Early Baseball Milestones

What are your baseball origins? Where did you play your first game? Baseball traces its roots through the annals of history, well before the founding of Major League Baseball. This chronology, from Protoball (an extensive gathering of early materials documenting the origins of baseball), records the order of events related to the development of baseball starting in 2500 B.C. Enjoy, and share with us your own baseball milestones.

About Early Baseball Milestones »

  or  
  • 1704 - Traveler Observes Ball-Playing in CT

    1704.1

    Madame Knight, "in her inimitable journal of her ride from Boston to New York in 1704, speaks of ball-playing in Connecticut."

    "The Game of Wicket and Some Old-Time Wicket Players," in George Dudley Seymour, Papers and Addresses of the Society of Colonial Wars in the State of Connecticut, Volume II of the Proceedings of the Society, [n. p., 1909.] page 284. Submitted by John Thorn, 7/11/04. John notes 9/3/2005 that Seymour observes that Madame Knight does not specifically name the sport as wicket, but he excludes cricket as a possibility because cricket was not then known to have been played in America before 1725; however, John adds, we now have a cricket reference in Virginia from 1709. [See #1709.1, below.]

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1704 - While the Rurals Had Stool-ball and Cricket, the Londoner Had "Blood-Stirring Excitement"

    1704.2

    "[T]he growth of a commercial London failed to raise the tone of sporting tastes. While the countryman exercised vehemently at football, stool-ball, cricket, pins-on-base, wrestling, or cudgel-playing, there was fiercer and more blood-stirring excitement for the Londoner. Particularly at Hockley-in-the-Hole, one could find bear-baiting, bull-baiting and cock-fighting to his heart's content."

    Chamberlayne, Edward, Anglia Notitia: The Present State of England [London, 1704 and 1748], page 51. Submitted by John Thorn, 7/9/04.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1704 - Earliest Published Rules of Cricket [?]

    1704.4

    "[The following] text is, as far as we know, the earliest published rules of cricket that have come down to us. They are more than eighty years older than the first official Laws of Cricket, published in 1789." The ensuing text calls for the 4-ball over, unregulated runner and fielder interference, and has no rule to keep a batsman from deflecting bowled balls with his body.

    http://www.seatllecricket.com/history/1704laws.htm, accessed 10/2/02. The site offers no source. Most sources date the easiest rules to 1744; could this date stem from a typo? No source is given for the rules themselves. Beth Hise, on January 12, 2010, expressed renewed skepticism about the 1704 date. Caution: we have requested confirmation and sources from this website, and have not had a reply as of Feb. 2010.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1705 - Early Cricket Match "To Be Plaid . . . for 11 Guineas a Man"

    1705.1

    An account in the July 24 issue of The Postman reads, "This is to give notice that a match of cricket is to be plaid between 11 gentlemen of the west part of Kent, against as many of Chatham, for 11 guineas a man at Maulden in Kent on August 7th next." Thomas Moult, "The Story of the Game," in Thomas Moult, ed., Bat and Ball: A New Book of Cricket (Sportsmans Book Club, London, 1960; reprint of 1935), page 27.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1706 - Poem Suggests Cricket is Becoming "Respectable"

    1706.1

    Goldwin, William, In Certamen Pilae. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 15. Ford does not provide a full citation for this source. He reports the poem, written Latin, as "describing the early game and suggesting, perhaps, that it is becoming 'respectable.' He adds that "there was academic controversy over its translation in 1923." John Thorn offers that the poem was published in Goldwin's Musae Juveniles in 1706, and was translated by Harold Perry as "The Cricket Match" in 1922 [email of 2/1/2008]. John also sent Protoball the original text, for you Latin speakers out there.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1706 - Book About a Scotsman Mentions "Cat and Doug" and Other Diversions

    1706.2

    [Author?] The Scotch rogue; or, The life and actions of Donald MacDonald, a Highland Scot [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 176. The [apparently fictional] hero recalls; "I was but a sorry proficient in learning: being readier at cat and doug, cappy-hole, riding the burley hacket, playing at kyles and dams, spangboder, wrestling, and foot-ball (and such other sports as we use in our country) than at my book." Block identifies "cat and doug," or cat and dog, as a Scots two-base version of the game of cat, "and the likely forbear of the American game of two-old-cat."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1709 - A Form of [Two-man and Four-man] Cricket Played in Virginia

    1709.1

    In an April 25, 1709 diary entry, William Byrd, owner of the Virginia plantation Westover, wrote: "I rose at 6 o'clock and said my prayers shortly. Mr. W-l-s and I fenced and I beat him. Then we played at cricket, Mr. W-l-s and John Custis against me and Mr. {Hawkins], but we were beaten. I ate nothing but milk for breakfast . . ."

    On May 6 of the same year he noted: "I rose about 6 o'clock and Colonel Ludwell, Nat Harrison, Mr. Edwards and myself played at cricket, and I won a bit [presumably an eighth of a Spanish dollar]. Then we played at whist and I won. About 10 o'clock we went to breakfast and I ate some boiled rice." Another undated entry showed that cricket was not just an early-morning pastime: "About 10 o'clock Dr. Blair, and Major and Captain Harrison came to see us. After I had given them a glass of sack we played cricket. I ate boiled beef for my dinner. Then we played at shooting with arrows...and went to cricket again till dark."

    Wright, Louis B., and Marion Tinling, eds., The Secret Diary of William Byrd of Westover 1709-1712 [Dietz Press, Richmond, 1941], pages 25-26 and 31. We have no page reference for the third mention of cricket, which appears in a short article on Smithsonian.com, as accessed 1/20/2007. Thanks to John Thorn for reference data [email of 2/1/2008].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1709 - Cricket's First County Match?

    1709.2

    From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1697_to_1725_English_cricket_seasons, accessed 10/17/08:

    "The earliest known match involving county teams or at any rate teams bearing the names of counties. The match was advertised in the Post Man dated Saturday June 25, 1709. The stake was £50.

    "Some authors have suggested the teams in reality were "Dartford and a Surrey village", but this contradicts evidence of patronage and high stakes. It is likely that Dartford, as the foremost Kent club in this period, provided not only the venue but also the nucleus of the team, but there is no reason at all to doubt that the team included good players from elsewhere in the county. The Surrey team will equally have been drawn from a number of Surrey parishes and subscribed by their patron."

    The Wikipedia entry credits the website "From Lads to Lords: The History of Cricket 1300-1787", at http://www.jl.sl.btinternet.co.uk/stampsite/cricket/main.html

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1709 - Cat and Trap-ball Seen as Boys' Games [The Men Play Foot-ball]

    1709.3

    W. Winstanley and Successors, Poor Robin 1709. An almanack after a new fashion [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 176. A selection begins, "Thus harmless country lads and lasses/ In mirth the time away so passes:/ Here men at foot-ball they do fall;/ There boys at cat and trap-ball."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1711 - Betty Was "a Romp at Stool-Ball"

    1711.1

    "James before he beheld Betty, was vain of his strength, a rough wrestler . . . ; Betty [was] a publick Dancer at May-poles, a Romp at Stool-Ball. He was always following idle Women, she playing among the Peasants; He a Country Bully, she a Country Coquet."

