Philadelphia Town Ball

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Game Philadelphia Town Ball
Game Family Baseball Baseball
Location Philadelphia
Regions US
Eras 1800s, Predecessor

The game that arose in Philadelphia in the 1830’s. The rules of this game have recently been induced from game accounts by Richard Hershberger. The game is distinct from the Massachusetts Game. It’s signature features were 11-player teams, an absence of set defensive positions, stakes [as bases] set in a circle 30-foot diameter, non-aggressive pitching, a lighter, softer ball, an all-out-side-out rule, and a bound rule.

This game was evidently the game of choice in the Philadelphia area until about 1860, when the New York game came to dominate Philly play.



Richard Hershberger, “A Reconstruction of Philadelphia Town Ball,” Base Ball, Volume 1, number 2 (Fall 2007), pages 28-43.

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1617 days ago
Score 0
There were several Philadelphia Town Ball Clubs, including the Olympic and the Athletic. Neighboring Camden, NJ had a "Camden Club." See the Philadelphia Inquirer, Oct. 1, 1859.

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