game of baseball being referred to by that name on the North American continent. It is spelled herein as bafeball. "Pittsfield is baseball's Garden of Eden," said Pittsfield Mayor James Ruberto.
An account of this find (a re-find, technically) is at John Thorn, "1791 and All That: Baseball and the Berkshires," Base Ball: A Journal of the Early Game, Volume 1, Number 1 (Spring 2007) pp. 119-126.
Per John Thorn: The History of Pittsfield (Berkshire County),Massachusetts, From the Year 1734 to the Year 1800. Compiled and Written, Under the General Direction of a Committee, by J. E. A. Smith. By Authority of the Town. [Lea and Shepard, 149 Washington Street, Boston, 1869], 446-447. The actual documents themselves repose in the Berkshire Athenaeum.
While this apppears to be the first American use of the term "base ball," see item 1786.1 above, in which a Princeton student notes having played "baste ball" five years earlier. See item 1786.1.
The town of Northampton MA issued a similar order in 1791, but omitted base ball and wicket from the list of special games of ball. See item 1791.2. Northampton is about 40 miles SE of Pittsfield.
John Thorn's essay on the Pittsfield regulation is found at John Thorn, "The Pittsfield "Baseball" By-law: What it Means," Base Ball Journal (Special Issue on Origins), Volume 5, Number 1 (Spring 2011), pages 46-49.
1793.1 Engraving Shows Game with Wickets at Dartmouth College
A copper engraving showing Dartmouth College appeared in Massachusetts Magazine in February 1793. It is the earliest known drawing of the College, and shows a wicket-oriented game being played in the yard separating college buildings. College personnel suggest is an early form of cricket, given the tall wicket which is not known for the New England pastime of wicket.
1794.1 New York Cricket Club Meets "Regularly"
"By 1794 the New York Cricket Club was meeting regularly, usually at Battins Tavern at six o'clock in the evenings. Match games were played between different members of the club, wickets being pitched exactly at two o'clock." Holliman, Jennie, American Sports (1785-1835) [Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975], page 67.
Holliman cites Wister, W. R., Some Reminiscences of Cricket in Philadelphia Before 1861, page 5, for the NYCC data.
1795.1 Portsmouth NH Bans Cricket and Other Ball Games
In March 1795 Portsmouth NH imposed a fine of from 50 cents to $3.30 pus court costs for those who "play cricket or any game in which a ball is used."
By-Laws of the Town of Portsmouth, Passed at their Annual Meeting Held March 25, 1795 (John Melcher, Portsmouth), pp. 5 - 6. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It. See page 244 and ref #67.
1795.2 Survey Reports Cricket in New England, Playing at Ball in TN
Winterbotham, William, An Historical, Geographical, Commercial and Philosophical View of the American United States [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 180. Coverage of New England [volume 2, page 17] reports that "The healthy and athletic diversions of cricket, foot ball, quoits, wrestling, jumping, hopping, foot races, and prison bars, are universally practiced in the country, and some of them in the most populous places, and by people of almost all ranks." The Tennessee section [volume 3, page 235] mentions the region's fondness for sports, including "playing at ball." Block notes that Winterbotham is sometimes credited with saying that bat and ball was popular in America before the Revolutionary War, and that adults played it, but reports that scholars, himself included, have not yet confirmed such wording at this point.
1797.2 Newburyport MA Bans Cricket and Other Ball Games
"Voted and ordered, that if any person shall play at foot-ball, cricket,or any other play or game with a ball or balls in any of the streets, lanes, or alleys of this town, . . ." a fine of 25 cents to one dollar was to be assessed.
Bye-Laws of Newburyport: Passed by the Town at Regular Meetings, and Approved by the Court of General Justice of the Peace for the County of Essex, Agreeably to a Law of this Commonwealth (Newburyport, 1797), p. 1. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It, page 244 and ref #68.
1797.6 "Ample Space" Allowed "For Cricket, For Bat and Ball . . . "
Cricket, Bat and Ball
"A 1797 newspaper article, praising the layout of a new school ground, noted "it affords ample space for cricket, for bat and ball, or any other school-boy exercise."
David Block, German Book Describes das English Base-ball, Base Ball, volume 5, number 1 (Spring 2011), page 51. The original source is Westminster School, The Oracle and Pubic Advertiser (London), August 24, 1797.
1799.1 Historical Novel, Set in About 1650, Refers to Cricket, Base-ball
Oliver Cromwell, Jane Austen
A fictional character in a novel set in the mid-17th Century recalls how, when his clerkship to a lawyer ended, a former playmate took his leave by saying:
"Ah! no more cricket, no more base-ball, they are sending me to Geneva."
Cooke, Cassandra, Battleridge" an Historical tale, Founded on facts. In Two Volumes. By a Lady of Quality (G. Cawthorn, London, 1799).
Block advises, August 2015:
That Cassandra Cooke, writing in the late 18th century, would have her readers believe that baseball was part of the vernacular in the early 17th century is certainly interesting, but since one contemporary reviewer labelled her book "despicable" there is absolutely no reason to think she had any more insight into the era than we do 216 years later.
David Block (BBWKI, page 183; see also his 19CBB advice, below) notes that Cooke was in correspondence with her cousin Jane Austen in 1798, when both were evidently writing novels containing references to base-ball. Also submitted to Protoball 8/19/06 by Ian Maun.
Cooke, like Austen, did seem to believe that readers in the early 1800s might be familiar with base- ball.
1799.2 NY Cricket Club Schedules Match Among Members
"A number of members of the Cricket Club having met on the old ground on Saturday last, by appointment it was unanimously agreed to meet on Thursday next, at the same place, at half past 2 o'clock. Wickets will be pitched at 3 o'clock exactly."
Commercial Advertiser, June 18, 1799, page 3 column 1. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.
1800.5 History of North America: Cricket and Football are "Universally Practiced."
"The athletic and healthy diversion of cricket, football, etc. . . are universally practiced in this country." Edward Oliphant, History of North America (Edinburgh, 1800), page? Cited in Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 7.
1802.4 Philadelphia Book: "Bat and Ball is an Inferior Kind of Cricket"
Cricket, Bat and Ball
CRICKET. This play requires more strength than some boys possess. . . it must therefore be left to more robust lads, who are fitter. . . . Bat and ball in an inferior kind of cricket, and more suitable for little children . . . if they will be careful not to break windows."
Youthful Sports (Jacob Johnson, Philadelphia, 1802), pp 47-48, per Thomas L. Altherr, “A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball: Baseball and Baseball-Type Games in the Colonial Era, Revolutionary War, and Early American Republic.." Nine, Volume 8, number 2 (2000)\, p. 15-49. Reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It – see page 243.
1803.2 Cricket Club Forms, Lasts a Year in NYC
An informal group called the "New York Cricket Club" is headquartered in New York City at the Bunch of Grapes Tavern, No. 11 Nassau Street. The club flourishes for a year and then dies.
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: The source is a Chadwick Scrapbook clip. "St. George was preceded in NYC by a club whose headquarters were at the Old Shakespeare in Nassau St.- This group was called the New York Club- it flourished for a year or so, then died." George Thompson has located an announcement of a club meeting in the Daily Advertiser, March 23, 1803, page 3 column 3, and another that appeared in the Commercial Advertiser on July 2 [page 3, column 2], July 7 [page 3, column 3], and July 8 [page 3, column 3. In early 1804, the Evening Post, February 10, [page 34 column 3] called another meeting at the same Nassau Street address. Submitted to Protoball 8/2/2005.
1804.5 Hudson (NY) Bee Prints "The Laws of Cricket"
A subscription search yields a 20 column-inch printing of cricket rules on May 8, 1804. The paper is The Bee, of Hudson, NY.
1805.8 Yale Grad Compares Certain English Ballgames to New England's
"July 9 [1805, we think] . . . . The mode of playing ball differs a little from that practiced in New-England. Instead of tossing up the ball out of one's own hand, and then striking it, as it descends, they lay is into the heel of a kind of wood shoe; and upon the instep a spring is fixed, which extends within the hollow to the hinder part of the shoe; the all is placed where the heel of the foot would commonly be, and a blow applied on the other end of the spring, raises the ball into the air, and, as it descends, it receives a blow from the bat.
"They were playing also at another game resembling our cricket, but differing from it in this particular, that he perpendicular pieces which support the horizontal one, are about eighteen inches high, and are three in number, whereas with us they are only two in number, and about three or four inches high."
The writer, Benjamin Silliman, thus implies that an American [or at least Connecticut] analog to trap ball was played, using fungo-style batting [trap ball was not usually a running game, so the American game may have been a simple form of fungo].
His second comparison is consistent with our understanding or how English cricket and American wicket were played in about 1800. However, it seems odd that he would refer to "our cricket" and not "our wicket: possibly a form of cricket - using, presumably, the smaller ball - was played in the US that retained the older long, low wickets known in 1700 English cricket.
Benjamin Silliman, Journal of Travels in England, Holland, and Scotland, Volume 1 (Boston, 1812 - 1st edition 1810), page 245. Accessed via Google Books, 2/12/2014 via search of <Silliman "journal of travels">.
From David Block, 2/12/2014:
"This reference raises some questions, which may not be answerable. Was he implying that striking a ball, fungo-style, was the general method of ball-play in New England, or was he only making a more narrow comparison to how a self-serve type of ball game was played at home. If the latter, might this have been 'bat-ball'?"
"It appears that the author was previously unaware of English cricket. What he refers to as "our cricket" is obviously wicket. This was an educated man, but it was also apparently his first trip overseas. My first reaction was to be very surprised at his apparent ignorance of English cricket, but it may well be that things that seem like obvious knowledge to us today may not have been so in the America of two hundred years ago."
1807.1 Book Includes Hermit's Promise to Bring Children "Bats, Balls &c"
"A hermit who had been watching some children playing ball games approved of their play and promised 'to provide bats, balls, &c' at his next visit."
The Prize for Youthful Obedience (Jacob Johnson, Philadelphia, 1807), part II, page 16. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It, see page 242-3 and ref # 60. Note: This book is an American edition book earlier published in London see #1800.6 above.
1807.2 Games Recalled at Phillips Exeter Academy
In about 1889, Col. George Kent wrote this verse in response to an inquiry about student games from 1807 at Exeter:
"But pastimes and games of a much better sort,
Lent aid to our outdoor and innocent sport,
Such as marbles and foot ball, cat, cricket and base,
With occasional variance by a foot race."
Bell, Charles H., Phillips Exeter Academy [1883?], p. 102. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes. the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.
1808.2 First Cricket Club in Boston is Established, Then Fades
The first formally organized cricket club is established in Boston, Massachusetts.
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: The source is Chadwick Scrapbook, Volume 20. John has found a meeting announcement for the club in the Boston (MA) Gazette for November 17, 1808. Note: Ryczek dates this event as 1809 in Baseball's First Inning (2009), page 101.
Richard Hershberger [email of 2/4/10] reports that the last mention of the Club he has found is an 1809 notice that the club's annual dinner will take place the following day. Source: New England Palladium, October 24, 1809.
1811.3 NY Paper Carries Notice for "English Trap Ball" at a Military Ground
"At Dyde's Military Grounds. Up the Broadway, to-morrow afternoon, September 14, the game of English Trap Ball will be played, full as amusing as Crickets and the exercise not so violent:"
[Three days later] "The amusements at Dyde's to-morrow, Tuesday the 17th September, will be Rifle Shooting for he prize, and English Trap Ball. The gentlemen who have promised to attend to form a club to play at Trap Ball are respectfully requested to attend."