    Steele, Spectator number 71, May 22, 1711, page 2. Provided by John Thorn, emails of 6/11/2007 and 2/1/2008. The implication of the passage appears to be that women who played a game like stool-ball were unlikely to be chaste.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1712 - Two Noblemen Blasted for Sunday Cricket Play, and for Betting Too

    1712.1

    The Duke of Marlborough and Viscount Townsend are publicly criticized for currying favor with electors by playing cricket with children "on a Sabbath day," and for wagering 20 guineas on the outcome. Bateman cites and quotes from a broadsheet report on this match at The Devil and the Peers, or a Princely Way of Sabbath Breaking [source not otherwise identified] at Bateman, Anthony,"'More Mighty than the Bat, the Pen . . . ;' Culture,, Hegemony, and the Literaturisaton of Cricket," Sport in History, v. 23, 1 (Summer 2003), page 30. John Thorn identifies the broadsheet as having been published by J. Parker [email of 2/1/2008].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1713 - Boston Magistrate Finds Trap Ball Clogging a Gutter

    1713.1

    "I went on the Roof, and found the Spout next Slater's stopped . . . . Boston went up . . . came down a Spit, and clear'd the Leaden-throat, by thrusting out a Trap-Ball that stuck there."

    Thomas, M. H., ed., The Diary of Samuel Sewell 1674 - 1729, Volume II, 1710 - 1729 [Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1973], p. 718. Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 18. Sewall is known as the "Salem Witch Judge."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1715 - Men Top Women in "Merry-Night" of Stoole Balle

    1715.1

    "The Young Folks of this Town had a Merry-Night . . . . The Young Weomen treated the Men with a Tandsey as they lost to them at a Game at Stoole Balle."

    T. Ellison Gibson, ed., Blundell's Diary, Comprising Selections from the Diary of Nicholas Blundell, Esq. (Gilbert G. Walmsley, 1895), diary entry for May 14, 1715, page 134. Note: "Tandsey" presumably refers to tansey-cakes, traditionally linked to springtime games.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1719 - Trap and Stool-ball Help Set the Mood . . . Again

    1719.1

    "Thus all our lives we're Frolick and gay,/And instead of Court Revels we merrily Play/ At Trap and Kettles and Barley-break run,/ At Goff, and at Stool-ball, and when we have done/ These innocent Sports, we Laugh and lie down,/ And to each pretty Lass we give a green Gown."

    D'Urfey, Thomas, Wit and Mirth: or Pills to Purge Melancholy [London], Vol. 3, per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 177. Note: This closely mimics the verse found above at #1671.1.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1720 - Puritans Thwarted Fun, "Even at Stool-ball"

    1720.1

    In a strong anti-Presbyterian tract, Thomas Lewis noted that among Puritans "all Games where there is any hazard of loss are strictly forbidden; as Tennis, Bowles and Billiards; not so much as a Game at stool-ball for a Tansy, . . . upon Pain of Damnation."

    Thomas. Lewis, English Presbyterian Eloquence: Or, Dissenters Sayings Ancient and Modern (T. Bickerton, London, 1720), page 17. Citation provided by John Thorn, email of 2/1/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1720 - Holiday in Kent: Cricket, Stool-Ball, Tippling, Kissing

    1720.2

    In 1907, a kindred spirit of ours reported [in a listserve-equivalent of the day] on his attempts to find early news coverage of cricket. He reports on a 1720 article he sees as "the first newspaper reference I have yet found to cricket as a popular game:"

    "The Holiday coming on, the Alewives of Islington, Kentish Town, and several adjacent villages . . . . The Fields will swarm with Butchers'; Wives and Oyster-Women . . . diverting themselves with their Offspring, whilst their Spouses and Sweethearts are sweating at Ninepins, some at Cricket, others at Stool-Ball, besides an amorous Couple in every Corner . . . Much Noise and Cutting in the Morning; Much Tippling all Day; and much Reeling and Kissing at Night."

    Alfred F. Robbins, "Replies: The Earliest Cricket Report," Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc, September 7, 1907, page 191. Provided by John Thorn, 2/8/2008, via email. He reports his source as Read's Weekly Journal, or British-Gazeteer, June 4, 1720, and advises that he has omitted phrases not "welcome to the modern taste. Accessed via Google Books 10/18/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1720 - Cricket in Kent; Londoners Beat Kent Eleven, But Two Are Konked Out

    1720.3

    A month later [see #1720.2, above], Islington was in the news again. The Postman reported on July 16, 1720 that:

    "Last week a match was played in The White Conduit Fields, by Islington, between 11 Londoners on one side and elevent men of Kent on the other side, for 5s a head, at which time being in eager pursuit of the game, the Kentish men having the wickets, two Londoners striving [p.27/p.28] for expedition to gain the ball, met each other with such fierceness that, hitting their heads together, they both fell backwards without stirring hand or foot, and lay deprived of sense for a considerable time, and 'tis not yet known whether they willl recover. The Kentish men were beat." Thomas Moult, "The Story of the Game," in Thomas Moult, ed., Bat and Ball: A New Book of Cricket (Sportsmans Book Club, London, 1960 - reprint from 1935), pp 27-28.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1722 - Scotch "Rogue" Prefers Cat/Dog Games to His Books

    1722.1

    "In the Life of the Scotch Rogue, 1722, p.7, the following sports occur: 'I was but a sorry proficient in learning: being readier at Cat and Doug, cappy-hole, riding the hurley hacket, playing at kyles and dams, spang-bogle, wrestling, and foot-ball (and such other sports as we use in out country), than at my book.'"

    Brand, John, Observations on the Popular Antiquities of Great Britain (George Bell and Sons, London, 1900), page 407. The original source is presumably The Scotch Rogue; or, the Life and Actions of Donald Macdonald, a Highland Scot (Robert Gifford, London, 1706 and 1722). Note: Confirm in original? Can we confirm that this was in the 1706 printing, not only the 1722 printing? Identify "cappy-hole?" Citation provided by John Thorn, email of 2/1/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1725 - Duke of Richmond Issues Challenge to Play Single-Wicket Cricket

    1725.2

    "In 1725, he [the Duke of Richmond] challenged Sir William Gage in a two-a-side single-wicket competition. . . ."

    Simon Rae, It's Not Cricket: A History of Skulduggery, Sharp Practice and Downright Cheating in the Noble Game (Faber and Faber, 2001), page 57. Note: is there a fuller account for tis match? A primary source?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1725 - Wicket Played on Boston Common

    1725c.1

    "March, 15. Sam. Hirst [Sewall's grandson, reportedly, and a Harvard '23 man] LMc] got up betime in the morning, and took Ben Swett with him and went into the (Boston MA) Common to play at Wicket. Went before any body was up, left the door open; Sam came not to prayer; at which I was most displeased.

    "March 17th. Did the like again, but took not Ben with him. I told him he could not lodge here practicing thus. So he lodg'd elsewhere. He grievously offended me in persuading his Sister Hannam not to have Mr. Turall, without enquiring of me about it. And play'd fast and loose in a vexing matter about himself in a matter relating to himself, procuring me great Vexation."

    Diary of Samuel Sewall, in Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society (Published by the Society, Boston, 1882) Volume VII - Fifth Series, page 372.

    Note:Further comment on this entry is welcome, especially from wicket devotees; after all, this may be the initial wicket citation in existence (assuming that $1700c.2 is cannot be documented and that #1704.1 above is not ever confirmed as wicket).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1726 - Cricket Crowd is Eyed Nervously as Possibly Seditious

    1726.1

    An Essex official worries that a local game of cricket was simply a way of collecting a crowd of disaffected people in order to foment rebellion. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 16. Ford does not provide a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1727 - First Documented Cricket Playing Rules Agreed to, for One-time Use

    1727.1

    Two sides forged "Articles of Agreement" that specify 12 players to a side, a 23-yard pitch, two umpires to be named by each side, and "mentions catches but not other forms of dismissal." Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 16. Note: Ford does not provide a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1727 - How To Score at Cricket, Olde Style

    1727.2

    In order to score a run, a batsman/runner had to touch a staff held by an umpire with his bat. The modern rule appeared in the 1744 rules.

