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Essays and Articles
- Ballplaying in Civil War Camps by Larry McCray
- An Overview of an Enriched Data Base: NOTE -- This article was updated and re-cast by Bruce Allardice in 2018
- What Was Town Ball, Anyway? by Larry McCray, Jeffrey Kittel
- A Source-Based Description of Town Ball Play
- Early Championships by Larry McCray
- What Was Rounders, Anyway? by Larry McCray, Jeffrey Kittel
- A Source-Based Description of Rounders Play
- The Next Destin'd Post, January 2013 by Larry McCray
- Next Destin'd Post, April 2013 by Larry McCray
- The Next Destin'd Post, June 2013 by Larry McCray
- Next Destin'd Post, August 2013 by Larry McCray
- Protoball Search Aid by Larry McCray
- Version 1.1
- Playing to Win by Larry McCray
- Playing to win vs. playing just for fellowship or exercise
- Gambling's Role by Larry McCray
- Was local gambling an essential factor in the diffusion of the game?
- Club Makeup by Larry McCray
- Did club rosters reflect ethnic or social divisions, gradations in athletic talent, players’ ages, or what? Did minority groups form their own clubs?
- Patterns of Spread by Larry McCray
- How do we explain the observed patterns of local propagation of base ball . . . population shifts, transportation technologies, news media effects, etc.
- The Big Tours by Larry McCray
- Were the broad regional tours by famous clubs an important part of base ball’s local appeal?
- Predecessor Pastimes by Larry McCray
- What prior ballgames, if any, were played in the area . . . by adults, youths, juveniles, females before the NY game reached the area? Were local on-field/off-field variations maintained in some areas?
- The Beneficiaries by Larry McCray
- Is it clear who profited from the growth of the game in your area? Did that affect the game on the field? How?
- Accounts by Larry McCray
- How did game accounts evolve locally? What were local box-score summaries like?? Was quantification and/or statistics important in the local popularity of the game?
- Competing Pastimes by Larry McCray
- What other pastimes, if any, rivaled early base ball . . . and is it clear why base ball seemed to win out over them?
- Media Effects by Larry McCray
- The galvanizing role of local and of distant news coverage, if any
- Uniforms by Larry McCray
- Early uniforms and their significance (1st round completed August 2014)
- Emperics by Larry McCray
- Wicket Ball by Larry McCray
- The Massachusetts Game by Larry McCray
- NER Project Overview by Larry McCray
- Search Terms by Larry McCray
- Old old games by Larry McCray
Submitted Entries: 19
When not wrestling with the new Protoball website, Larry McCray has been attending once again to cutting into the backlog of information sent to the site for uploading. A member of the MLB Origins Committee, he coordinated an informal but spirited effort to gather and interpret new data on the spread of base ball across the United States.
Larry McCray participated in several short articles in the Special Protoball Issue of Base Ball this spring. He also served as Guest Editor of the issue:
- "1621 -- Pilgrim Stoolball an the Profusion of American Safe-Haven Ballgames." Base Ball. 5(1): 10 -16 (with Brian Turner).
- "1672 -- The Amazing Francis Willughby, and the Role of Stoolball in the Evolution of Baseball and Cricket." Base Ball. 5(1): 17-20.
- "1829 -- The Rise and Fall of New England-Style Ballplaying." Base Ball. 5(1): 69 - 72.
- "1830 -- Thoreau's Diary Entry and Other Tiny Clues as to Who Played Early Ball." Base Ball. 5(1): 73 - 76.
- "1845 -- The Knickerbocker Rules, and the Long History of the One-Bounce Fielding Rule." Base Ball. 5(1): 93 - 97.
- "1856 -- The New York Game in 1856: Poised for a National Launch." Base Ball. 5(1): 114 - 117 (with Craig Waff).
- "1859 -- State Championship Wicket Game in Connecticut: A Hearty Hurrah for a Doomed Pastime." Base Ball. 5(1): 132 - 135.
Larry has put an initial Glossary of Games onto the Protoball website. This primitive listing includes about 120 distinct games, and names of games, of potential interest to those contemplating the full range of baseball-like games. Corrections and additions (Tom Altherr tipped us off on the game of Chermany, said to resemble baseball, found in Virginia and the south) are welcome. Most of the games entail safe-haven bases.
Larry is succeeding Mike Ross as chair of SABR’s Committee on the Origins of Baseball. Mike has led the SABR-UK chapter for many years, including its creative early examination of the British roots of baseball in the 1990s.