[And four days later] "Trap Ball, Quoits, Cricket, &c." would be played at the ground. However, more space is now given to rifle and pistol shooting contests.
New York Evening Post, September 13, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson 8/2/2005.
New York Evening Post, September 16, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.
New York Evening Post, September 20, 1811, page 3 column 3. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005. [This third cite is also found in Thomas L. Altherr, “A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball: Baseball and Baseball-Type Games in the Colonial Era, Revolutionary War, and Early American Republic.." Nine, Volume 8, number 2 (2000), p. 15-49. Reprinted in David Block, Baseball before We Knew It – see page 247 and ref #90.]
1815.4 Six-Hour "Wicket" Match Played in Canada
"On the 29th May, a grant [sic] Match of Wicket was played at Chippawa, Upper Canada, by 22 English ship wrights, for a stake of 150 dollars. The parties were distinguished by the Pueetergushene and the Chippawa party. The game was won in 56 runs by the former. It continued 6 hours.
"The winners challenge any eleven gentlemen in the state of New York, for any sum they may wish to play for. The game was succeeded by a supper in honor of King Charles, and the evening in spent [sic] with great hilarity."
Mechanics' Gazette and Merchants' Daily Advertiser, June 9,1815, reprinting from the Buffalo Gazette. Provided by Richard Hershberger, 7/30/2007. Note: It seems unusual for Englishmen to be playing wicket, and for wicket to field 11-man teams. Could this be a cricket match reported as wicket? Is it clear why a Buffalo NY newspaper would report on a match in "Upper Canada," or whereever Chippawa is? Do we know what a "grant match" is? A typo for "grand match," probably?
1816.10 Norfolk VA Cricket Club Reported
Richard Hershberger [emails of 1/28/09 and 2/4/10] reports seeing advertisements in the American Beacon for a Norfolk Cricket Club from 1816 to 1820:
"CRICKET CLUB. A meeting of the Subscribers to this Club, will be held at the Exchange Coffee House, this evening at 6 o'clock, for the purpose of draughting Rules and Regluations for the government."
American Beacon(Norfolk VA), October 25, 1816. Subsequent notices were for playing times.
Note: In The Tented Field, Tom Melville writes that a 1989 book has the Norfolk Club being founded in 1803 in imitation of English customs (page 164, note 10). Patricia Click, in Spirit of the Times (UVa Press, 1989), page 119, cites the October 1, 1803 issue of the "Norfolk and Portsmouth Herald" [likely then the "Norfolk Herald"] in reference to an observation [page 73] about the social makeup of cricket clubs. Query: can we find out what the 1803 paper actually says about cricket, if anything?
1817.1 Visitor to Philly Tells of Cricket Play There
"Being a commercial people, they have but few amusements: their summer pastimes are . . . fishing, batching, cricket, quoits, &c; . . . ."
John Palmer, Journal of Travels in the United States of America and in Lower Canada, Etc [London, 1818], page 283. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.
1818.1 Yale Student Reports Cricket on Campus
A student at Yale University reports that cricket and football are played on campus [need cite]. Lester, however, says that he doubts the student saw English cricket, and that, given that the site is CT, it was probably wicket. Lester notes that wicket involved sides of 30 to 35 players, and was played in an alley 75 feet long, and with oversized bats.
Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 7.
1818.4 Cricket Reported in Louisville KY?
"It is not unreasonable to speculate that as the immigrants came down the Ohio River . . . they brought with them the leisure activities hat had already developed in the cities along the Atlantic coast. There are reports of a form of cricket being played in the city as early at 1818."
Bailey, Bob, "Beginnings; From Amateur Teams to Disgrace in the National League," , page 1. Bob (email, 1/27/2013), further quotes Dean Sullivan's master's thesis, Ball-oriented Sport in a Southern City: A Study of the Organizational Evolution of Baseball in Louisville (George Mason University): "Ball-oriented sports had been reported in Kentucky as early as 1818, when travelers stumbled upon a primitive game of cricket."
Note: The original source of the 1818 reference may have been lost. Bob reports that Dean Sullivan thesis cited Harold Peterson's The Man Who Invented Baseball (Charles Scribner's Sons, 1973), page 24. However, Peterson gives no source. A dead end?
Are there other sightings of this 1818 cricket account?
1818c.5 English Immigrants from Surrey See Cricket, Trap Ball in IL
"[S]ome of the young men were gone to a county court at Palmyra, [but] there was no cricket-match, as was intended, only a game of trap-ball." 
"On the second of October, there was a game of cricket played at Wanborough by the young men of the settlement; this they called keeping Catherine Hill fair, many of the players being from the neighborhood of Godalming and Guildford." 
"There have been [p.295/p.296] several cricket-matches this summer [of 1819], both at Wanborough and Birk Prarie; the Americans seem much pleased at the sight of the game, as it is new to them." 
John Woods, Two Years Residence on the Settlement of the English Prairie, in the Illinois Country (Longman & Co., London, 1822), pp. 148 and 295-296.
Thomas L. Altherr, “Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games, Base Ball, v. 2, no. 1 (Spring 2008), pages 32-33. Note: Tom's account includes the same quotes, but attributes them to the British lawyer Adlard Welby, and sets them in 1820.
Can we reconcile the conflicts in the two attributions?
1820.1 Bat/Ball Game Depicted in Children's Amusements
A woodcut illustration of boys playing with a bat and ball appears in a book entitled Children's Amusements [New York and Baltimore]. David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 188, adds that it is unusual among chapbooks as "more space and detail are devoted to "playing ball" than to cricket, which at the time was a more established game." See also #1830.1.
1820.3 English Cricketers Play Two-Day Match Again New Yorkers
"The most outstanding cricket matches of the period were those in New York. In fact, the matches of note were played in that city. These contests took place between members of different clubs, and often the sport lasted for two days. Great was the interest if any English player happened to be present to participate in the sport. On June 16, 1820, eleven expert English players matched eleven New Yorkers at Brooklyn, the contest lasting two days." Holliman, Jennie, American Sports (1785 - 1835) [Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975], page 68.
Holliman cites the New York Evening Post June 16, 1820. See also Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 5. Tom Melville, The Tented Field (Bowling Green U, Bowling Green, 1998), page 7, adverts to a similar Englishmen/Americans match, giving it a date of June 1, 1820. He seems to cite The New York Evening Post of June 19, 1820, page 2 for this match, and so June 16 seems like a likelier date.
1820c.13 A Wry View of Cricket Match on Yale Campus
"On the green and easy slope where those proud columns stand,
In Dorian mood, with academe and temple on each hand,
The foot-ball and the cricket-match upon my vision rise
With all the clouds of classic dust kicked in each other' eyes."
This verse is incorporated without attribution in Brooks Mather Kelley, Yale: a History (Yale University Press, New Haven CT, 1974), page 214. Kelley's commentary: "[Cricket] may have been a sport at Yale then [in the Colonial period]. The first clear reference to it, owever, is in one stanza of a poem about Yale life in 1818 to 1822." Ibid. Is Yale shielding us from some racy student rhymes? Oh, not to worry: From a rival Ivy League source we see that Lester identifies the poet as William Cromwell - John A. Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (U of Penn Press, Philadelphia PA, 1951), page7. Note: OK, so who was William Cromwell, and why did he endow so many chairs at Yale?
1820.16 Union vs. Mechanics - First Mention of Club Cricket?
On June 19, 1820, the Union and Mechanic Cricket Clubs played two matches in Brooklyn. According to an account [a box score was also provided] in the New York Daily Advertiser of June 21, "this manly exercise . . . excited astonishment in the spectators by their great dexterity . . . . A great number of persons viewed the sport."
Posted to 19CBB by Richard Hershberger, 7/31/2007. Richard noted: "this is the earliest example I know of named cricket clubs, and is not mentioned in Tom Melville's history [The Tented Field.] In am 1/30/2008 email, Richard added that this game was also reported in the New York Columbia of June 19, 1820 as having "all Europeans" on both sides. Note: does the David Sentence book cover this game? Do we know of any earlier club play; for instance, did the Boston Cricket Club [see #1808.2 above] ever take the field in 1808?
1820s.21 College Prez Was a Klutz at Ball and Cricket
"I could not jump the length of my leg nor run as fast as a kitten . . . . At ball and cricket I 'followed in the chase not like a hound that hunts, but one that fills up the cry.'"
-- John Howard Raymond, later President of Vassar College.
Harriet Raymond Lloyd, ed., Life and Letters of John Howard Raymond, Late President of Vassar College (Ford, Howard and Hulbert, New York, 1881), page 38. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 34. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for <john howard raymond>. Raymond, born in New York in 1814, summered as a boy in Norwalk CT.
1821.2 Cricket Not New in SC
"The members of the old cricket club are requested to attend a meeting of [sic?] the Carolina Coffee House tomorrow evening."
Charleston Southern Patriot, January 23, 1821, per Holliman, American Sport 1785 - 1835, page 68.
1821.4 A Three-Times-and-Out Rule in ME Cricket?
"'Three times and out' is a maxim of juvenile players at cricket."
Maine Gazette, November 20, 1821; submitted by Lee Thomas Oxford, 9/2/2007. Note: What can this reported rule possibly mean? Were beginning cricketers given three chances to hit the bowled ball in ME? John Thorn, email of 2/3/2008, points out that three swings was sometimes an out in wicket, and that the Gazette may have erred.
1821.5 NY Mansion Converted to Venue Suitable for Base, Cricket, Trap-Ball
In May and June 1821, an ad ran in some NY papers announcing that the Mount Vernon mansion was now open as Kensington House. It could accommodate dinners and tea parties and clubs. What's more, later versions of the ad said: "The grounds of Kensington Hose are spacious and well adapted to the playing of the noble game of cricket, base, trap-ball, quoits and other amusements; and all the apparatus necessary for the above games will be furnished to clubs and parties."
Richard Hershberger posted to 19CBB on Kensington House on 10/7/2007, having seen the ad in the June 9, 1821 New YorkGazette and General Advertiser. Richard suggested that "in this context "base is almost certainly baseball, not prisoner's base." John Thorn [email of 3/1/2008] later found a May 22, 1821 Kensington ad in the Evening Post that did not mention sports, and ads starting on June 2 that did.
Richard points out that the ad's solicitation to "clubs and parties" may indicate that some local groups were forming to play the mentioned games long before the first base ball clubs are known to have played.
June 9, 1821 New YorkGazette and General Advertiser
See also Richard Hershberger, "New York Mansion Converted -- An Early Sighting of Base Ball Clubs?,"Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 58-60.
Have we found any further indications that 1820-era establishments may have served to host regular base ball clubs?
1822.3 Cricket Clubs, "Other Ball Clubs" Welcomed at Philadelphia PA Facility
In an advertisement about an outdoor recreation establishment run by John Carter Jr. on the western bank of the Schuylkill River near Philadelphia PA is included the sentence "Gentlemen are informed that the grounds are so disposed as to afford sufficient room and accommodation for quoit and cricket and other ball clubs." It doesn't say what these "other ball clubs" are playing. Saturday Evening Post, June 22, 1822, Vol. 1, Issue 47, page 003. Submitted by Bill Wagner 1/24/2007.
1824.7 Bat and Ball, Cricket are Sunday Afternoon Pastimes
Bat and Ball, Cricket
"on Sunday, after afternoon service, the young people joined in foot-ball and hurling, bat and ball, or cricket."
Does the context of this excerpt reveal anything further about the region, circumstance, or participants in this ball-playing?