    Scholefield, Peter, Cricket Laws and Terms [Axiom Publishing, Kent Town Australia, 1990], page 22.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1728 - Delaware Resident Writes of Playing Trap Ball, with Cider as Reward

    1728.1

    "James Gordon & I Plaid Trabbel against John Horon and Th Horon for an anker of Syder We woun. We drunk our Syder."

    Hancock, H. B., ed., "'Fare Weather and Good Helth:' the Journal of Caesar Rodeney, 1727 - 1729," Delaware History, volume 10, number 1 [April 1962], p. 64. Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 19.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1730 - Low Wicket and Circular Hole Said Still Found in Cricket

    1730c.1

    "In the infancy of the game [cricket] the batsman stood before a circular hole in the turf, and was put out, as in 'rounders,' by being caught, or by the ball being put in this hole. A century and a half ago this hole was still in use, though it had on each side a stump only one foot high, with a long cross-bar of two feet in length laid on top of them."

    Robert MacGregor, Pastimes and Players (Chatto and Windus, London, 1881), page 4, accessed 1/30/10 via Google Books search ("pastimes and players"). MacGregor gives no source for this claim. Note that MacGregor does not say that such practice was uniformly used in this period. Query: have later writers specified in more detail when the hole and the low long wicket disappeared from cricket?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1730 - Cricket Play at Eton Seen as Common

    1730c.2

    "I can't say I am sorry I was never quite a school-boy: an expedition against bargemen or a match at cricket may be very pretty things to recollect; but thank my stars, I can remember things very near as pretty."

    Letter from Horace Walpole to George Montagu, May 6, 1736. One interpretation of this letter: "Horace Walpole was sent to Eton in 1726. Playing cricket, as well as bashing bargemen, was common at that time:" Pycroft, John, The Cricket Field; or, The History and the Science of the Game of Cricket, second edition (Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, London, 1854), page 43.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1731 - Patient Thousands Watch First Known Drawn Match in Cricket

    1731.1

    "The Great Cricket Match, between the Duke of Richmond and Mr. Chambers, 11 men on each side, for 200 Guineas, was begun to be played on Monday at two in the Afternoon, on Richmond Green. By agreement they were not to play after 7 o'clock. . . . when the Hour agreed being come, they were obliged to leave off, tho' beside the Hands then playing, they [chambers' side] had 4 or 5 more to have come in. Thus it proved a drawn Battle. There were many Thousand Spectators, of whom a great number were Persons of Distinction of both Sexes."

    Source: The Daily Journal, August 25, 1731, as uncovered by Alfred Robbins in his 1907 digging. Robbins finds the article of "historical interest, for it is the earliest I have yet traced of a drawn game." Alfred Robbins, "The Earliest Cricket Report," Notes and Queries: A Medium of Intercommunication for Literary Men, General Readers, Etc., September 7, 1907, page 192. Note: does this match still stand as the first recorded drawn match?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1733 - Long Poem Describes Stool-Ball in Some Detail; First Evidence of Use of a Bat

    1733.1

    The London Magazine, vol 2, December 1733 [London], page 637, per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 177. Block calls this account "the most complete and detailed portrayal of the game to date." It provides the earliest reference to the use of a bat, describes a game that does not involve running after the young [female] players hit the ball, and includes a description of the field and the assembled audience. Note: A bat had been described in Willughby's c.1672 account of hornebillets. Some actual text should be added here, if it can be captured.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1737 - Surreymen Play Londoners in Cricket for 500 Pounds a Side

    1737.1

    "On Wednesday next a great Match at Cricket is to be play'd at Moulsey-Hurst in Surrey, between eleven Men of the said County, chose by his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and the same Number chose out of the London Club by his Grace the Duke of Marlborough, for 500 [pounds] a Side." Country Journal of The Craftsman (London), July 16, 1737. Excavated by John Thorn, 2/1/2008. Note: So who won? And was the bet really paid off?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1737 - Doctor Writes of North Carolina Game Resembling Ireland's Trap Ball

    1737.2

    Brickell, an Irishman, writes of NC Indians: "They have [a] game which is managed with a Battoon, and very much resembles our Trap-ball."

    Brickell, John., The Natural History of North Carolina [James Carson, Dublin, 1737], p. 336. Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 20.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1737 - Cricket Played in Georgia Town Square

    1737.3

    Georgia planter William Stephens: "Many of our Townsmen, Freeholders, Inmates, and Servants were assembled in the principal Square, at Cricket and divers other athletick Sports."

    A Journal of the Proceedings in Georgia, II, page 217, as cited in Lester, ed., A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 4. Lester cites this account as the first mention of American cricket.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1739 - First Known Picture of Cricket Appears

    1739.1

    "The earliest known cricket picture was first displayed in 1739. It is an engraving call "The Game of Cricket", by Hubert-Francois Gravelot (1699-1773) and shows two groups of cherubic lads gathered around a batsman and a bowler. The wicket shown is the "low stool" shape, probably 2 feet wide and 1 foot tall, with two stumps and a single bail." Received in an email from John Thorn, 2/1/2008. Source:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1739_English_cricket_season.

    Another fan's notes: "Art is immortal, and the M.C.C. has acquired a new work of Art in connection with cricket. This is a drawing in pencil on grey paper, representing a country game in the [eighteenth] century. . . . The two notched stumps with one bail are only about six inches high, and the bowler appears to be "knuckling" the ball like a marble. I have very little doubt that the artist was Gravelot." Andrew Lang, "At the Sign of the Ship," Longmans' Magazine (London) Number LXIX, July 1888, page 332.

    On 2/24/10, an image was available via a Google Web search (christies "gravelot (1699-1773)" cricket).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1740 - Almanack Sees Time Wasted at Stool-ball

    1740.2

    "Much time is wasted now away/ At pigeon-holes and nine-pin play/. . . ./ At stool-ball and at barley-break,/Wherewith they at harmless pastime make."

    W. Winstanley and Successors, Poor Robin 1740. An almanack after a new fashion [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 178.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1740 - Lord Chesterfield Nods Approvingly at Cricket - and Trap Ball!

    1740.3

    "Dear Boy: . . . Therefor remember to give yourself up entirely to the thing you are doing, be it what it will, whether your book or play: for if you have a right ambition, you will desire to excell all boys of your age at cricket, or trap ball, as well as in learning." P.D.S. Chesterfield, Lord Chesterfield's Letters of His Son (M. W. Dunne, 1901), Volume II, Letter LXXI, to his son. Citation provided by John Thorn, email of 2/1/2008.

    Cited by Steel and Lyttelton, Cricket, (Longmans Green, London, 1890), pp 8 - 9.. Steel and Lyttelton introduce this quotation as follows: "When once the eighteenth century is reached cricket begins to find mention in literature. Clearly the game was rising in the world and was being taken up, like the poets of the period, by patrons."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1740 - Intervillage Cricket Played by Women in Surrey and Sussex

    1740s.1

    Cashman, Richard, "Cricket," in David Levinson and Karen Christopher, Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present [Oxford University Press, 1996], page 88.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1741 - Does Alexander Pope "Sneer" at Cricket in Epic Poem?

