Priscilla Astifan

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First Name Priscilla
Last Name Astifan
Location Rochester, NY
Regional Focus Rochester, NY
Local-Origins Study Groups Rochester Baseball Historical Society
Active Yes

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In the winter of 2007, a small band of baseball fans gathered at the fireplace of the home of Richard and Priscilla Astifan.  The main thing that was kindled that eve was the Rochester Baseball Historical Society.  And this spring, the RBHS sponsored a major 45-day exhibit, Rochester Baseball: From Mumford’s Meadow to Frontier Field, at Rochester’s Central Library.  The exhibit featured 22 panels of photographs and traced the path of local baseball from 1825 to the current day.

Priscilla is moving ahead on a manuscript on the history of baseball in Rochester NY.  She has also joined colleagues to form the Rochester Baseball History Association, which is preparing an exhibit for the Rochester Public Library next April on local baseball history that will include material loaned by the HOF.

Priscilla and a colleague discuss the predecessor game to Knicks-style base ball in upstate New York in “Old-Fashioned Base Ball” in Western New York, 1825-1860,” which appeared in the fall 2008 issue of Base Ball.  The article notes that until 1860 the unusually unnamed earlier game was still played competitively in several places.  About 20 news accounts from that time, and from later accounts of a number of “throwback” games, allow a partial picture of the nature of that earlier game.  Strong similarity to the Massachusetts Game is found.

Priscilla is expanding her earlier work on early base ball in Rochester into a monograph, and has recently examined the circumstances surrounding Samuel Hopkins Adams’ famous story about base ball in the Flower City in 1827.  She and Larry McCray have drafted a 10-page research note on what was called “old-fashioned base ball” – it was portrayed as the predecessor to the New York game -- inWestern New York State

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