1825c.6 Cricket Played at Southern Outings
In the South, "cricket was played even at the end of house raisings and trainings. The game was played along with quoits and other games of skill and strength. Parties were formed to go on fishing trips and picnics, and during the outing, cricket was one of the games played." Jennie Holliman, American Sports 1785 - 1835 (Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975), page 68.
Holliman here cites The American Farmer, vol. 8, no 143 (1825), which John Thorn found online [email of 2/9/2008], and which does not make a strong case for cricket's ubiquity. This piece suggests that an ideal way to spend a Saturday near Baltimore is to have a fishing contest until dinnertime, and "after dinner pitch quoits, or play at cricket, or bowl at nine-pins." "Sporting Olio," American Farmer, Containing Original Essays and Selections on Rural Economics, July 22, 1825, page 143.
1825c.7 American Chapbook Reprises Couplets on Cricket, Trap-ball
Sports and Pastimes for Children [Baltimore, F. Lucas, Jr.], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 191. The verse for cricket and trap-ball is taken from the English Juvenile Pastimes [1824, above].
1828.9 Mitford Story Centers on Cricket, Touches on Juvenile Baseball
"Then comes a sun burnt gipsy of six . . . . her longing eyes fixed on a game of baseball at the corner of the green till she reaches the cottage door . . . . So the world wags until ten; then the little damsel gets admission to the charity school, her thoughts now fixed on button-holes and spelling-books those ensigns of promotion; despising dirt and baseball, and all their joys."
From "Jack Hatch," taken from the Village Sketches of Mary Russell Mitford, The Albion: A Journal of News, Politics, and Literature September 9 1828, volume 7, page 65.
Submitted by Bill Wagner 6/4/2006 and by David Ball 6/4/2006. David explains further: "The title character is first introduced as a cricketer, 'Jack Hatch the best cricketer in the parish, in the county, in the country!' The narrator hears tell of this wonder, who turns out to be a paragon of all the skills but is never able to meet him in person, finally hearing that he has died. Mitford treats cricket (with tongue admittedly somewhat in cheek) as an epic contest in which the honor of two communities is at stake. In the opening, very loosely connected section, on the other hand, baseball is described as a child's game, to be put away early in life."
1828.15 1828 Advertisement for the Cricket Club in New Orleans
The New Orleans Louisiana Advertiser, Feb. 27, 1828, carries an ad saying "Weather permitting, the Cricket Club will meet on the 2d of March, at 10 a.m."
The New Orleans Louisiana Advertiser, Feb. 27, 1828
1829.3 Small Cambridge MA Schoolground Crimps Base and Cricket Play
Cricket, Base (Prisoner's Base)
his new Cambridge school too small. "[N]one of the favorite games of foot-ball, hand-ball, base or cricket could be played in the grounds with any satisfaction, for the ball would be constantly flying over the fence, beyond which he boys could not go without asking special leave. This was a damper on the more ranging & athletic exercises."
-- Charles Henry Dana, on the limitations of school ground play at his new school in Cambridge MA
Robert Metdorf, ed., An Autobiographical Sketch (1815-1842) (Shoe String Press, Hamden CT, 1953), pages 51-52. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 38. The text of the autobiography is unavailable via Google Books as of 11/16/2008.
Charles Henry Dana, later the author of Two Years Before the Mast and a leading abolitionist, was 14 in 1829.
1830s.22 Ballplaying Recurs in Abolitionist's Life -- From Age 10 to Harvard
You may think of Thomas Wentworth Higginson [b. 1823] as a noted abolitionist, or as the mentor of Emily Dickinson, but he was also a ballplayer and sporting advocate [see also #1858.17]. Higginson's autobiography includes several glimpses of MA ballplaying:
- at ten he knew many Harvard students - "their nicknames, their games, their individual haunts, we watched them at football and cricket [page 40]"
- at his Cambridge school "there was perpetual playing of ball and fascinating running games [page 20]".
- he and his friends "played baseball and football, and a modified cricket, and on Saturdays made our way to the tenpin alleys [page 36]".
- once enrolled at Harvard College [Class of 1841] himself, he used "the heavy three-cornered bats and large balls of the game we called cricket [page 60]." Note: sounds a bit like wicket?
- in his early thirties he was president of a cricket club [and a skating club and a gymnastics club] in Worcester MA. [Pages 194-195]
See also #1858.17.
Source: Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Cheerful Yesterdays (Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1898). Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), pages 33-34 and ref #29. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for <cheerful yesterdays>.
1830s.24 Union Cricket Club Gains Strength in Philadelphia PA
"No city took to the sport [cricket] with more avidity than Philadelphia where the game had been played since the 1830s by the Union Club"
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning, McFarland, 2009), page 105. No source is cited. Ryczek goes on to say that Englishmen who moved to work in the city's wool industry was one root cause of cricket's success there.
1831.2 "Base" and Cricket Listed in Book of US Pastimes
Horatio Smith, Festivals, Games and Amusements, Ancient and Modern [New York, Harper], p 330. Per Henderson ref 146. David Block notes that its comment, "The games and amusements of New England are similar to other sections of the United States. The young men are expert in a variety of games at ball - such as cricket, base, cat, football, trap ball . . . ," is the first known book reference to the play of "base" ball in the US. [David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 193-194.]
1831.5 "Cricket, Base, and Long Ball" Played in Worcester MA on Election Day
When the Massachusetts Legislature announced that Election Day would be moved from May to January, a protest was lodged in a newspaper, recalling:
". . then amusements were planned; then were hunting matches and fishing parties made; then was the quoit hurled in the air; then were cricket, base, and long-ball played; then were sports of every kind, appropriate to the season, sought after and enjoyed with particular zest."
'Lection Day, National Aegis (Worcester Massachusetts), June 15, 1831, page 1, as cited in David Block, Polish Workers Play Ball at Jamestown, Virginia, Base Ball, volume 5, number 2 (Spring 2011), page 8. (The National Aegis credits the New York Constellation with the article, but David Block notes that the subject is clearly the lot of Massachusetts children not those in New York City.)
1832.1 Union Cricket Club of Philadelphia Forms
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: Source is Chadwick Scrapbooks, Volume 20. Note: According to a Harold Seymour note, J. M. Ward's Baseball [p. 18] sets a date of 1831 for the beginning of regular club play in Philadelphia.
1832.5 Boston Spelling/Reading Book Describes Cricket and "Playing at Ball"
In part four of this book, cricket play is treated in some detail, and a small woodcut of ball play has the caption, "This picture is intended to represent the Franklin school house in Boston. It is now recess time, and some lads are playing at ball on the green lawn before the portico of the brick building."
The Child's Own Book (Boston, Munroe and Francis, 1832), cited by Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 195.
1833.8 Untitled Drawing of Ball Game [Wicket?] Appears in US Songbook
Watts' Divine and Moral Songs - For the Use of Children [New York, Mahlon Day, 374 Pearl Street, 1836], page 15. Obtained from the "Origins of Baseball" file at the Giamatti Center in Cooperstown. David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 196, has found an 1833 edition.
A drawing shows five children - a tosser, batter, two fielders, and boy waiting to bat. The bats are spoon-shaped. The wicket looks more like a cricket wicket than the long low bar in wicket. Is it wicket? Base-ball? Here's Block's commentary. " . . .an interesting woodcut portraying boys playing a slightly ambiguous bat-and-ball game that is possibly baseball . . . . A goal in the ground near the batter might be a wicket, but it more closely resembles an early baseball goal such as the one pictured in A Little Pretty Pocket-Book" (see #1744.2, above).
1834.1 Carver's The Book of Sports [Boston] describes "Base, or Goal Ball"
Rules for "'Base' or 'Goal Ball'" are published in Boston, in The Book of Sports by Robin Carver. Carver's book copies the rules for rounders published in England's "The Boy's Own Book" (see #1828.1 entry, above). A line drawing of boys "Playing Ball" on Boston Common is included. David Block in Baseball Before We Knew It, page 196-197, reports that this is the "first time that the name "base ball" was associated with a diamond-shaped infield configuration." As for the name of the game, Carver explains: "This game is known under a variety of names. It is sometimes called 'round ball.' But I believe that 'base' or 'goal ball' are the names generally adopted in our country." The bases are "stones or stakes." According to Carver, runners ran clockwise around the bases. Note: Do we have other accounts of clockwise baserunning?
Carver's Chapter 3 is called "Games with Balls." In an introductory paragraph, he explains that "The games with the bat and ball are numerous, but somewhat similar. I will mention some of them, which I believe to be the most popular with boys." [Page 37.] Other games describes are Fives, Nine-Holes, or Hat-Ball [a game with running/plugging but no batting], Catch-Ball [also a running/plugging game], Rackets, and Cricket.
Carver, Robin, The Book of Sports [Boston, Lilly Wait Colman and Holden, 1834], pp 37-40. Per Henderson ref 31. Reprinted in Dean A. Sullivan, Compiler and Editor, Early Innings: A Documentary History of Baseball, 1825 - 1908 [University of Nebraska Press, 1995], p.3ff
For Text:David Block carries a full page of text, and the accompanying field diagram, in Appendix 7, page 281, of Baseball Before We Knew It.
1834.5 Cricket Play Begins at Haverford College
"The first cricket club of entirely native-born American youth was founded at Haverford College in PA. In a manuscript diary kept by an unknown student during the first two years of the existence of the college, under the date of 1834, occurs this entry: 'About this time a new game was introduced among the students called Cricket. The school was divided into several clubs or associations, each of which was provided with the necessary instruments for playing the game.'"
John A. Lester, ed., , A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 11. Lester does not provide a source.
1834.9 Town Ball, Other Games on Sabbath Subject to Dollar Fine in Springfield IL
"Any person who shall on the Sabbath day play bandy, cricket, cat, town ball, corner ball, over ball, fives, or any other game of ball, within the limits of the Corporation, or shall engage in pitching dollars, or quoits in any public place, shall on conviction thereof, be fined the sum of one dollar."
Illinois Weekly State Journal, June 14, 1834.
Richard Hershberger writes: "If I recall correctly, the earliest known cites for "town ball" are reportedly from 1837, from local ordinances in Canton, IL and Indianapolis, IN. This is a similar ordinance, from Springfield, IL, from 1834."
1835c.11 New Northeastern Chapbook Shows Cricket, Bat-and-Ball
This eight-page book shows cricket and "bat and ball" being played in the backgrounds of pastoral views.
Happy Home [New York and Philadelphia, Turner and Fisher, ca 1835], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 199.
Are the players children?
1835.19 An "Outdoor Professor" is Appreciated by Former Student
Base (Prisoner's Base), Cricket
[Josey Haywood, a classics instructor and "great friend of school boys] "was a species of out-door Professor of Languages at the Academy; under him we were all Philosophers of the Peripatetic sect, walking constantly about the play grounds, and bestowing on Fives, Base, Cricket and Foot Ball the 'irreperabile tempus' due to the wise men of Greece. -- Hence he was quite a troublous fellow to the in-door Professors. They found nothing classical in his 'bacchant ar.' They loved him not, and wished him far away."
Long Island Farmer, and Queens County Advertiser [Jamaica, NY] , December 16, 1835, page 2, column 2.
In the following paragraph, the man is called "Joseph Heywood."
Do we know what was meant by "Foot Ball" in the early 19th Century?
Can we determine what "the Academy" was, and the ages of its students?