    1741c.1

    "The judge to dance his brother serjeant call,

    The senator at cricket urge the ball"

    Pope, "The Dunciad," per Steel and Lyttelton, Cricket, (Longmans Green, London, 1890) 4th edition, page 9. Steel and Lyttelton date the writing to 1726-1735. Their remark: "Mr. Alexander Pope had sneered at cricket. At what did Mr. Pope not sneer?"

    Alexander Pope, The Dunciad, Complete in Four Books, According to Mr. Pope's Last Improvements (Warburton, London, 1749), Book IV, line 592, page 70. Note; This fragment does not seem severely disparaging. Is it clear from context what offense he gives to cricketers? It is true that this passage demeans assorted everyday practices, particularly as pursued by those of high standing. Book IV, the last, is now believed to have been written in 1741. Other entries that employ the "urge the ball" phrasing are #1747.1, #1805c.7, #1807.3, and #1824.4.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1743 - Editorial: Cricket is OK, But Only for Rural Holiday Play

    1743.1

    "Cricket is certainly a very innocent and wholesome, yet it may be abused if either great or little people make it their business. It is grossly abused when it is made the subject of publick advertisements to draw together great crowds of people who ought all of them to be somewhere else.

    "The diversion of cricket may be proper in holiday time, and in the country, but upon days when men ought to be busy, and in the neighbourhood of a great city, it is not only improper, but mischievous, to a high degree. It draws number of people from their employments to the ruins of their families . . . it gives the most open encouragement to gaming."

    British Champion, September 8, 1743. Provided by Gregory Christiano, 12/2/09, as reprinted in The Gentlemans Magazine, 1743. The piece appears, perhaps in its entirety, in W. W. Read, Annals of Cricket (St. Dunston's Press, 1896), page 27ff [accessed 1/30/10 via Google Books search ("very innocent" "annals of cricket")].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1743 - Three-on-Three Cricket Match, A Close One, Draws Reported 10,000 Fans

    1743.2

    "July 11. In the Artillery Ground. Three of Kent - Hodswell, J. Cutbush, V. Romney vs. Three of England - R. Newland, Sawyer, John Bryan. Kent won by 2 runs."

    Cited in Thomas Moult, "The Story of the Game," Thomas Moult, ed., Bat and Ball: A New Book of Cricket (Sportsmans Book Club, London, 1960 - reprinted from 1935), page 29. Moult's commentary: "Several features of this match are to be emphasized [besides the fact that the score was reported, not simply the name of the winning side - LM]. The convention of eleven a side was not yet established . . . . Also the match was played before 10,000 spectators." Note: Moult does not cite the original source.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1743 - When Cricket Still Had Foul Ground?

    1743.3

    "We may see how the game was played about this time from the picture, of date 1743, in the possession of the Surrey County Club. The wicket was a 'skeleton hurdle,' one foot high and two feet wide, consisting of two stumps only, with a third laid across. The bat was curved at the end, and made for free hitting rather than defence. The bowling was all along the ground, and the great art was to bowl under the bat. All play was forward of the wicket, as it is now in single wicket games of less that five players a side. With these exceptions, the game was very much the same as it is today [1881]."

    Robert MacGregor, Pastimes and Players (Chatto and Windus, London, 1881), page 16. Note that the circular hole, described in #1730.1, is not seen. Caveat: It is not clear from this account whether forward hitting was common in the 1740s or whether MacGregor is simply drawing inferences about this single painting.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1744 - First Laws of Cricket are Written

    1744.1

    Includes the 4-ball over, later changed to 6 balls. [And to 8 balls in Philadelphia in 1790]. Cashman, Richard, "Cricket," in David Levinson and Karen Christopher, Encyclopedia of World Sport: From Ancient Times to the Present [Oxford University Press, 1996], page 87. The 22 yard pitch is one-tenth of the length of a furlong, which is an eighth of a mile.

    Ford's crisp summary of the rules: "Toss for pitching wickets and choice of innings; pitch 22 yards; single bail; wickets 22 inches high; 4-ball overs; ball between 5 and 6 ounces; 'no ball' defined; modes of dismissal - bowled, caught, stumped, run out, obstructing the field." Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 17.

    The rules are listed briefly at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1744_English_cricket_season [as assessed 1/31/07]. The rules were written by a Committee under the patronage of "the cricket-mad Prince of Wales," Frederickm, son of George II.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1744 - Newbery's Little Pretty Pocket-Book Refers to "Base-Ball," "Stooleball, "Trap-Ball," Cricket

    1744.2

    John Newbery's A Little Pretty Pocket-Book, published in England, contains a wood-cut illustration showing boys playing "base-ball" and a rhymed description of the game: "The ball once struck off,/Away flies the boy/To the next destined post/And then home with joy." . This is held to be the first appearance of the term "base-ball" in print. Other pages are devoted to stool-ball, trap-ball, and tip-cat [per David Block, page 179], as well as cricket. Block finds that this book has the first use of the word "base-ball."

    Little Pretty Pocket-Book, Intended for the Instruction and Amusement of Little Master Tommy and Pretty Miss Polly [London, John Newbery, 1744]. Per RH ref 107, adding Newbery name as publisher from text at p. 132. The earliest extant version of this book is from 1760 [per David Block]. Note: we may need reason to assume the "Base-ball" poem appeared in the 1744 version. According to Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, the 1767 London edition also has poems titled "Stoolball" [p. 88] and Trap-Ball.[p. 91]. According Zoernik in the Encyclopedia of World Sports [p.329], rounders is also referred to [we need to confirm this, as Rounders does not appear in the 1760 edition or the one from 1790.]. There was an American pirated edition in 1760, as per Henderson [ref #107]; David Block dates the American edition in 1762. He also notes that a 1767 revision features engravings for the four games.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1744 - Earliest Full Cricket Scorecard for the "Greatest Match Ever Known"

    1744.3

    The match it describes: All England vs. Kent, played at the Artillery Ground. The same year, admission at the Ground increased from tuppence to sixpence. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 17.

    John Thorn [email of 2/1/2008] located an account of the match: "Yesterday was play'd in the Artillery-Ground the greatest Cricket-Match even known, the County of Kent again all England, which was won by the former [the score was 97-96 - LM] . . . . There were present the their Royal Highnesses the Princeof Wales and Duke of Cumberland, the Duke of Richmond, Admiral Vernon, and many other Persons of Distinction." The London Evening-Post Number 2592, June 16-19, 1744, page 1 column 3, above the fold. Note: Is the scorecard available somewhere?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1744 - Poet: "Hail Cricket! Glorious Manly, British Game!

    1744.4

    Writing as James Love, the poet and actor James Dance [1722-1774] penned a 316-line verse that extols cricket. The poem, it may surprise you to learn, turns on the muffed catch by an All England player [shades of Casey!] that, I take it, allows Kent County to win a close match. Protoball's virtual interview with Mr. Dance:

    Protoball: Are you a serious cricket fan?

    Dance:" Hail, cricket! Glorious manly, British Game! / First of all Sports! be first alike in Fame!" [lines 13-14]

    PBall: Isn't billiards a good game too?

    Dance:"puny Billiards, where, with sluggish Pace / The dull Ball trails before the feeble Mace" [lines 40-41]

    PBall: But you do appreciate tennis, right?"

    Dance: "Not Tennis [it]self, [cricket's] sister sport can charm, /Or with [cricket's] fierce Delights our Bosoms warm".[lines 55-56] . . . to small Space confined, ev'n [tennis] must yield / To nobler CRICKET, the disputed field." [lines 60-61]

    PBall: But doesn't every country have a fine national pastime?

