|Misc BB Firsts|
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|About the Chronology|
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First Chicago Club Forms
|City/State/Country:||Chicago, IL, United States|
|Game||Base Ball, Town BallBase Ball, Town Ball|
|Immediacy of Report|
|Age of Players||AdultAdult|
[A] "A team called the Unions is said to have played in Chicago in 1856, but the earliest newspaper report of a game is found in the Chicago Daily Journal of August 17, 1858, which tells of a match game between the Unions and the Excelsiors to be playing on August 19. A few other games ere mentioned during the same year."
[B] "Though baseball match games had been played in Illinois since the very early 1850's, the first Chicago Club, the Union, was not established until 1856."
[C] "There seems to be some doubt as to when the first baseball club was organized at Chicago, but it has been stated that a club called the Unions played town ball there in 1856."
[D] If these claims are discounted, modern base ball can dated in Chicago in 1858 when a convention of clubs takes place and the Knick rules are published.
[A] Edwina Guilfoil, et. al., Baseball in Old Chicago (Federal Writers' Project of Works Project Administration, 1939), unpaginated page 4.
[B] John R. Husman, "Ohio's First Baseball Game," Presented at the 34th SABR Convention, July 2004.
[C] Alfred Spink, The National Game (Southern Illinois Press, 2000 -- first edition 1910), page 63.
[D] "A Knickerbocker," Base Ball, Chicago Press and Tribune, July 9, 1858.
None of these sources gives a reference to evidence of the 1856 formation of the Union Club, so we here rely on the documented reference to a planned 1858 game.
Jeff Kittel (email of 3/9/2013) notes that there is an August 1857 Chicago Tribune article on a cricket club called the Union Club; perhaps later memories confused the cricket or town ball clubs with a modern-rules base ball club?
Jeff also notes that "[A date of] late 1857/1858 fits the time frame for the spread of the game south and west of Chicago - into Western Iowa by 1858 and St. Louis by 1859, with hints that it's in central Illinois by 1859/60. That spread pattern also fits the economic/cultural spread model that we've kicked around."
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Can we find any clear basis for the report of 1856 establishment of modern base ball?
Andreas' Chicago, p. 613, says that the Union Base Ball Club organized Aug. 12, 1856.
Andreas' book claim is obviously referencing a notice in the Chicago Daily Democratic Press, Aug. 12, 1856, p. 3, col. 1:
"Union Base Ball Club.--A company of young men will meet this (Tuesday) evening at the Hope Hose Carriage House at 8 o'clock, to organize under the above name and elect officers for the year.
All active young men who need exercise and good sport, are invited to be present."Edit with form to add a query
|Submitted by||Jeffrey Kittel, John Thorn|
|Submission Note||Emails of 4/9/2013|
|Has Supplemental Text|
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