1837.7 Canton Illinois Bans Sunday Cricket, Cat, Town-Ball, Etc.
Section 36 of the Canton IL ordinance passed on 3/27/1837 said:
"any person who shall on the Sabbath day play at bandy, cricket, cat, town-ball, corner-ball, over-ball, fives, or any other game of ball, in any public place, shall . . . " [be fined one dollar].
http://www.illinoisancestors.org/fulton/1871_canton/pages95_126.html#firstincorporation, as accessed 1/1/2008. Information provided by David Nevard 6/11/2007. See also #1837.8, below. Canton IL is about 25 miles SW of Peoria.
On January 31, 2010, Jeff Kittel indicated that he has found the text in another source: History of Fulton County, Illinois (Chapman & Co., Peoria, 1879), pp 527-528. Accessed 2/6/10 via Google Books search ("history of fulton" 1879). Jeff, noting that the ban appeared just 37 days after Canton was incorporated, adds:
"It seems that they had a lively community of ballplayers in Fulton County. Obviously, if they're passing laws against the playing of ball, ball-playing is so widely prevalent, and there is such a variety of ball games being played, then pre-modern baseball had been played in the community for some time. It's fascinating that one of the first things they did, upon incorporation, was ban ball-playing on the Sabbath."
1837.8 Well, As Goes Canton, So Goes Indianapolis
Section 34 of an Indianapolis IN ordinance said:
"Any person who shall on the Sabbath day play at cricket, bandy, cat, town ball, corner ball, or any other game of ball within the limits of the corporation, or shall engage in pitching quoits or dollars in any public place therein, shall on conviction pay the sum of one dollar for each offense." [See the very similar #1837.7, above.]
Richard pointed out in 2008 that these very similar regulations give us the earliest citation for the term "town ball" he knows of, but in 2014 he found the very similar 1834 prohibition on Springfield IL at 1834.9.
Indiana Journal, May 13, 1837.
Note: A dollar fine for "pitching dollars?"
1838.2 St. George Cricket Club Forms in NYC
The St. George Cricket Club of New York City is formed, composed of English-born American residents. Its professional player was Sam Wright, father of baseball notables Harry and George Wright.
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: Source is Chadwick Scrapbooks, Volume 20.
1838.5 At GA, "Baseball and Cricket Had Not Evolved"
"Games and gymnasiums as a regular part of college work, and hence regular organizations of students for athletics, were unknown at that time. Athletics and games there were indeed a plenty, but as purely spontaneous expressions of abounding vitality. I was light, active, and fleet of foot, and became very expert in gymnastics and as a player of town-ball, for baseball and cricket had not yet evolved." [LeConte writes of his college years at the University of Georgia in Athens. He entered as a freshman in January 1838.]
LeConte, Joseph. The Autobiography of Joseph Le Conte (D. Appleton & Company, New York, 1903), page 46. Provided by John Thorn, email of 7/9/04
1838.10 Brooklyn's First Cricket Match?
[A] "It was in the fall of 1838 that we remember the first cricket match played in Brooklyn. The game of course, was a great novelty to the Brooklyn people of the time, except to such portion of them as wren of English birth. . . . The contestants were Nottingham men and Sheffielders." Sheffield won, 167 to 44.
[B] Ryczek's Baseball-s First Inning (page 101) calls this contest the "first widely-reported 'modern' cricket match."
"Sporting Reminiscences," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 16, 1873.
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 101.
1839.5 Cricket Clubs Form in Upstate NY
"Besides New York City and Boston, early organized cricket teams appeared in Albany, Troy and Schenectady, New York in 1839."
Spirit of the Times, September 5, 1839, page 246. As cited in Gelber, Steven M., "'Their Hands Are All Out Playing:' Business and Amateur Baseball, 1845-1917," Journal of Sport History, Vol. 11, number 1 (Spring 1984), page 14. Caveat: John Thorn questions the accuracy of this article, noting that the Spirit had covered cricket in Albany, Schenectady and Troy in 1838 [email of 2/9/2008].
1840c.3 Influx of English Immigrants Brings "Rough Form" of Cricket to NE and Philadelphia PA?
Per Rader, p. 90; [no citation given.] Caveat: recent research does not support this assertion. Caution: the evidence for this needs to be obtained.
1840.10 St. George, NY Cricket Club, [Accidentally] Plays Toronto for a $250 Side Bet
"On the afternoon of August 28, 1840 eighteen members of the St. George's Club [of NY] turned up in Toronto following an exhausting journey through the state of New York by coach and across Lake Ontario by steamer. When they asked about the Toronto Cricket Club, they were told that the members of the Toronto Cricket Club had no knowledge of any such cricket match. [It turned out that an invitation had been sent as a hoax by someone.] Mr. Phillpotts himself was not around and the embarrassed officials of the Toronto Cricket Club hastily called a meeting. Following this meeting, a challenge match was organized between the two clubs for a stake of fifty pounds ($250) a side. A large number of spectators turned out and the band of the 34th Regiment entertained the gathering. His Excellency, Sir George Arthur, the Governor of Upper Canada, witnessed the match which the New Yorkers won by 10 wickets. Following this match, the St. George's Club and the Toronto Cricket Club planned a more proper encounter between the two countries at New York in 1844." From the Dreamcricket website's chronology of American cricket [accessed 10/30/2008]:
1840.20 Base and Cricket are Experimental Astronomy?
"Bat and Ball - Toys, no doubt, have their philosophy, and who knows how deep is the origin of a boy's delight in a spinning top? In playing with bat-balls, perhaps he is charmed with some recognition of the movement of the heavenly bodies, and a game of base or cricket is a course of experimental astronomy, and my young master tingles with a faint sense of being a tyrannical Jupiter driving sphere madly from their orbit."
[Journal entry, June 1, 1840]
Ralph Waldo Emerson, Journals of Ralph Waldo Emerson 1820-1876 [Houghton Mifflin, Boston, 1911] Volume 5, page 410. Submitted by Wendy Knickerbocker 11/30/2005 posting to 19CBB; citation submitted 1/7/2007.
1840c.39 Cricket [or Maybe Wicket?] Played by Harvard Class of 1841
"Games of ball were played almost always separately by the classes, and in my case cricket prevailed. There were not even matches between classes, so far as I remember, and certainly not between colleges. . . . The game was the same then played by boys on Boston Common, and was very unlike what is now  called cricket. Balls, bats, and wickets were all larger than in the proper English game; the bats especially being much longer, twice as heavy, and three-cornered instead of flat. . . . What game was it? Whence it came? It seemed to bear the same relation to true cricket that the old Massachusetts game of base-ball bore to the present 'New York' game, being less artistic, but more laborious."
Member of the Class of 1841, "Harvard Athletic Exercises Thirty Years Ago," Harvard Advocate [Cambridge MA], Volume 17, number 9 (June 12, 1879), page 131. Accessed 2/9/10 via Google Books search <"wickets were all larger" "harvard advocate">.
1840s.40 American Cricketers Play in Canada
"American cricketers had gone to Canada as early as 1840, and there were several matches between the two countries in the next several years. Although the contests were ostensibly between the United States and Canada, the American eleven was generally comprised entirely of Englishmen."
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (MacFarland, 2009), page 104. Ryczek's source may have been the Chadwick Scrapbooks.
1840s.45 Amherst Alum Cites Round Ball, Wicket, Cricket on Campus in the Past
"Various athletic sports have always, to a greater or less degree, prevailed among the students. Prominent among these is, of course, the game of ball in its various forms of Base Ball, Cricket, and Wicket. . . 'Wicket' and 'Round Ball' were quite common once, though of late years [c1870], 'Base Ball' has entirely super[s]eded them."
George Cutting, Student Life at Amherst College, Its Organizations, their Membership, and History (Amherst, Massachusetts, 1871), page 112.
Dating this entry in the 1840s is highly arbitrary. It is included only because it suggests that round ball and wicket were locally seen as common past activities at this fine college as of 1871.
Cutting is listed as a member of the Class of 1871, and thus probably had little direct knowledge of early campus sports. His impressions to round ball and perhaps wicket may have been relayed informally from older persons on campus.
Can we assess the accuracy of his summary? Is wicket known to be played in the vicinity or in other colleges?
1841.8 Philadelphia Cricket Club Issues Challenge for Matches at $50 to $100
"The Philadelphia Ledger for November 1, 1841, carried an advertisement from the Wakefield Mills Cricket Club challenging 'the best eleven in the city to play two home-and-home games for from $50 to $100.'"
John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia PA, 1951], page 15.
1842.3 Harvard Man George Hoar Writes of Playing "Simple Game We Called Base"
George F. Hoar, a student at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA, writes: "The only game which was much in vogue was foot-ball. There was a little attempt to start the English game of cricket and occasionally, in the spring, an old-fashioned simple game which we called base was played."
Hoar, George F. Autobiography of Seventy Years [Pubr?, 1903], page 120. Per Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809.
1842c.7 Cricket and Town Ball Recalled in Philadelphia PA
"The first cricket I ever saw was on a field near Logan Station . . . about 1842. The hosiery weavers at Wakefield Mills [cf #1841.8 above] near by had formed a club under the leadership of Lindley Fisher, a Haverford cricketer. . . . [My brother and I] had played Town Ball, the forerunner of baseball today, at Germantown Academy, and our handling of the ball was appreciated by the Englishmen.
John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 9. Lester does not provide a source here, but his bibliography lists: Wister, William Rotch, Some Reminiscences of Cricket I Philadelphia Before 1861 [Allen, Philadelphia, 1904].
1842c.9 Haverford Students Form Cricket Team of Americans
"Haverford College [Haverford PA] students, however, played cricket with English hosiery weavers prior to 1842, the year the students formed the first all-American team."
Lester, John A., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (U of Penn Press, Philadelphia, 1951), pages 9-11; as cited in Gelber, Steven M., "'Their Hands Are All Out Playing:' Business and Amateur Baseball, 1845-1917," Journal of Sport History, Vol. 11, number 1 (Spring 1984), page 15. Lester cites "a manuscript diary kept by an unknown student . . . under the date 1834."
Haverford is about 10 miles NW of downtown Philadelphia.
Iis Lester saying this is the first Haverford all-native team, first US all-native team, or what?
Can we resolve the discrepancy between 1834 and 18"before 1842" as the time that the club formed?
1843c.5 Chapbook: Trap Ball and Cricket and Windows Don't Mix
Sports for All Seasons [New York, T. W. Strong],
The problem: "Trap ball and Cricket are juvenile Field Sports, and not fit to be played near the houses . . . where it generally ends in the ball going through a window." The solution: "[A]fter having their pocket money stopped for some time to replace the glass they had broken, they pitched their traps and wickets in a more suitable place."
1843.8 Man Flashes Large Wad at New York-Philly Cricket Match, Is Then Nabbed for Robbery
"Important Arrest: A few days since, at the last match game of cricket played near New York, between the New York and Philadelphia competitors for a large sum of money, a person, whose name is William Rushton, from Philadelphia, was present, making large offers to bet upon the result of the game, and exhibiting large sums of money to the spectators for that purpose." This excess evidently led to his later arrest for the robbery of a bank porter on the Brooklyn ferry early in 1843.
"Important Arrest," The Sun [New York? Philadelphia?], August 12, 1843. Accessed via subscription search May 5, 2009.
1843.9 New York Cricket Club Forms with American Membership
The New York Cricket Club is formed on October 9, 1843. The club consists at first of American-born sporting men affiliated with William T. Porter's sporting weekly Spirit of the Times. The American-born emphasis stands in contrast to the British-oriented St. George Club.
Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: Source is "Reminiscence of a Man About Town" from The Clipper, by Paul Preston, Esq.; No. 34: The New York Cricket Club: On an evening in 1842 or '43, a meeting of the embryo organization was held at the office of The Spirit of the Times—a dozen individuals—William T. Porter elected pres., John Richards v.p., Thomas Picton Sec'y — formed as rival to St. George Club- only NY was designed to bring in Americans, not just to accommodate Britons, as St. George was. The original 12 members were affiliated with the Spirit. The first elected member: Edward Clark, a lawyer, then artist William Tylee Ranney, then Cuyp the bowler.
1844.2 First US-Canada Cricket Match Held
The St. George's Club played an All-Canada team for $1000
Wisden's history of cricket, 1966. Also: Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Seymour cites "Manchester" as his source for the $1000 stake.
1845.17 Intercity Cricket Match Begins in NY
"CRICKET MATCH. St. George's Club of this city against the Union Club of Philadelphia. The two first elevens of these clubs came together yesterday for a friendly match, on the ground of the St. George's Club, Bloomingdale Road. The result was as follows, on the first innings: St. George's 44, Union Club of Philadelphia 33 [or 63 or 83; image is indistinct]. Play will be resumed to-day."
New York Herald, October 7, 1845.
1845.19 Painter Depicts Some Type of Old-Fashioned Ball?
A painting by Asher Durand [1796 - 1886] painting An Old Man's Reminiscences may include a visual recollection of a game played long before. Thomas Altherr ["A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It] describes the scene: "a silver-haired man is seated in the left side of he painting and he watches a group of pupils at play in front of a school, just having been let out for the day or for recess. Although this painting is massive, the details, without computer resolution, are a bit fuzzy. But it appears that there is a ballgame of some sort occurring. One lad seems to be hurling something and other boys are arranged around him in a pattern suspiciously like those of baseball-type games." Tom surmises that the old man is likely reflecting on his past.
Asher Durand, An Old Man's Reminiscences (1845), Albany Institute of History and Art, Albany NY. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 40. For a credit-card-sized image - even the schoolhouse is iffy - go to
http://www.albanyinstitute.org/collections/Hudson/durand.htm, as accessed 11/17/2008. Dick McBane [email iof 2/6/09] added some helpful details of Durand's life, but much remains unclear. Query: Can we learn more about Durand's - a member of the Hudson River School of landscape artists, originally hailing from New Jersey - own background and youth?
1845.21 St. George's Cricket Club Plays Series with All-Canada Eleven
On August 1, 1845, St. George's played the first match in Montreal, losing 215 to 154. Later in the month, a crowd reported at 3000 souls saw All-Canada take a 83-49 lead over the New York club at the club's home grounds on NY's 27th Street.
Extensive coverage of the first innings of the second match appears at "The Grand Cricket Match - St. George's Club of this City against All Canada," Weekly Herald, August 30, 1845. Accessed via subscription search, May 5, 2009.
1845.23 In Cricket, Pha Foursome Defeats NY Quad, 27-19, Pockets $500
A cricket match was reported in early September that lined up four players from the St. George Club on New York against four Philadelphians, for a purse of $500. The visiting Philadelphia quartet took a 27- 11 lead in the first innings, and held it for the win. Of the match's 46 runs, 23 were racked up as wide balls. Query: Was this style of rump match common? With only four fielders why was the scoring so low; this match must have been played according to the rules of single wicket, which employs a 180-degree foul line.
"Sporting Intelligence," New YorkHerald, Tuesday, September 2, 1845. Contributed by Gregory Christiano August 1, 2009.
1845c.25 Early Cricket Clubs in the South
Tom Melville, "A History of Cricket in America," p. 15: "Cricket clubs were also appearing in other areas of the country, such as Charleston, South Carolina (where the local club seems to have been associated with that city's prestigious Jockey Club)... Natchez, Mississippi... and in Macon, Georgia by 1845."
Tom Melville, "A History of Cricket in America," p. 15
1846.10 Cricket Ball Whacks School Prexy in the Head
"One summer day in 1846, Jones Wister, rummaging through the attic at "Belfield," found cricket balls, bats, and stumps left behind by a visiting English soldier. Jones and his brothers drove the stumps into the ground just about where La Salles's tennis courts now stand. One of the early cricket balls hit in the United States smashed through the window of William Wister's (now our president's) office and whacked Wister's head."
Note: we need to retrieve full ref from website
1846.12 Brooklyn's Base Ballists and Cricketers Are Among the Thankful
Reporting on Thanksgiving traditions:
"The religiously inclined went to church; several companies went out of town upon target excursions; cricket and base ball clubs had public dinners; people ate the best they could get . . . and everybody, of course, was very thankful for everything, except the intense cold weather."
The Brooklyn [NY] Daily Eagle and Kings County Democrat, vol. 5, number 285 (Friday, November 27, 846), page 3, column 4. Citation and image provided by Craig Waff, 4/30/2007.
1846.13 Spring Sports at Harvard: "Bat & Ball" and Cricket
"In the spring there is no playing of football, but "bat-and-ball" & cricket."
From "Sibley's Private Journal," entry for August 31, 1846, as supplied to David Block by letter of 4/18/2005 from Prof. Harry R. Lewis at Harvard, Cambridge MA.
Lewis notes that the Journal is "a running account of Harvard daily life in the mid nineteenth century."
1846.20 Very Early Knicks Game Washed Out . . . in Brooklyn
"Brooklyn Star Cricket Club.The first meeting of this association for the
season came off yesterday, on their ground in the Myrtle avenue.The
weather was most unfavorable for the sport promised---a game of cricket
between the members of the club, a base ball game between the members of
the Knickerbocker Club . . . , Shortly after, a violent storm of wind, hail, and
rain came on, which made them desist from their endeavors for some time,
and the company which was somewhat numerous, left the
ground. Notwithstanding, like true cricketers, the majority of the club
kept the field, but not with much effect.The wind, hail, rain, and snow
prevailed to such extent that play was out of the question; but they did
the best they could, and in the first innings the seniors of the club
made some 48, while the juniors only scored some 17 or 18.The game was
not proceeded with further."
N. Y. Herald April 14, 1846.
This item is extracted from a 19CBB interchange among Bob Tholkes, John Thorn, and Richard Hershberger, which touched on the somewhat rare later travels of the Knickerbockers and the nature and conditions of several playing fields from 185 to 1869. Text is included as Supplement Text below.
1846.21 A "Badly Defined" and Soggy April Game, In Brooklyn Alongside Star Cricket Club?
"Brooklyn Star Cricket Club.–The first meeting of this association for the season came off yesterday, on their grounds in the Myrtle avenue. The weather was most unfavorable for the sport promised–a game of cricket between the members of the club, a base ball game between the members of the Knickerbocker Club, and a pedestrian match for some $20 between two aspirants for pedestrian fame. It was past 12 o’clock ere the amusements of the day commenced. Shortly after, a violent storm of wind, hail, and rain came on, which made them desist from their endeavors for some time, and the company, which was somewhat numerous, left the ground. Notwithstanding, like true cricketers, the majority of the club kept the field, but not with much effect. The wind, hail, rain and, snow prevailed to such extent that play was out of the question; but they did the best they could, and in the first innings the seniors of the club made some 48, while the juniors only scored some 17 or 18. The game was not proceeded with further. In the interim, a game of base ball was proceeded with by some novices, in an adjoining field, which created a little amusement; but it was so badly defined, that we know not who were the conquerors; but we believe it was a drawn game. Then succeeded the pedestrian match of 100 yards..."
New York Herald, April 14, 1846.
From Richard Hershberger, email of 9/2/16: "I believe this is new. At least it is new to me, and not in the Protoball Chronology."
"The classic version of history of this period has the Knickerbockers springing up forth from the head of Zeus and playing in splendid isolation except for that one match game in 1846. This version hasn't been viable for some years now, though it is the nature of things that it will persist indefinitely. This Herald item shows the Knickerbockers as a part of a ball-playing community."
Richard points out that the "novices" who played base ball were unlikely to have been regular Knick players, whose skills would have been relatively advanced by 1846 (second email of 9/2/16).
Note: Jayesh Patel's Flannels on the Sward (Patel, 2013), page 112, mentions that the Star Club was founded in 1843. His source appears to be Tom Melville's Tented Field.
In 1846, Brooklyn showed a few signs of base ball enthusiasm: about two months later (see entry 1846.2) a Brooklyn Base Ball Club was reported, and in the same month Walt Whitman observed "several parties of youngsters" playing a ball game named "base" -- see 1846.6.
Do we know of other field days like this one in this early period? Can we guess who organized this one, and why? Do we know if the Knicks traveled to Brooklyn that day?
1847.6 "Grand Match of Cricket" Planned in NYC
"On Thursday next, 1st July, as we are informed, there will by a grand match of Cricket played on the St. George's Ground. We know that even eating and drinking are abused, and arguments should be founded on the use, not the abuse or any practice. The time and reflection will be quite as much, or more, upon the practices of ten pins, billiards, base ball, quoits, rackets, &c."
Anglo-American, A Journal of Literature, News, Politics, the Drama, Fine ArtsJanuary 26, 1847 [New York]. Submitted by David Ball 6/4/2006. Note: Why a July game noted in January? What is point of the reference to other games?
1847.16 Cricket Match in Hawaii
The [Honolulu] Polynesian, July 3, 1847, reports on a "Match of Cricket" in that city between two clubs, the Modeste and the Honolulu, with the former winning. Another mention of a cricket game is in same, Aug. 28, 1847.
There was a large English community in Honolulu at this time. And Hawaii was an independent country.
The [Honolulu] Polynesian, July 3, 1847
1848.8 Cricket Flourishes at Haverford College PA
"The College was closed in 1845. When it reopened in 1848, cricket sprang up again under the leadership of an English tutor in Dr. Lyons' school nearby. Two cricket clubs, the Delian and the Lycaean, were formed, and then a third the Dorian."
John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 11. Lester does not provide a source.
1848.17 Cricket Along the Erie Canal
On 12/11/09, Richard Hershberger posted a clip, datelined Utica NY, from the Oneida Morning Herald of December 5, 1848 that offered a $10 reward for recovery of a hand roller - presumably one used to smooth a playing area - by the Star of the West Cricket Club.
Richard added: "I found this while looking a cricket in the area, which was surprisingly vibrant. There was active inter-city play between the Erie Canal cities [such cities include Utica, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo NY]. This item is a simply fantastic look at a practical side to the game. A $10 reward strikes me as downright extravagant. That must have been quite a piece of wood. Baseball clubs didn't need to fool with this sort of thing, which would make the game accessible to all classes."
1849c.5 New Chapbook Names Several Games Played with Balls
Juvenile Pastimes; or Girls' and Boys' Book of Sports [New Haven, S. Babcock], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 212. In this 16-page book's "Playing Ball" section is the observation that "[t]here are a great number of games played with balls, of which base-ball, trap ball, cricket, up-ball, catch-ball and drive ball are most common." Note: "Up-ball?" "Drive ball?" No town ball?
1849.11 Character in Fictional Autobiography Played Cricket, Base-Ball
"On fourths of July, training days and other occasions, young men from the country around, at a distance of fifteen or twenty miles, would come for the purpose of competing for the championship of these contests, in which, in which, as the leader of the school, I soon became conspicuous. Was there a game at cricket or base-ball to be played, my name headed the list of the athletae."
The following page has an isolated reference to the ball grounds at the school. Mayo was from upstate NY. The fifth edition  of Kaloolah is available via Google Books, and was accessed on 10/24/2008; the ballplaying references in this edition are on pages 20 and 21.
W.S. Mayo, Kaloolah, or Journeying to the Djebel Kumri. An Autobiography (George P. Putnam, New York, 1849), page 20.