    Dance: "Leave the dissolving Song, the baby Dance, / To Sooth[e] the Slaves of Italy and France: / While the firm Limb, and strong brac'd Nerve are thine [cricket's] / Scorn Eunuch Sports; to manlier Games [we] incline" [lines 68-71]

    PBall:Manlier? You see the average cricketer as especially manly?

    Dance: "He weighs the well-turn'd Bat's experienced Force, / And guides the rapid Ball's impetuous course, / His supple Limbs with Nimble Labour plies, / Nor bends the grass beneath him as he flies." [lines 29 - 32]

    James Love, Cricket: an Heroic Poem. illustrated with the Critical Observations of Scriblerus Maximus(W. Bickerton, London, undated)" The poet writes of a famous 1744 match between All England and Kent [#1744.3, above.] Thanks to Beth Hise for a lead to this poem, email, 12/21/2007. John Thorm, per email of 2/1/2008, located and pointed to online copy. Note: Are we sure the versified game account is from the 1744 Kent/England match - not 1746, for example?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1745 - John Adams Recalls Youthful Bat and Ball Play

    1745c.1

    Saying that his first fifteen years "went off like a fairy tale," John Adams [1735-1826] wrote fondly "of making and sailing boats . . swimming, skating, flying kites and shooting marbles, bat and ball, football, . . . wrestling and sometimes boxing."

    David McCullough, John Adams [Touchstone Books, 2001], page 31. Submitted by Priscilla Astifan, 11/17/06.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1747 - Poet Thomas Gray: "Urge the Flying Ball."

    1747.1

    "What idle progeny succeed

    To chase the rolling circle's speed,

    Or urge the flying ball?"

    Thomas Gray, "Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College," lines 28-30. Accessed 12/29/2007 at http://www.thomasgray.org. "Rolling circle" had been drafted as "hoop," and thus does not connote ballplay. Cricket writers have seen "flying ball" as a cricket reference, but a Gray scholar cites "Bentley's Print" as a basis for concluding that Gray was referring to trap ball in this line. Steel and Lyttelton note that this poem was first published in 1747. Note: is it fair to assume that Gray is evoking student play at Eton in this ode? Do modern scholars agree with the 1747 publication date?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1747 - Well-Advertised Women's Cricket Match Held, with 6-Pence Admission

    1747.2

    In July 1747 two ladies' sides from Sussex communities played cricket at London's Artillery-Grounds, and the announced admittance fee was sixpence. At a first match, according to a 7/15/1747 news account, play was interrupted when "the Company broke in so, that it was impossible for the [match] to be play'd; and some of them [the players? - LM] being very much frighted, and others hurt . . . ." That match was to be completed on a subsequent morning . . . . "And in the Afternoon they wil play a second Match at the same Place, several large Sums being depended between the Women of the Hills of Sussex, in Orange colour'd Ribbons, and the Dales in blue!"

    This item was contributed by David Block on 2/27/2008. David notes that the source is a large scrapbook with thousands of clippings from 1660 to 1840 as collected by a Daniel Lysons: "Collectanea: or A collection of advertisements and paragraphs from the newspapers, relating to various subjects. Publick exhibitions and places of amusement," Vol IV, Pt 2, page 227, British Library shelfmark C.103.k.11. David adds, "Unfortunately, Lysons, or whoever assembled this particular volume, neglected to indicate which paper the clippings were cut from."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1748 - Lady Hervey Reports Royals' "Base-ball" in a Letter

    1748.1

    Lady Hervey (then Mary Leppel) describes in a letter the activities of the family of Frederick, Prince of Wales:

    "[T]he Prince's family is an example of innocent and cheerful amusements All this last summer they played abroad; and now, in the winter, in a large room, they divert themselves at base-ball, a play all who are, or have been, schoolboys, are well acquainted with. The ladies, as well as gentlemen, join in this amusement . . . . This innocence and excellence must needs give great joy, and well as great hope, to all real lovers of their country and posterity."

    [The last sentence may well be written in irony, as Lady Hervey was evidently known to be unimpressed with the Prince's conduct.]

    Hervey, Lady (Mary Lepel), Letters (London, 1821), p.139 [Letter XLII, of November 14, 1748, from London]. Google Books now has uploaded the letters: search for "Lady Hervey." Letter 52 begins on page 137, and the baseball reference is on page 139. Accessed 12/29/2007. Note: David Block, page 189, spells the name "Lepel," citing documented family usage; the surname often appears as "Leppell." In a 19CBB posting of 2/15/2008, David writes that it is "George III, to whom we can rightly ascribe the honor of being the first known baseball player. The ten-year-old George, as [Prince] Frederick's eldest son, was surely among the prince's family members observed by Lady Hervey in 1748 to be 'divert[ing] themselves at base-ball.'"

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1749 - Early Cricket: Addington Club Takes On All-England, Five on Five

    1749.1

    "A newspaper advertisement announced a match on the [London Artillery] ground on July 24th, 1749, between five of the Addington Club and an All England five. The advertisement gave the names of the players, and thus concluded: NB - The last match, which was played on Monday the 10th instant, was won by All England, notwithstanding it was eight to one on Addington in the playing.'"

    Joseph Strutt, The Sports and Pastimes of the People of England [Methuen, London, 1903], page 102. This edition of Strutt [originally published in 1801] was "much enlarged and corrected by L. Charles Cox;" the cited text was inserted by Cox.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1750 - Cricket No Longer Played Only With Rolled Deliveries to Batsmen

    1750c.1

    "Originally bowling literally meant 'to bowl the ball along the ground' as in the style of lawn bowls. By 1750, however, a mixture of grubbers and fully pitched balls were seen."

    Peter Scholefield, Cricket Laws and Terms [Axiom Publishing, Kent Town Australia], page 34.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1750 - Town Ball and Cat Played in NC Lowlands?

    1750s.2

    One biographer has estimated: "Of formalized games, choices for males [in NC] appear to have been 'town-ball, bull-pen,' 'cat,' and 'prisoner's base,' whatever exhibitions of dexterity they may have involved" Chalmers G. Davidson, Piedmont Partisan: The Life and Times of Brigadier-General William Lee Davidson (Davidson College, Davidson NC, 1951), page 20. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 32.

    Caution: This is a very early claim for town ball, preceding even New England references to roundball or like games. It would be useful to examine C. Davidson's sources. Note: Can we determine what region of NC is under discussion? Text of the biography is unavailable via Google Books as of 11/15/2008. Prisoner's base is not a ball game, and bull-pen is not a safe-haven game.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1750 - 1857 Writer Reportedly Dates New England Game of "Base" to 1750s

    1750s.3

    "an interesting report from a "Base Ball Correspondent" which discusses the early New England game of "Base" and mentions in part that 'Base ball has, no doubt, been played in this country for at least one century. . . . Details about the "National Base Ball Club" of Brooklyn." "Out-Door Sports: Base Ball: Base Ball Correspondence," Porter's Spirit of the Times Volume 3, number 8 (October 24, 1857), page 117, column 2. Citation provided by Craig Waff, 10/28/2008. The text of the October 20 letter from "X" is on the VBBA website at:

    http://www.vbba.org/ed-interp/1857x1.html

    The game described by "X" resembles the MA game as it was to be codified a year later except: [a] "a good catcher would frequently take the ball before the bat cold strike it," [b] the runner "was allowed either a pace or jump to the base which he was striving t reach," [c] the bound rule was in effect, [d] all-out-side-out innings, [e] the ball was "softer and more spongy" than 1850's ball, [f] the bats were square, flat, or round," and [g] there was a layout variation, with three bases, one two yards to the batters right, the next "about fifty [yards] down the field," and the third was "about five." This field variation reminds one of cricket, wicket, and "long town [or "long-town-ball]."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1751 - First Recorded US Cricket Match Played, "For a Considerable Wager," in NYC

    1751.1

    "Last Monday afternoon, a match at cricket was play'd on our Common for a considerable Wager, by eleven Londoners, against eleven New Yorkers: The game was play'd according to the London Method; and those who got most notches in two Hands, to be the Winners: The New Yorkers went in first, and got 81; Then the Londoners went in, and got but 43; Then the New Yorkers went in again, and got 86; and the Londoners finished the Game with getting only 37 more." New York Gazette Revived, May 6, 1751, page 2, column 2. Submitted 7/25/2005 by George Thompson.

