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Perhaps looking for ways to broaden upcoming travel to Ireland, Howard Burman cheerfully took on the job of reporting on the game of Irish Rounders, one our four sports sanctioned by the Gaelic Athletic Association as early as 1884. Howard’s report appears in the “Glossary of Games” on the Protoball site at http://protoball.org/Irish_Rounders_(Burman’s_Report). Today’s players see the game as one of Irish birth, without English parentage, and having been played locally as early as the beginning of the 19th century . . . and as possibly have been exported to North America via Irish emigrants. The game has a number of variants from base ball rules, including optional running with less than two strikes, limited substitutions, no gloves for fielders, and catchers positioned well back of batters.
Howard Burman has been trying to figure out the game of Irish Rounders. The game’s players see it as unrelated to English rounders, and possibly as a predecessor to American base ball. Having visited Ireland and gotten to know officials of the Gaelic Athletic Association, his report on the game is imminent, and will be posted to the Protoball site.
“Gentlemen at the Bat” is the working title of Howard's current book project, one that focuses on the Knickerbocker Club. The book’s story is told by club members in the form of a collective oral history, in which Howard’s historical research is presented through the medium of fictionalized dialog. His earlier books include one on Shoeless Joe Jackson and one on 1950’s stickball inNew York.