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Four Old Cat and Three Old Cat Well Known in MA

Salience Noteworthy
Location New England

"Four Old Cat and Three Old Cat were as well known to Massachusetts boys as round ball. I knew both games in 1862, and Mr. Stoddard tells me that his father knew them and played them between 1800 and 1820. They bore the same relation to Round Ball that "Scrub" does to Base Ball now. The boys got together when there was leisure for any game and if there were enough to make for a game even if they were 2 or 3 short of the regulation 14 on a side they played round ball. If there were not enough more than a dozen all told, they contented themselves with four old cat, or with three old cat if there were still less players. . . . The main thing to be remembered is that Four and Three Old Cat seem to be co-eval with Massachusetts Round Ball, and even considered a modification of Round Ball for a less number of players than the regular game required."

Letter from Henry Sargent, Grafton, MA, to the Mills Commission, May 31, 1905.

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