    This was the first recorded cricket match played in New York City, and took place on grounds where Fulton Fish Market now stands, "by a Company of Londoners - the London XI - against a Company of New Yorkers." (The New Yorkers won, 167-80.)

    New YorkPost-Boy, 4/29/51. Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: Source is multiple: clip from Chadwick Scrapbooks; see also, "the first recorded American cricket match per se was in New York in 1751 on the site of what is today the Fulton Fish Market in Manhattan. A team called New York played another described as the London XI 'according to the London method' - probably a reference to the 1744 Code which was more strict that the rules governing the contemporary game in England. Also, and dispositively, from Phelps-Stokes, Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4A or 6A); [CRICKET] Match on Commons April 29, 1751; and finally, V. 4, p. 628, 4/29/1751: "…this day, a great Cricket match is to be played on our commons, by a Company of Londoners against a Company of New-Yorkers. New-York Post-Boy, 4/29/51." The New Yorkers won by a total score of 167 to 80. New York Post-Boy, 5/6/51. This game is also treated by cricket historians Wisden [1866] and Lester [1951].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1751 - Cricket Lore: Ball Kills the Prince of Wales?

    1751.2

    RIP, sweet Prince. [The prince was the father of King George III.]

    Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 17: "Death of Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, as a result of a blow on the head from a cricket ball." Ford does not give a citation.

    Others attribute the Prince's death to a tennis incident; neither theory seems fully credible, as death was not immediate, and "an abscess" of the lung was believed to be the proximal cause of death.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1753 - NYS Traveler Notes Dutch boys "Playing Bat and Ball"

    1753.1

    Gideon Hawley (1727-1807), traveling through the area where Binghamton now is, wrote: "even at the celebration of the Lord's supper [the Dutch boys] have been playing bat and ball the whole term around the house of God."

    Hawley, Gideon, Rev. Gideon Hawley's Journal [Broome County, NY 1753], page 1041. Collection of Tom Heitz. Per Patricia Millen, From Pastime to Passion [2001], page 2.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1754 - Marylanders Play "Great Cricket Match for a Good Sum"

    1754.1

    "We hear that there is to be a great cricket match for a good sum played on Saturday next, near Mr. Aaron Rawling's Spring, between eleven young men of this city [Annapolis] and the same number from Prince George's County [now a Washington suburban community]"

    Bradford's Journal, August 1, 1754, as cited in Lester's A Century of Philadelphia Cricket UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 5.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1754 - Ben Franklin Brings Copy of Cricket Rules Back to U.S.

    1754.2

    Several sources, including the Smithsonian, magazine, report that "The rules of the game on this side of the Atlantic were formalized in 1754, when Benjamin Franklin brought back from England a copy of the [ten year old - LMc] 1744 Laws, cricket's official rule book." Simon Worrall, "Cricket, Anyone?" Smithsonian Magazine, October 2006. The excerpt can be found in the seventh paragraph of the article [as accessed 10/19/2008] at:

    http://www.smithsonianmagazine.com/issues/2006/october/cricket.php:

    Lester adds this: "Benjamin Franklin was sufficiently interested in the game [cricket] to bring back with him from England a copy of the laws of cricket, for it was this very copy which was presented to the Young America Club . . .on June 4, 1867." Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket (U Penn, 1951), page 5. Caveat: we have not located a contemporary account of the Franklin story.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1755 - Johnson Dictionary Defines Stoolball and Trap

    1755.1

    Stoolball is simply defined as "A play where balls are driven from stool to stool," and trap is defined as "A play at which a ball is driven with a stick."

    Johnson, Samuel, A dictionary of the English language [London, 1755], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 179.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1755 - Laws of Cricket are Revised

    1755.2

    "1755: Minor revision of the Laws of Cricket." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a source.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1755 - Young Man Goes to "Play at Base Ball" in Surrey

    1755.3

    On the day after Easter in 1755, 18-year-old William Bray recorded the following entry in his diary:

    "After Dinner Went to Miss Seale's to play at Base Ball, with her, the 3 Miss Whiteheads, Miss Billinghurst, Miss Molly Flutter, Mr. Chandler, Mr. Ford, H. Parsons & Jolly. Drank tea and stayed till 8."

    The story of this 2007 find is told in Block, David, "The Story of William Bray's Diary," Base Ball, volume , no. 2 (Fall 2007), pp. 5-11.

    Block points out that this diary entry, is among the first four appearances of the term "base ball," [see #1744.2 and #1748.1 above, and #1755.4 below] shows adult and mixed-gender play, and that "at this time, baseball was more of a social phenomenon than a sporting one. . . . played for social entertainment rather than serious entertainment." [Ibid, page 9.]

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1755 - Satirist Cites Base-Ball as "An Infant Game"

    1755.4

    ". . . the younger Part of the Family, perceiving Papa not inclined to enlarge upon the Matter, retired to an interrupted Party at Base-Ball, (an infant Game, which as it advances in its Teens, improves to Fives [handball], and in its State of Manhood, is called Tennis)."

    Kidgell, John, The Card (John Newbery, London, 1755), page 9. This citation was uncovered in 2007 by David Block. He tells the story of the find in Block, David, "The Story of William Bray's Diary," Base Ball, volume , no. 2 (Fall 2007), pp. 9-11.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1755 - Authoritative Rules of Cricket Published Nationally in England

    1755.5

    The publication is The Game at Cricket; as Settled by the Several Cricket-Clubs, Particularly that of the Star and Garter in Pall Mall (London, 1755).

    Contributed by Beth Hise, January 12, 2010. Beth adds: "This is the first discrete publication of the laws of cricket, a version of which was printed in the New Universal Magazine, and as such enabled the laws to be widely distributed. This is the version generally regarded as containing the original laws of cricket."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1756 - First Recorded Game by Hambledon Cricket Club

    1756.1

    "1756: The Hambledon Club plays its first recorded game." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a source.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1760 - Bat and Ball . . . in Paris?

    1760.2

    A description of Parisian sights: "The grand Walk forms a most beautiful Visto, which terminates in a Wood called Elysian Fields, or more commonly known by the name "La Cours de la Rein (Queen's Course). This is the usual place where the Citizens celebrate their Festivals with the Bat and Ball, a Diversion which is much used here." Provided by David Block, 2/27/2008. Note: Is this the same location as what we now know as the Champs Elysee? Can we learn what bat/ball games were so popular the mid 1700s - Soule? Some form of street tennis? A form of field hockey? Not croquet, presumably.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1760 - Harvard Man Recalls Cricket, "Various Games of Bat and Ball" on Campus

    1760s.1

    Writing of the Buttery on the Harvard campus in Cambridge MA, Sidney Willard later recalled that "[b]esides eatable, everything necessary for a student was there sold, and articles used in the play-grounds, as bats, balls, &c. . . . [w]e wrestled and ran, played at quoits, at cricket, and various games of bat and ball, whose names perhaps are obsolete."

