|Misc BB Firsts|
|Add a Misc BB First|
|About the Chronology|
|Tom Altherr Dedication|
|Add a Chronology Entry|
- 1 1853.16 Kelly Deserves Credit for Originating Shorthand Scoring System
- 2 1859.59 Clear Score
- 3 1860.19 Second Annual Chadwick Guide Prints Season Stats for the Year
- 4 1860.22 Educatin' the Readers
- 5 1866.8 Earned Runs Concept Advanced
- 6 1871.11 Pros' Leading Averages Reported In Buffalo Newspaper
- 7 1871.13 The Beginning of Base Ball Trivia?
1853.16 Kelly Deserves Credit for Originating Shorthand Scoring System
Credit for the shorthand scoring system belongs not to Chadwick but to Michael J. Kelly of the Herald. The box score — beyond the recording of outs and runs—may be Kelly's invention as well, but cricket had supplied the model."
John Thorn, "Pots and Pans and Bats and Balls," posted January 23, 2008 at
1859.59 Clear Score
"Leggett batted beautifully throughout, his score being the highest and only clear one of the match."
New York Clipper, Aug.13, 1859
Henry Chadwick, the father of baseball statistics, primarily measured runs and outs in his early work. One of his few additions was the clear score, which counted the number of games where a batter made his base every time he batted, and made no outs, either as a batter or a base runner.
1860.19 Second Annual Chadwick Guide Prints Season Stats for the Year
This second annual guide printed 1860 statistics for players and teams and contains rule revisions.
Chadwick, Henry, Beadle's Dime Base-Ball Player for 1861 [New York, Ross and Tousey], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 222.
1860.22 Educatin' the Readers
[A] "BALL PLAY. A CORRECT SCORE OF A BASE BALL MATCH.-- We give the following score of the contest between the Atlantic and Star Club, as a sample of how the scores of all first-class matches should be kept, in order that a complete analysis of the player's play may be obtained at the close of the year...We trust that the National Association will present to the next convention some plan of scoring that can be generally adopted, like that of the cricket clubs, which is a complete system...Next season we shall give more space to base ball...In the meantime, we shall present to our readers many interesting articles in reference to the game..."
[B] Between February and April, 1860, the Clipper followed uo with a series of six articles on various aspects of the game, from starting a club to playing the positions.
[C] Later in the year: "NEW SCORE BOOK.-- We have recently been shown an improved score book for the game of base ball, just published by Messrs. Richardson and McLeod, 106 Maiden-lane. It is a vast improvement on the old score book, and must commend itself to general adoption by base ball clubs, as it contains the rules and regulations of the game as adopted by the National Association of Base Ball Clubs (sic), with admirably arranged columns . The score book is sufficient for one hundred games, at the low price of two dollars."
[A] New York Clipper, Jan. 14, 1860
[B] New York Clipper, Feb. 18, 1860 - April 7, 1860
[C] Wilkes' Spirit of the Times, June 9, 1860.
The Clipper's effort was part of Henry Chadwick's push to encourage the formation of clubs and make base ball a more "scientific" game, by publishing instructions and collecting statistics.
Richardson and McLeod ran a restaurant at 106 Maiden Lane that catered to base ballists. See 1859.66
The instructional material mirrored the "X" Letters published in Porter's Spirit of the Times in 1857-1858. See 1857.42
1866.8 Earned Runs Concept Advanced
"Taking a fair average of the Eureka pitching, by deducting the additional runs in the first inning from the four miscatches, and allowing the one run only which the Athletics first earned in that inning, we find a total of 17 runs in three innings charged to Ford’s pitching, to offset which there was but one miscatch, and but 16 runs charged to Faitoute in six innings, an average of over two to one in his favor. These figures tell the story. We refer to this matter in order to do justice to Faitoute; many laying the defeats sustained in the two matches mainly to his pitching, whereas the fault lay in the errors in the field and in the lack of skill displayed at the bat, the superior of play on the part of their adversaries of course having a great deal to do with the result."
New York Sunday Mercury, September 2, 1866, per 19cbb post by Richard Hershberger, Sep. 4, 2012
This is remarkably advanced analysis. It doesn't take the final step of calculating the earned run average per nine innings, but it is otherwise identical to the modern ERA stat. It then argues that the true abilities of the players are better shown through statistical analysis than by superficial judgments. Gentlemen, we have a sabermetrician here!
1871.11 Pros' Leading Averages Reported In Buffalo Newspaper
" BASE BALL. The Best Averages -- Names of Leading Players -- "
"All the leading professional clubs of the country have published their averages, and below we give the names of the players who occupy first, second, and third positions in the averages of first-base hits . . . ."
[For the Atlantic (Brooklyn), the Athletic (Philadelphia), Chicago, Cincinnati, Haymakers (Troy), Forest City (Cleveland) and other clubs, leading hitters' batting success per game was reflected in this format:]
George Wright 4.27
Buffalo Commercial, February 6, 1871.
Richard Hershberger, 2/8/2021 (FB posting):
"150 years ago in baseball: batting averages. The idea of batting averages was borrowed from cricket, and at this point is not at all new to baseball. The details, however, have not yet taken their modern form.
Have charts like this appeared before? Have writers been referring to such averages in plumbing the relative merits of batsmen?
Did each club send its data to interested news outlets?
1871.13 The Beginning of Base Ball Trivia?
"Sports and Pastimes. Base Ball Matters. . . . The Athletics made twenty-five clean home runs in a game with the Nationals, of Jersey City, New Jersey, on the 30th of September 1865."
Philadelphia Sunday Mercury, March 12, 1871.
Richard Hershberger, FB Posting '150 Years Ago', 3/21/2021:
"[B]aseball history trivia! Baseball had ample history by this time to support the endeavor. For those scoring at home, the final outcome of the game was Athletics 114, Nationals 2. But it wasn't as close as that makes it look."
Asked if such newspaper features were common, Richard replied, 3/12/2021: "This one is pretty typical. The big New York papers in earlier years had often had rules-related questions, but these were drying up by the 1870s."
Was this one of the first known uses of past base ball feats as fun trivia in base ball reportage?