First Interscholastic Ball Game

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Awaiting Review
Date Circa 1853 Date not recorded
Location Andover, MA, United States

The Phillips Academy, in Andover MA, is reported to have played a game against the Andover Theological Seminary in 1853. A Phillips student named Hardy reportedly wrote: "The Theologues were not too dignified in those days to play matches with the academy."

Caveat:  This game was very unlikely to have followed modern rules.  Writing of it later, participants termed the game "round ball," and a writer in 1917 called it "rounders."

Query: Are we persuaded that the two institutions were separately administered?


Recollections by William Hardy, Phillips Class of 1853, cited in Fred H. Harrison, Chapter 2, "The Hard-Ball Game," in Athletics for All (Phillips Academy, 1983).  Harrison does not give a source for the Hardy quote, apparently.

Recollections of Andover student William Mowry, cited in C. M. Fuess, An Old New England School: A History of Phillips Academy, Andover (Houghton Mifflin, 1917), pp. 449-450.


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