    Sidney Willard, Memories of Youth and Manhood [John Bartlett, Cambridge, 1855], volume 1, pp 31 and 316. Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 44.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1761 - Princeton Faculty [NJ] Disparages "Playing at Ball"

    1761.1

    "A minute of the Princeton faculty of May, 1761, frowns upon students "playing at ball."

    Bentley, et. al., American College Athletics [Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, New York, 1929], pages 14-15. Submitted by John Thorn, 6/6/04.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1761 - School Rule in PA; No Ballplaying in the College Yard, Especially in Front of Trustees and Profs

    1761.2

    "None shall climb over the Fences of the College Yard, or come in or out thro the Windows, or play Ball or use any Kind of Diversion within the Walls of the Building; nor shall they in the Presence of the Trustees, Professors or Tutors, play Ball, Wrestle, make any indecent Noise, or behave in any way rudely in the College Yard or Streets adjacent."

    Sack, Saul, History of Higher Education in Pennsylvania, vol. 2 [Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, Harrisburg, 1963], page 632. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/12/2004. Note: do we know the college? UPa?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1762 - Pirated Version of Little Pretty Book Uses Term "Base-ball."

    1762.1

    Note: This version, published in 1762 by Hugh Gaine, was advertised in The New York Mercury on August 30, 1762, but no copy has been found. Per RH, p. 135. Henderson says that this is the first use of "base-ball" in an American source. In his note #107, RH gives 1760 as the year of publication.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1762 - Salem Ordinance Outlaws Bat-and-Ball, Cricket

    1762.2

    ". . . no Person shall use the Exercise of playing or kicking of Foot-ball, or the Exercise of Bat-and-Ball, or Cricket, within the Body of the Town, under a Penalty of One Shilling and Six Pence."

    By-Laws and Orders of the town of Salem, July 26, 1762, as printed in the Essex Gazette, December 6 to 13, 1768, page 81: posted to 19CBB on July 30, 2007 by Richard Hershberger. The town is Salem MA.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1766 - Cricket Balls Advertised in US by James Rivington

    1766.1

    In 1766 "James Rivington imported battledores and shuttlecocks, cricket-balls, pillets, best racquets for tennis and fives, backgammon tables with men, boxes, and dice."

    Singleton, Esther, Social New York Under the Georges [New York, 1902], page 265. [Cited by Dulles, 1940.] Caveat: Singleton does not provide a source at this location; however, from context [see pp. 91-92] her direct quotation seems likely to be taken from a contemporary Rivington advertisement. Caution: John Thorn is unable to find online evidence of cricket ball imports before 1772, per email of 2/2/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1766 - Cricket [or Wicket?] Challenge in CT

    1766.2

    "A Challenge is hereby given by the Subscribers, to Ashbel Steel, and John Barnard, with 18 young Gentlemen . . . to play a Game of BOWL for a Dinner and Trimmings . . . on Friday next." Connecticut Courant , May 5, 1766, as cited in John A. Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 6. Note: is "game of bowl" a common term for cricket? Could this not have been a wicket challenge, given the size of the teams?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1767 - [Item #1767.1 has been moved to become 1754.1 above.]

    1767.1

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1767 - North-South Game of Cricket in Hartford CT

    1767.2

    "Whereas a Challenge was given by Fifteen Men South of the Great Bridge in Hartford . . . the Public are hereby inform'd that that Challenged beat the Challengers by a great majority. And said North side hereby acquaint the South Side, that they are not afraid to meet them with any Number they shall chuse . . . ." Source: "Hartford and Her Sons and Daughters of the Year The Courant was Founded," Hartford Daily Courant, 10/25/1914. The original Courant notice was dated June 1, 1767. Sleuthwork provided by John Thorn, email of 2/2/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1768 - "Old Boys of Westminster" Play Harrow in Cricket

    1768.1

    "William Hickey plays in a match at Moulsey Hurst for the old boys of Westminster School against eleven old boys of Harrow." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a source.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1770 - Three-on-Three Cricket Match Played on 100-Guinea Bet

    1770.2

    "On Friday last a cricket match was played on Barnet Common between Mess. Cock, and Draper and Athey, against Mess Grey, Langley, and Tapiter, for 100 guineas, which was won with great difficulty by the latter; they went against 44 notches, and beat by only one notch."

    Bingley's Weekly Journal, Saturday, September 15, 1770. Contributed by Gregory Christiano, 12/2/09. Barnet is a borough of London located to the northwest of the city.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1770 - Future Professor Sneaks a Smoke When He Can't Play Bat and Ball

    1770c.3

    "When Saturday afternoon chanced to be rainy, and no prospect of bat and ball on the common, some half a dozen of us used now and then, to meet in an old wood-shed, that we shall never forget, and fume it away to our own wonderful aggrandizement."

    "Use of Tobacco from Dr. Waterhouse's Lecture before Harvard University," American Repertory, September 3, 1829 ("from the Columbian Centinel.") Accessed via subscription search, May 5, 2009. From internal references, this appears to be an account the well-known public anti-smoking lecture by Professor Benjamin Waterhouse in November 1804. Caution: dating this reference requires some assumptions. Waterhouse was born in 1754, and thus, if this recollection is authentic, he speaks of a penchant for ballplaying [and smoking] he held in his teens. He was born at Newport, RI and remained there until 1780.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1770 - British Soldiers Seek Amusements, Rebels Yawn

    1770s.1

    "the presence of large numbers of British troops quartered in the larger towns of the [eastern] seaboard brought the populace into contact with a new attitude toward play. Officers and men, when off duty, like soldiers in all ages, were inveterate seekers of amusement. The dances and balls, masques and pageants, ending in Howe's great extravaganza in Philadelphia, were but one expression of this spirit. Officers set up cricket grounds and were glad of outside competition. . [text refers to cock-fighting in Philadelphia, horseracing and fox hunts on Long Island, bear-baiting in Brooklyn].

    "There is little indication, however, that the British occupation either broke down American prejudices against wasting time in frivolous amusements or promoted American participation and interest in games and sports."

    Krout, John A., The Pageant of America: Annals of American Sport (Oxford U Press, 1929), page 26.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1771 - Dartmouth President Finds Gardening "More Useful" Than Ballplaying

    1771.1

    Dartmouth College's founding president Eleazar Wheelock thought his students should "turn the course of their diversions and exercises for their health, to the practice of some manual arts, or cultivation of gardens and other lands at the proper hours of leisure." That would be "more useful" than the tendency of some non-Dartmouth students to engage in "that which is puerile, such as playing with balls, bowls and other ways of diversion." Dartmouth is in Hanover NH.

    Eleazar Wheelock, A Continuation of the Narrative [1771], as quoted in W. D. Quint, The Story of Dartmouth College (Little, Brown, Boston, 1914) , page 246. Submitted by Scott Meacham, 8/21/06. Dartmouth is in Hanover NH.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1771 - Province of New Hampshire Prohibits Christmas "Playing With Balls" in the Streets

    1771.2

    "[M]any disorders are occasioned within the town of Portsmouth . . . by boys and fellows playing with balls in the public street: . . . [when] there is danger of breaking the windows of any building, public or private, [they] may be ordered to remove to any place where there shall be no such danger."