Posting to 19CBB by Richard Hershberger, 1/24/2008. Richard considers this the first appearance of base-ball in American fiction, as the games in #1837.2 and #1838.4 above are not cited as base ball and could be another type of game.
1850s.3 Cricket Club in Philadelphia, "Young America CC," Started for US-Born Only
John Lester, ed., A Century of Cricket in Philadelphia [University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia 1951], page 23.
Can we determine the year the club formed? Was it a junior clcub?
1850s.14 With Rise of Overarm Bowling, Padding Becomes Regular Part of Cricket
"The early 19th century saw the introduction of pads for batsmen. The earliest were merely wooden boards tied to the batsman's legs. By the 1850s, as overarm bowling and speed became the fashion, pads were regularly used. Older players scorned their introduction, but by this time they were deemed essential."
Peter Scholefield, compiler, Cricket Laws and Terms [Axiom Publishing, Kent Town Australia, 1990], page 10.
It would be interesting to know how much velocity of deliveries increased with the change to overhand throwing.
1850s.21 "Shoddy" Lords Opts for Mechanical Grass-Cutter
"The art of preparing a pitch came surprisingly late in cricket's evolution. . . . [The grounds were] shoddily cared for . . . . Attitudes were such that in the 1850s, when an agricultural grass-cutter was purchased, one of the more reactionary members of the MCC committee conscripted a group of navvies [unskilled workers] to destroy it. This instinctive Luddism suffered a reverse with the death of George Summer in 1870 and that year a heavy roller was at last employed on the notorious Lord's square."
Simon Rae, It's Not Cricket: A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game (Faber and Faber, 2001), page 215.
1850.22 British Trade Unionists Play Base Ball
Richard Hershberger found an account of blue collar base ball in England. A union journal described a May 21 march in which "hundreds of good and true Democrats" participated. Boating down the Thames from London, the group got to Gravesend [Kent] and later reached "the spacious grounds of the Bat and Ball Tavern," where they took up various activities, including "exhilarating" games of "cricket, base ball, and other recreations."
"Grand Whitsuntide Chartist Holiday," Northern Star and National Trades' Journal, Volume 13, Number 657 (May 25, 1850), page 1. Posted to 19CBB by Richard Hershberger on 2/5/2008.
This is mentioned in a newspaper article on a Chartist excursion to Gravesend, in the Leeds "Star of Freedom," May 25, 1850. The Bat and Ball Tavern still stands in Gravesend, and the "spacious grounds" refers to a cricket field adjacent to the tavern, which also exists today. Another article on this excursion, in "Reynolds' Newspaper," May 26, 1850, merely mentions cricket playing. [ba]
1850.23 English Novel Briefly Mentions Base-Ball
"Emma, drawing little Charles toward her, began a confidential conversation with him on the subject of his garden and companions at school, and the comparative merits of cricket and base-ball."
Catherine Anne Hubback, The Younger Sister, Volume I (London, Thomas Newby 1850), page 166. Provided by David Block, 2/27/2008. Mrs. Hubback was the niece of Jane Austen.
1850s.27 Cricket Outshines Base Ball in Press Coverage
"During the 1850s and early 1860s, coverage of cricket in the sporting press generally exceeded that of baseball."
Writing more specifically about the Spirit of the Times, Bill Ryczek says: "There was little baseball reported in The Spirit until 1855, and what did appear was limited to terse accounts of games (with box scores) submitted by members of the competing clubs. The primary emphasis was on four-legged sport and cricket, which often received multiple columns of coverage . . . . As interest in baseball grew, The Spirit's coverage of the sport expanded. On May 12, 1855, the journal printed the rules of baseball for the first time and soon began to report more frequently on games that took place in New York and its vicinity (Baseball's First Inning, page 163)."
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 108, page 163.
The number of base ball games known in the new York area doubled in 1855, in 1856, in 1857, and in 1859. It is surprising to see an argument that cricket coverage still led as late as the early 1860's
1850.29 US Has Twenty Cricket Clubs
"Despite its shortcomings, cricket enjoyed significant popularity in the United States. By 1850, there were a half dozen clubs in New York and about twenty around the United States."
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 105. He cites George Kirsch, "American Cricket: Players and Clubs Before the Civil War," Journal of Sport History, Volume 11 (Spring 1984).
1850c.51 A Form of Cricket
"Until the advent of 'hard' baseball in the late 1850s, boys in Kalamazoo 'played a form of cricket with a big soft ball as large as a modern football, but round and made at home of twine and leather and owled over a level field to knock down wickets less than its own height from the ground.'"
Peter Morris, But Didn't We Have Fun?i (Ivan R Dee, 2008), p.16, quoting the Kalamazoo Telegraph, Dec. 10, 1901.
1851.1 Sport of Cricket Gets its First Comprehensive History Book
Pycroft, James, The Cricket Field; or, The History and Science of Cricket [London? Pub'r?], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 220.
A Boston edition appeared in 1859 [Mayhew and Baker, publisher].
This book's first chapter, "The Origins of the Game of Cricket," is seen by Block as "if not the earliest, one of the finest early studies of cricket history. The author exhumes a great number of references to cricket and its antecedents dating back to the year 1300."
1851.5 Robert E. Lee Promotes Cricket at West Point?
Robert E. Lee
A twenty-one year old cricket enthusiast visited West Point from England, and remarked on "the beautiful green sward they had and just the place to play cricket. . . . The cadets played no games at all. . . . It was the first time that I had a glimpse of Colonel Robert E. Lee [who was to become Superintendent of West Point]. He was a splendid fellow, most gentlemanly and a soldier every inch. . . .
"Colonel Lee said he would be greatly obliged to me if I would teach the officers how to play cricket, so we went to the library. . . .Lieutenant Alexander asked for the cricket things. He said, 'Can you tell me, Sir, where the instruments and apparatus are for playing cricket?' The librarian know nothing about them and so our project came to an end."
"The Boyhood of Rev. Samuel Robert Calthrop." Compiled by His Daughter, Edith Calthrop Bump. No date given. Accessed 10/31/2008 at http://www-distance.syr.edu/SamCalthropBoyhoodStory.html.
Robert E. Lee is reported to have become Superintendent of West Point in September 1852; and had been stationed in Baltimore until then; can Calthrop's date be reconciled?
1852.4 Bass-ball "Quite Too Complicated" for Children's Book on Games
An 1852 book's woodcut on trap-ball "shows a tiny bat that looks more like a Ping Pong paddle and bears the caption 'bat ball'."
As for other games, the book grants that Little Charley "also plays at cricket and bass ball, of which the laws or [sic] quite too complicated for me to describe."
Little Charley's Games and Sports (Philadelphia, C. G. Henderson, 1852).
From David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 214.
This book reappeared in 1854, 1857, and 1858 as part of a compendium.
1853.7 Didactic Novel Pairs "Bass-Ball" and Rounders at Youths' Outing
"The rest of the party strolled about the field, or joined merrily in a game of bass-ball or rounders, or sat in the bower, listening to the song of birds." .
Cricket receives three references (pages 75, 110, and 211)in this book. The first of these, unlike the bass-ball/rounders account, separates English boys from English girls after a May tea party: "Some of the gentlemen offered prizes of bats and balls, and skipping-ropes, for feats of activity or skill in running, leaping, playing cricket, &c. with the boys; and skipping, and battledore and shuttlecock with the girls."
Trap-ball receives one uninformative mention in the book (page 211).
A Year of Country Life: or, the Chronicle of the Young Naturalists (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, London, 1853), page 115.
As a way of teaching nature [each chapter introduces several birds, insects, and "wild plants"] this book follows a group of boys and girls of unspecified age [post-pubescent, we guess] through a calendar year. The bass-ball/rounders reference above is one of the few times we run across both terms in a contemporary writing. So, now: Is the author denoting are there two distinct games with different rules, or just two distinct names for the same game? The syntax here leaves that distinction muddy, as it could be the former answer if the children played bass-ball and rounders separately that [June] day.
Richard's take on the bass-ball/rounders ambiguity: "It is possible that there were two games the party played . . . but the likelier interpretation is that this was one game, with both names given to ensure clarity." David Block [email of 2/27/2008] agrees with Richard. Richard also says "It is possible that as the English dialect moved from "base ball" to "rounders," English society concurrently moved from the game being played primarily played by boys and only sometimes being played by girls. I am not qualified to say."
1853c.13 At Harvard, Most Students Played Baseball and Football, Some Cricket or Four-Old-Cat
Reflecting back nearly sixty years later, the secretary of the class of 1855 wrote: "In those days, substantially all the students played football and baseball [MA round ball, probably], while some played cricket and four-old-cat."
"News from the Classes," Harvard Graduates Magazine Volume 18 (1909-1910). Accessed 2/11/10 via Google Books search ("e.h.abbot, sec."). From an death notice of Alexander Agassis, b. 1835
1854.8 Historian Describes Facet of 1850s "School Boys' Game of Rounders"
A cricket historian describes an early attribute of cricket"
" . . . the reason we hear sometimes of he Block-hole was . . . because between these [two] two-feet-asunder stumps [the third stump in the wicket had not yet been introduced] there was cut a hole big enough to contain a ball, and (as now with the school boy's game of rounders) the hitter was made out in running a notch by the ball being popped into [a] hole (whence 'popping crease') before the point of the bat could reach it."
James Pycroft, The Cricket Field , page 68.
Note: Pycroft was first published in 1851. See item #1851.1. Was this material in the first edition?
1854.14 Finally, Cricket Played in America Without Mostly English Immigrants!
[A] "The first organization composed mostly of American natives was the Philadelphia Cricket Club, formed in 1854."
[B] It was in 1854 that an all-US match occurred, maybe the first ever. The New York Times on August 11, 1854, covered a match played the previous week between New York and Newark, noting, "this ends the first match played in the United States between Americans. Let us hope it will not be the last." The New York club won this match, and Newark won a return match on August 1.
[A] William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 105. No source given.
[B] Email from Beth Hise. She cites William Rotch Wister, Some Reminiscences of Cricket in Philadelphia before 1861 (Allen, Lane, and Scott, 1904).
Note: This assumes that the elevens at Haverford (see #1848.8 above) don't qualify for this honor.
1855.7 Cricket Becoming "The National Game" in US: "Considerable Progress" Seen
[A] "Cricket is becoming the fashionable game - the national game, it might be said."
[B] Things looked rosy for cricket in New York, too. In a report of the results of a June match between St. George's second eleven and the New York clubs first string [which won by 74 runs], this upbeat assessment was included: "We shall look for stirring times amongst the cricketers this season. Last week St. George's best Philadelphia. Next Wednesday the 1st Elevens contend for mastery between St. George and New-York. The "Patterson," "Newark," "Harlem," "Washington," Williamsburgh," "Albany," "Utica," and last, though not least the Free Academy Cricket Clubs, have matches on the tapis [sic?]. Even the Deaf and Dumb Institution are likely to have a cricket ground, as the pupils have had it introduced, and are playing the game . . . . This healthful game seems to be making considerable progress amongst us."
[A] "New York Correspondence," Washington Evening Star, June 18, 1855, page 2. This statement is expressed in the context of the influence of John Bull [that is, England] in the US.
[B] "Cricket," New York Daily Times, Thursday, June 21, 1855.
1855.12 Students Bring Cricket to Saint John NB
"[C]ricket was brought to Saint John by the students who went to the Collegiate School in Fredericton. At that time, cricket was far more advanced in the 'celestial' city. When the students returned to Saint John [from Fredericton], they brought with them the game of cricket. The military leased to the new club a large field behind the military barracks. They formed the 'Saint John Cricket Club' in the year 1855."
