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1823c.9 Kentucky Abolitionist Recalls Playing Base-ball
"I had ever been devoted to athletic sports - riding on horseback . . . playing base-ball, bandy, foot-ball and all that - so I had confidence in my prowess."
-- Cassius Marcellus Clay, on his outdoor activities at St. Joseph College in Kentucky in about 1823.
Cassius Marcellus Clay, The Life of Cassius Marcellus Clay; Memoirs, Writings and Speeches, Volume 1 (Brennan and Co., Cincinnati, 1886), page 35. 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 31.
Clay's book, which seems to make no other reference to ball-playing, was accessed 11/15/2008 via a Google Books search for <life of cassius>.
1850s.13 Trap Ball, Stool Ball, Well Established in Louisville KY
"Other forms of bat and ball games, like trap-ball and stool-ball, became well established in Louisville in the decade preceding the Civil War."
Bob Bailey, "Chapter 1 - Beginnings: From Amateur Teams to Disgrace in the National League (mimeo, 1990)', page 1. Bob (email, 1/27/2013) notes that his source for this observation is The Boy's Own Book: A Complete Encyclopedia of all the Diversions, Athletic, and Recreative, of Boyhood and Youth (Louisville, Morton and Griswold, 1854), page 67.
Can we obtain original sources?
1858.19 First KY Box Score Appears in Louisville Newspaper
"The beginnings of [Louisville] baseball on an organized basis are also lost in the mists of the 19th century. There were probably neighborhood teams competing within the city in the 1850s. But the first recorded box score in local papers appeared in the July 15, 1858 Daily Democrat. Two teams made up of members of the Louisville Base Ball Club faced one another in a contest where the final score was 52-41, a score not unusual for the period. The paper also notes that there were several other ball clubs organized in the city.
"Not much is known about the Louisville Base Ball Club. It was probably not more than a year or two old by the time of the 1858 box score."
Possible describing the same July game, but reporting different dates, The New York Clipper said: "BASE BALL IN LOUISVILLE - The game of Base Ball is making its way westward. In Louisville they have a well-organized club, called the 'Louisville Base Ball Club.' They played a game on the 18th, with the following result [box score for 52-42 intramural game shown]"
"Chapter 1 - Beginnings: From Amateur Teams to Disgrace in the National League," mimeo, Bob Bailey, 1999, page 2.
New York Clipper, July 31, 1858
Louisville Daily Democrat, July 15, 1858
Porter's Spirit of the Times reported on July 17, 1858 that the Louisville BBC had been organized on June 10, 1858.