Chronology:Drive Ball

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1862.85 76th NY plays baseball--or is it drive ball?


Washington DC

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Note: this entry was, in February 2022, merged in Chronology item 1862.104.

The 1862 letters of Lester Winslow, of the 76th NY, at the National Archives, feature stationary printed with the heading "Camp Doubleday" "76th New York" and show soldiers playing a  bat-ball game. On this David Block writes:

"In the foreground of the illustration two soldiers face each other with bats, one striking a ball.  Since no other players are involved, the only game that seems to correlate to the image is, in fact, drive ball.  If not for Abner Doubleday's association, we would pay this little heed, but it is a matter of curiosity, if not amusement, to place baseball's legendary noninventor in such close proximity to a game involving a bat and ball."  David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It (U Nebraska, 2005), page 198. See entry on Drive Ball.

Camp Doubleday, named for brigade commander General Abner Doubleday, was a fort protecting DC, near where Fort Stevens is/was.

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