Brian Flood, Saint John: A Sporting Tradition 1785-1985 [Neptune Publishing, Saint John, 1985], page 20.
1855.15 2000 Demurely Watch Englishmen-heavy Cricket at Hoboken NJ
"A Game that few Yankees Understand
"The scene at the Cricket Ground at Hoboken, for the last three days, has been worth a long ride to see . . . .
"[A] most pleasing picture. It had a sort of old Grecian aspect - yet it was an English one essentially. Nine-tenths of the immense number of visitors, we guess from the universal dropping of their h's were English. But it is a game that a Yankee may be proud to play well. It speaks much for the moral effect of the game, though we were on the ground some three hours, and not less than 2,000 were there, we heard not a rough or profane word, nor saw an action that a lady might not see with propriety. It costs three cents to get to Hoboken and for thousands of New-Yorker there can be no greater novelty that to watch a game of cricket."
New York Daily Times, vol. 4 number 1168 (June 15, 1855), page 1, column 6. Posted to 19CBB on 9/11/2007.
1855.25 Text Perceives Rounders and Cricket, in Everyday French Conversations
An 1855 French conversation text consistently translates "balle au camp" as "rounders." It also translates "crosse" to "cricket."
A double is seen in "deux camps," as "En voila une bonne! Deux camps pour celle-la" is translated as "That is a good one! Two bases for that."
W. Chapman, Every-Day French Talk (J. B. Bateman, London, 1855), pages 16, 20, 21. Accessed 2/11/10 via Google Books search <"chapman teacher" "french talk" 1855>. The English titles for the translated passages are The Playground and Returning From School.
It is unclear whether the original poems are the English versions or the French versions; if the latter, it seems plausible that these safe-haven games were known in France.
Would a French person agree that "balle au camp" is rounders by another name? Should we researcher thus chase after that game too? Perhaps a French speaker among us could seek la verite from le Google on this?
1856.16 Cricket "The Great Match at Hoboken" [US vs. Canada]
"The Great Match at Hoboken!!! The United States Victorious!! Canada vs. United States"
The American team was spiced with English-born talent, including Sam Wright, father to Harry and George Wright. Matthew Brady took photos. A crowd of 8,000 to 10,000 was estimated.
Porter's Spirit of the Times, September 20, 1856.
1856.27 Manhattan CC Forms
The Manhattan Cricket Club is formed and includes New York City baseball players Frank Sebring and Joseph Russell of the Empire Base Ball Club.
Chadwick Scrapbooks, Vol. 20
1857.3 Long Island Cricket Club Forms
The Long Island Cricket Club is formed. The membership includes baseball player John Holder of the Brooklyn Excelsiors.
Note" add info on the significance of this club?
1857.6 Seymour: Cricket Groups Meet to Try to Form US [National] Cricket Club
Per Seymour, "devotees" of cricket met in New York to "organize a United States Central Club to mentor the sport..."
Seymour, Harold, Baseball: the Early Years [Oxford University Press, 1989], p. 14. [No ref given.]
1857.37 Charleston Newspaper Urges Cricket to help "Physical Education"
The Charleston Mercury in the late 1850s wrote or ran several editorial promoting physical fitness. That of May 20, 1857, titled "Physical Education," recommended cricket for exercise. That of July 21, 1856 is to the same effect.
Charleston Mercury, May 20, 1857; July 21, 1856
1857.47 On Boston Common, "Several Parties Engaged in Matches of Base Ball"
"The Common was thronged with citizens many of whom engaged in ball-playing. The Bay State Cricket Club were out in full force and had fine sport. Several parties engaged in matches at base ball, enjoying the exercise exceedingly, and furnishing a large amount of amusement to the spectators."
"Fast Day", Boston Herald, April 17, 1857, page 4.
1858.1 Fifty Clubs Said Active in New York Area - Plus Sixty Junior Clubs
That same spring, Porter's estimated that there were 30 to 40 base ball and cricket teams on Long Island [which then included Brooklyn] alone.
Seymour, Harold, Baseball: the Early Years [Oxford University Press, 1989], p. 24; probable source: "The Base Ball Convention," Porter's Spirit of the Times, vol. 4, no. 3, March 20, 1858, p. 37, cols. 2-3
1858.8 Harvard Student Magazine Notes "Multitude" Playing Base or Cricket There
"[On] almost any evening or pleasant Saturday, . . . a shirt-sleeved multitude from every class are playing as base or cricket . . .
"Mens Sana," Harvard Magazine 4 (June 1858), page 201.
1858.9 Brooklyn Daily Eagle Contrasts Base Ball and Cricket
"Base ball is the favorite game, as it is more simple in its rules, and a knowledge of them is easily acquired. Cricket is the most scientific of the two and requires more skill and judgment in the use of the bat, especially, than base."
"Cricket and Base Ball," Brooklyn Daily Eagle, March 22, 1858.
1858.26 Wicket, as Well as Cricket and Base Ball, Reported in Baltimore MD
"Exercise clubs and gymnasia are spring up everywhere. The papers have daily records of games at cricket, wicket, base ball, etc."
Editorial, "Physical Education," Graham's American Monthly of Literature, art, and Fashion, Volume 53, Number 6 [December 1858], page 495.
1858.38 Baseball Recommended for Brooklyn Schools-- Easier than Cricket
". . . we think it would be an addition to every school, that would lead to great advantages to mental and bodily health, if each had a cricket or ball club attached to it. There are between 30 and 40 Base Ball Clubs and six Cricket Clubs on Long Island [Brooklyn counted as Long Island then] . . . . Base ball if the favorite game, as it is more simple in its rules, and a knowledge of it is more easily acquired. Cricket is the most scientific of the two and requires more skill and judgement in the use of the bat, especially, than base.
"The Ball Season of 1858," Brooklyn Eagle, March 22, 1858; reprinted in Spirit of the Times, Volume 28, number 7 (Saturday, March 27, 1858), page 78, column 2
1858.40 Cricket Plays Catch-up; Plans a National Convention
"CRICKET CONVENTION FOR 1858. - A Convention of delegates from the various Cricket Clubs of the United States will take place, pursuant to adjournment from last year, at the Astor House [on May 3]. Important business will be transacted."
"Cricket and Base Ball," Spirit of the Times (Volume 28, number 4 (Saturday, April 10, 1858), page 102, column 3.
Note: Do we know the outcome? Was cricket attempting to counteract baseball's surge? If so, how? Why didn't it work?
1858.41 Buffalo NY Feels Spring Fever, Expects Many New BB Clubs
"The Niagara Club, of Buffalo, also played oin Saturday, on the vacant lot on Main Street, above the Medical College. We learn that several other clubs will soon organize, so that some rare sort may be anticipated the coming season. The Cricket Club will soon be out in full force . . . . We are pleased to notice this disposition to indulge in manly sports. "Cricket and Base Ball,"
Spirit of the Times, Volume 28, number 7 (Saturday, March 27, 1858), page 78, column 2
1859.13 First Tour of English Eleven to US and Canada
The All England Eleven confronted 22 US players in a match at the Camac Estate Cricket Ground in Philadelphia, October 10-13, 1859. England overtook the US, 155-154 with seven wickets in hand. The US side comprised 13 Philadelphians and 9 New Yorkers.
The AEE also thumped 22 players from the US and Canada in Rochester NY. In all, the tour comprised eight matches.
John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket, UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951), pages 19-21.
Facsimile of Clipper coverage of the Philadelphia match contributed by Gregory Christiano, 2009.
1859.26 NY Herald Weighs Base Ball against Cricket
A detailed comparison of base ball and cricket appeared in the
"[C]ricket could never become a national sport in America - it is too slow, intricate and plodding a game for our go-ahead people."
"The home base [in base ball] is marked by a flat circular iron plate, painted white. The pitcher's point . . . is likewise designated by a circular iron plate painted white . . . ."
"The art of pitching consists in throwing it with such force that the batsman has not time to wind his bat to hit it hard, or so close to his person that he can only hit it with a feeble blow."
"[The baseball is] not so heavy in proportion to its size as a cricket ball."
"Sometimes the whole four bases are made in one run."
"The only points in which a the base ball men would have any advantage over the cricketers, in a game of base ball, are two - first, in the batting, which is overhand, and done with a narrower bat, and secondly, in the fact that the bell being more lively, hopping higher, and requiring a different mode of catching. But the superior activity and practice of the [cricket] Eleven in fielding would amply make up for this."
It occupies about two hours to play a game of base ball - two days to play a game of cricket." "[B]ase ball is better adapted for popular use than cricket. It is more lively and animated, gives more exercise, and is more rapidly concluded. Cricket seems very tame and dull after looking at a game of base ball.
"It is suited to the aristocracy, who have leisure and love ease; base ball is suited to the people . . . . "
In the American game the ins and outs alternate by quick rotation, like our officials, and no man can be out of play longer than a few minutes."
New York Herald, October 16, 1859, page 1, columns 3-5.
1859.53 Cricket Club formed in Savannah, GA in 1859
The Augusta Chronicle, Aug. 26, 1859: "Cricket--A club for the practice of this manly game, has just been formed by a number of young men of Savannah."
In November a match was reported: "Savannah Items...The Cricket Match--The match on Thursday last was played by sides chosen by Messers. St. Croix and Armitage." The former won 91 to 86 in two innings.
The Augusta Chronicle, Aug. 26, 1859
The Charleston (SC) Courier, Nov. 9, 1859,
1859.62 Plea for Amateurism
CRICKETING. That eleven men who have devoted their youth and manhood to playing cricket, and have made their living thereby, should be able to beat twice that number who have played that game occasionally for exercise and recreation, is not at all surprising...We have steadily and ardently favored the recent efforts made in this country for the creation and diffusion of a popular taste for muscular outdoor amusements. We believe our industrious people have too few holidays, and devote too few hours to health-giving, open-air recreations... and we should be glad to hear of the inclosure of of a public play-ground, and formation of a ball-club in every township in the Union...But play should be strictly a recreation, never a business. As a pursuit, we esteem it a very bad one...Let us have ball-clubs, cricket-clubs, and as many more such as you please, but not professional cricket-players any more than professional card-players. We trust that the Eleven of All England are to have no imitators on this side of the ocean."
New York Tribune, Oct. 8, 1859
The All England Eleven played in Canada, New York City, Philadelphia, and Rochester in the fall of 1859, playing on occasion against 22 opponents, to provide competition.
1859.63 What Must I Do to Be Physically Saved?
"For a great many years, a great many people, particularly in this great country, have been asking what they should do to be physically saved?...We are pretty sure that the mania for cricket, which has followed the base ball madness, will not be without its blessings...we cannot imagine a dyspeptic cricketer-- no! not after he has received many balls in the pit of his stomach."
In a two-part series under the title "Muscle Looking Up" The New York Tribune explored the past and present of the physical culture movement in the United States, noting approvingly the trend to emphasize sportive exercise, and hoping that it will be extended to approval of exercise for both men and women.
New York Herald Tribune, Oct. 7 and Oct. 15, 1859
1859.72 Cricket in Madison, Wisconsin
The (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal, Aug. 25, 1859, reports on a cricket match at the State Fair Grounds between two local teams, the Madison and the Washington. This appears to be the first mention of cricket in Madison.
