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|Regional Focus||Philadelphia, PA|
|Special Interest||Spread of New York Game, Town Ball, Early Newspaper Coverage|
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Essays and Articles
- Sliding by Richard Hershberger
- Evidence on Sliding in Early Base Ball Accounts (4 pages)
- Called Pitches by Richard Hershberger
- When Did Umpires Start Calling Balls and Strikes? (8 pages)
- Pitchers Covering First by Richard Hershberger
- When did pitchers start covering first base on grounders to the right side? (2 pages)
- The Backstop by Richard Hershberger
- Were Foul-Ground Barriers Always Part of Base Ball? (3 pages)
- Judgment! by Richard Hershberger
- At first, most umpiring calls were only made on appeal, and then things changed (7 pages)
- The Play-Testing of Early Base Ball Rule Modifications, version 1.0 by Richard Hershberger
- Early Evidence on Base Stealing by Richard Hershberger
- Very Early (pre-1857) Rules on Base Advancement After Caught Fly Balls by Richard Hershberger
- Did Runners Have to Tag Up?
Submitted Entries: 728
Introducing . . . Hershie's Nuggets!
Richard Hershberger has offered to supply short pieces on assorted sweet subtopics in early base ball history. The first of these, Sliding in the Amateur Era, is a 3-page summary of contemporary news accounts' evidence on sliding.
It begins: "Did base runners slide in the amateur era, and if so, how frequently? Looking at period reports, the most striking feature is that the evidence is thin. There are undoubted reports of runners sliding, but they are few and far between. The problem then is to determine if reports of sliding are rare because sliding was rare, or because it was commonplace and therefore unremarkable: are they man bites dog reports, or dog bites man? Or something in between?"
Nugget #1 is found at http://protoball.org/Sliding.
Richard Hershberger continues with his collection of data on as many early base ball clubs as he can find. At this point he has rounded up over 850 clubs that formed prior to the Civil War and that played by New York rules. Richard has generously shared his collection with Protoball, and all of the clubs are entered into the PBall Pre-Pro data base. Richard’s quest parallels the effort started in 2008 by Craig Waff to build a directory of early ball games before the War, and we are trying to systematically link clubs and games for PBall users.
Richard Hershberger contributed two essays to the Special Protoball Issue of Base Ball this May:
"1831 -- The Olympic Ball Club of Philadelphia." Base Ball. 5(1): 77-80.
"1821 -- New York Mansion Converted to Venue Suitable for Ballplaying." Base Ball. 5(1): 58 - 60.