The (Madison) Wisconsin State Journal, Aug. 25, 1859
1860s.2 NY game, Mass game, Cricket co-exist
The New York Game, the Massachusetts Game, and cricket co-exist. Many athletes play more than one of these games. Varying forms of baseball are now played in virtually every corner of the continent. The Civil War years disrupt the organizational development of baseball to a degree but, with the war and the great movement of soldiers that it brings, baseball's popularity is solidified. The New York Game emerges from the war years (1861-1865) as the game of choice. The Massachusetts Game, though played throughout the war in various settings, loses ground rapidly following the Civil War. Other baseball variants also recede in popularity. By the end of the 1860's the New York Game predominates everywhere and is frequently referred to as "our National Game" or "our National Pastime." Cricket remains an elitist game, available for the most part in larger cities and limited in appeal.
1860.17 Base Ball vs. Cricket
In a lengthy article, The Clipper (probably Henry Chadwick) explores the comparison of cricket to baseball, and the question of the suitability of baseball players as cricketers. Proposes matches between cricketers and baseballists. The Clipper returned to one point, the superiority of baseballists as fielders, in articles on Nov. 10 and Nov. 17, 1860.
New York Clipper, April 28, 1860
1860.30 CT Wicketers Trounce CT Cricketers at Wicket
Was wicket an inferior game? "the game [of wicket] certainly reached a level of technical sophistication equal to these two sports [base ball and cricket]. This was clearly demonstrated during a wicket match at Waterbury, Connecticut, in 1860 when a team of local wicket players easily defeated a team of experience local cricket players."
Tom Melville, The Tented Field: the History of Cricket in America (Bowling Green State U Popular Press, Bowling Green OK, 1998), page 10. Melville cites the source of the match as the Waterbury American (August 31, 1860), page 21.
Can we locate and examine this 1860 article? A: It is apparently not online.
1860.54 Yes, The Game Would Move Right Along . . . But Would it be Cricket?
"Whenever the cricket community realized that American participation and interest were low, they talked about changing the rules. Some Americans suggested three outs per inning and six innings a game."
William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 103. Attributed to the Chadwick Scrapbooks.
Were there really several such proposals? Can we guess what impediments required that it take another century to invent one-day and 20/20 cricket?
1860.57 Alabamans Choose Cricket
"Cricket in Alabama. - The lovers of this active and healthful game will be gratified to learn that a cricket club has been organized in Mobile [AL], under favorable auspices, and has already upon its roll a list of forty seven prominent and respectable merchants."
New York Clipper, March 17, 1860.
Mobile is on the Gulf Coast about 30 miles E of the Mississippi border.
Bad timing, eh?
1860.82 Famous Baseballists Turn To Cricket
CRICKET.-- Long Island vs. Newark.-- The first contest between two American elevens on Long Island took place at East New-York yesterday...considerable interest was created among the base-ball players of Long Island, from the fact that players from each of the first nines of the Excelsior, Atlantic, and Putnam Clubs were to take part in it; and accordingly the largest collection of spectators ever seen on the East New-York grounds collected yesterday...the result was a well contested game of four innings...the time occupied in playing the innings being under five hours, the shortest regular game of cricket on record."
New York Tribune, Sep. 6, 1860
The players, their names helpfully italicized in the box score, were Edward Pennington and Charles Thomas of the Eureka BBC of Newark, James Creighton and John Whiting of the Excelsior, Dick Pearce and Charley Smith of the Atlantic, and Thomas Dakin of the Putnam. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle noted in its report on Sep. 6 that "The base ball players showed themselves to as much advantage as at their favorite game."
Creighton was successful in cricket both as a bowler and batsman. At the time of his death in Oct. 1862 he was considered the best American player in the New York area.
1861.47 Base Ball, Cricket, Are 2 of 5 Beadles' Dime Pubs in 1861
"13 April, 1861. Beadles' Dime Books. We have received another batch of the wonderfully cheap and excellent works published by BEADLE & CO., 141 William Street, New York. They are the “Dime Chess instructor,” “Book of Cricket,” “Baseball Player,” “Guide To Swimming,” “Florida, or, The Iron will,” by Mrs. Denison, and “General Anthony Wayne, the Hero of Two Wars,” by G. J. Victor. They are all published at ten cents each, in convenient form, with clear type, good ink and paper. Excessive cheapness has given to the publications of this house an immense sale all over the country. The liberal enterprise of the proprietors fully deserves this gratifying result."
Note: This notice does not mention Henry Chadwick as editor of the Beadle Base Ball Player series.
Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 1861; provided by John Thorn, posting to the 19CBB listserve, December 5, 2017.
For the full text of the Beadle 1860 "Base Ball Player," see http://vbba.org/rules-and-customs/1860-beadles-full-text/.
For an account of Beadles Base Ball books, 1860 through 1881, see https://www.ulib.niu.edu/badndp/misc-bdbp-b.html.
See also 1860.6 Chadwick's Beadle's Appears, and the Baseball Literature is Launched.
Contents of the 1860 Beadles publication include:
 a description of the game of rounders
 the 1845 Knickerbocker Rules (14 sections on field rules)
 A listing of 22 clubs formed 1845-1857
 The 1858 establishment of the NABBP
 The NABBP Rules of 1860 (38 sections)
 The 1858 Rules of the Massachusetts Game (21 Sections)
Rules for the Formation of a Club
The 1861 edition is reported to include player averages (runs per game)
1862.3 US Cricket Enters Steeper Decline
[A] "The cricket season last year was a very dull one, this clubs in this locality [Brooklyn] playing but a few matches, and those of no importance." The recent delline:
[B] "For several years, cricketers had been talking of forming as association similar to that set up by the baseball fraternity. Despite several meetings, they had not done so. At the annual convention of 1862, the Clipper noted the meager attendance and proclaimed the gathering 'a mere farce.' It despaired of cricket ever becoming popular unless it was made more American in nature. The disappointing convention was the last the cricketer would hold."
[A] Brooklyn Eagle, April 25, 1862. Contributed by Bill Ryczek, December 29, 2009.
[B] William Ryczek, Baseball's First Inning (McFarland, 2009), page 105. The Clipper quoted is the May 24, 1862 issue.
See also Beth Hise, "American Cricket in the 1860s: Decade of Decline or New Start?," Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 143-148.
1863.1 Ballplaying Peaks in the Civil War Camps
[A] "[In April 1863] the Third Corps and the Sixth Corps baseball teams met near White Oak Church, Virginia, to play for the championship of the Army of the Potomac."
[B] "Ballplaying in the Civil War Camps increased rapidly during the War, reaching a peak of 82 known games in April 1863 -- while the troops still remained in their winter camps. Base ball was by a large margin the game of choice among soldiers, but wicket, cricket, and the Massachusetts game were occasionally played. Play was much more common in the winter camps than near the battle fronts."
[C] Note: In August 2013 Civil War scholar Bruce Allardice added this context to the recollected Army-wide "championship game":
"The pitcher for the winning team was Lt. James Alexander Linen (1840-1918) of the 26th NJ, formerly of the Newark Eureka BBC. Linen later headed the bank, hence the mention in the book. In 1865 Linen organized the Wyoming BBC of Scranton, which changed its name to the Scranton BBC the next year. The 26th NJ was a Newark outfit, and a contemporary Newark newspaper says that many members of the prewar Eurekas and Adriatics of that town had joined the 26th. The 26th was in the Sixth Army Corps, Army of the Potomac, stationed at/near White Oak Church near Fredericksburg, VA. April 1863, the army was in camp. The book says Linen played against Charlie Walker a former catcher of the Newark Adriatics who was now catcher for the "Third Corps" club.
"With all that being said, in my opinion the clubs that played this game weren't 'corps' clubs, but rather regimental and/or brigade clubs that by their play against other regiments/brigades claimed the Third and Sixth Corps championships.
"Steinke's "Scranton", page 44, has a line drawing and long article on Linen which mentions this game. See also the "New York Clipper" website, which has a photo of Linen."
[A] History. The First National Bank of Scranton, PA (Scranton, 1906), page 37. This is, at this time (2011), the only known reference to championship games in the warring armies.
As described in Patricia Millen, On the Battlefield, the New York Game Takes Hold, 1861-1865, Base Ball Journal, Volume 5, number 1 (Special Issue on Origins), pages 149-152.
[B] Larry McCray, Ballplaying in Civil War Camps.
[C] Bruce Allardice, email to Protoball of August, 2013.
[D] (((add Steinke ref and Clipper url here?)))
Note Civil War historian Bruce Allardice's caveat, above: "In my opinion the clubs that played weren't 'corps' clubs, but rather regimental or brigade clubs that by their play other regiments/brigades claimed the Third and Sixth Corps championships."
Is it possible that a collection of trophy balls, at the Hall of Fame or elsewhere, would provide more evidence of the prevalence of base ball in the Civil War?
1863.19 Eventual National League Prexy Sticks with Cricket in War Camp
“[W]hile I played barn ball, one old cat and two old cat in early boyhood days, Cricket was my favorite game, and up to the time I enlisted in the army I never played a regular game of base ball or the New York game as it was then called. In my regiment we had eleven cricketers that had all played together at home and I was the leading spirit in getting up matches. We played a number of good matches but we were too strong for any combination that we could get to play against us, and we finally had to abandon cricket and + take up this so called New York game. I remember well the first game that I played. It was against the 27th NY Inf. at White Oak Church near Fredericksburg Va. In the Spring of 1863. I played occasionally during the remainder of the war, but after my discharge in 1865 I came to Washington and joined the American Cricket Club of this city. But I soon turned my attention to base ball + played with the Olympic Club of this city from 1866 to 1870.”
Nicholas Young was born in Amsterdam NY in 1840, and thus was playing the named games in the 1850s. He was a member of the 32nd NY Infantry, which was at Falmouth VA in spring 1863. He led the NL from 1881 to 1903.
Nicholas E. Young, letter to Spalding, December 2, 1904. Accessed at the Giamatti Center of the Baseball; Hall of Fame, 6/26/09, in the “Origins file.
Summarized in George Kirsch, Baseball in Blue and Gray (Princeton U, 2003), page 37.
Zoss and Bowman’s Diamonds in the Rough says that the 32nd had a cricket team and that Young played on it [p. 81].
From online sources we do learn that Young was born in Amsterdam NY, was picked for an all-upstate NY cricket team to play an all-NYC team in 1858, and that he joined the 32nd NY Regiment. The history of 27th NY Regiment, which sprang from the general area of Binghamton, does not mention ballplaying.
1864.20 150th Pennsylvania Pursues “The Pleasant Game of Cricket”
“Orders to be in readiness to move were received every day . . . . From their very frequency the regiment soon came to regard these orders with serenity, and in the first days of June abandoned itself in unclaimed hours, to the pleasant pastime of cricket – a game very dear to Philadelphians– for which a complete outfit had been ordered some time before.”
Lt.Col. Thomas Chamberlin, History of the One Hundred and Fiftieth Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers (F. McManus, Philadelphia, 1905), page 106. Accessed 6/20/09 on Google Books via “bucktail brigade” search. The regiment was camped at White Oak Church, near Falmouth VA. The regiment has several companies from Philadelphia.
1866.16 Cricket reaches Galena Illinois
Don Korte's "Galena's Baseball Legacy" says in May of 1866 a cricket club was formed in Galena, pre-dating baseball there. In July this club played a match among themselves. The club died out the next year.
Don Korte's "Galena's Baseball Legacy"
1867.20 First Cricket Match in Memphis
The Memphis Daily Appeal, June 9, 1867, headlines the first cricket match ever held in Memphis, on the grounds near the state hospital, between the St. George and Chelsea clubs.
The Memphis Daily Appeal, June 9, 1867