    "An Act to prevent and punish Disorders usually committed on the twenty-fifth Day of December . . . ," 23 December 1771, New Hampshire (Colony) Temporary Laws, 1773 (Portsmouth, NH), page 53. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 25.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1771 - A Wider Bat? Even in Cricket, There's Always a Joker

    1771.3

    "There was no size limit [on a cricket bat] until 1771, when a Ryegate batsman came to the pitch with a bat wider than the wicket itself! A maximum measurement was then drawn up, and this has remained the same since." The Hambledon Committee new resolution, appearing two days later, specified that the bat much be no wider than 4.25 inches. The rule stuck.

    Peter Scholefield, Cricket Laws and Terms [Axiom Publishing, Kent Town Australia, 1990], page 15.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1771 - Newspaper Quotes Odds for 2-Day London Cricket Match

    1771.4

    "On Wednesday and Thursday Last a grand match at cricket was played in the Artillery ground, between the Duke of Dorset and ___ Mann, Esq; which, being a strong contest, was won by his Grace, notwithstanding the odds on the second day were 12 to one in favor of Mr. Mann.

    Bingley's Weekly Journal, Saturday, September 14, 1771. Contributed by Gregory Christiano, 12/2/09.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1773 - Surrey/Kent Cricket Match Draws 12,000, Spawns Poetic Duel

    1773.1

    Surrey beat Kent at Bourne Paddock, July 19-21, 1773. The Rev J. Duncombe described the match in a poem entitled "Surrey Triumphant; or, the Kentish-Men's Defeat. A New Ballad, Being a Parody on 'Chevy Chase'," which [cheeeeeky indeed] appeared in the Kentish Gazette of July 24. Then "a Gentleman" penned a reply, "Kentish Cricketers." This exchange is amply told in H. T. Waghorn, compiler, Cricket Scores, Notes, Etc. from 1730-1773 (Blackwood, London, 1899)pp 116 - 126. Accessed via Google Books 10/19/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1773 - "Best" Cricket Bats Sold for Four Shillings Sixpence

    1773.2

    Pett's of Sevenoaks was selling "best bats" for 4s 6d. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1773 - Ball-Playing by Slaves Is Eyed in SC

    1773.3

    "We present as a growing Evil, the frequent assembling of Negroes in the Town [Beaufort, SC] on Sundays, and playing games of Trap-ball and Fives, which is not taken proper notice of by Magistrates, Constables, and other Parish Officers."

    Tom Altherr, Originals, Volume 2, Number 11 (November 2009), page 1. Tom sees this reference as "possibly the earliest which refers to African Americans, slaves or also possibly a few free blacks, playing a baseball-type game [although it is not clear if it involved any running], and playing frequently. Beaufort SC is about 40 miles NE of Savannah GA, near the coastline.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1774 - Cricket Rules Adjusted - Visitors Bat First, LBW Added

    1774.1

    A "Committee of Noblemen and Gentlemen of Kent, Hampshire, Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, and London" agree on rule changes. Ford's summary: "Particular reference is made to the requirements of gambling. Ball between 5.5 and 5.75 ounces. LBW [leg-before-wicket, a form of batman interference - LM] for the first time; short runs; visiting side gets the choice of pitch and first innings. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Writing in 1890, Steel and Lyttelton say that "[t]he earliest laws of the game, or at least the earliest which have reached us, are of the year 1774:" See A.G. Steel and R. H. Lyttelton, Cricket, (Longmans Green, London, 1890) 4th edition, page 12.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1774 - Ah, The Good Ol' Days: Cricket Now No Longer "Innocent Pastime"

    1774.2

    "The game at cricket, which requires that utmost exertion of strength and agility, was followed, until of late years, for manly exercise, animated by a noble spirit of emulation. This sport has too long been perverted from diversion and innocent pastime to excessive gaming and public dissipation." Morning Chronicle and London Advertiser (London) August 23, 1774, Column 1, seventh paragraph.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1775 - Soldier in CT "Played Ball All Day"

    1775.1

    "Wednesday the 6. We played ball all day"

    [Lyman, Simeon], "Journal of Simeon Lyman of Sharon August 10 to December 28, 1775," in "Orderly Book and Journals Kept by Connecticut Men While Taking Part in the American Revolution 1775 - 1778," Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, volume 7 [Connecticut Historical Society, 1899, p. 117. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 26. Lyman was near New London CT.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1775 - Soldier in MA Played Ball

    1775.2

    Thomas Altherr writes in 2008: "Ephriam [Ephraim? - TA] Tripp, a soldier at Dorchester in 1775, also left a record, albeit brief, of ball playing: 'Camping and played bowl,' he wrote on May 30. 'Bowl' for Tripp meant ball, because elsewhere he referred to cannonballs as 'cannon bowls.' On June 24 he penned: 'We went to git our meney that we shud yak when we past muster com home and played bawl.'" Note: Dorchester MA, presumably? Is it clear whether Tripp was a British soldier? May 1775 was some months before an American army formed.

    E. Tripp, "His book of a journal of the times in the year 1775 from the 19th day," Sterling Memorial Library Manuscripts and Archives, Yale University: "Diaries (Miscellaneous) Collection, Group 18, Box 16, Folder 267. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 39.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1776 - Book on Juvenile Pastimes Comments on Trap Ball

    1776.1

    Michel Angelo, Juvenile Sports and Pastimes [London], 2nd edition. per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 179. The text decries the use of a broad flat bat instead of a thin round one, which had evidently been used formerly.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1776 - NJ Officer Plays Ball Throughout His Military Service

    1776.2

    Elmer, Ebenezer, "Journal of Lieutenant Ebenezer Elmer, of the Third Regiment of New Jersey Troops in the Continental Service," Proceedings of the New Jersey Historical Society [1848], volume 1, number 1, pp. 26, 27, 30, and 31, and volume 3, number 2, pp.98. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 29.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1776 - Revolutionary War Officer Plays Cricket, Picks Blueberries

    1776c.3

    "The days would follow without incident, one day after another. An officer with a company of Pennsylvania riflemen [in Washington's army] wrote of nothing to do but pick blueberries and play cricket." David McCullough, 1776 (Simon and Schuster, 2005), page 40. McCullough does not give a source for this item. Provided by Priscilla Astifan, 19CBB posting of 8/5/2008 and email of 11/16/2008. McCullough notes that the majority of the army comprised farmers and skilled artisan [ibid, page 34].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1777 - Revolutionary War Prisoner Watches Ball-Playing in NYC Area

    1777.1

    Sabine, William H. W., ed., The New York Diary of Lieutenant Jabez Finch of the 17th (Connecticut) Regiment from August 22, 1776 to December 15, 1777 [private printing, 1954], pp. 126, 127, and 162. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 34.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1777 - Mass. Sailor Plays Ball in English Prison

    1777.2

    Held as a POW in Plymouth, England, Newburyport sailor Charles Herbert wrote on April 2, 1777: "Warm, and something pleasant, and the yard begins to dry again, so that we can return to our former sports; these are ball and quoits . . . "

    [Herbert, Charles], A Relic of the Revolution, Containing a Full and Particular Account of the Sufferings and Privations of All the American Prisoners Captured on the High Seas, and Carried to Plymouth, England, During the Revolution of 1776 [Charles S. Pierce, Boston, 1847], p. 109. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It [ref # 35].

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1777 - Cricket Gets Improved Wicket - A Third Stump Added

    1777.3

    Says Ford: "Third (middle) stump introduced." Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 18. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - American Surgeon Sees Ball-Playing in English Prison

    1778.1

    Coan, Marion, ed., "A Revolutionary Prison Diary: The Journal of Dr. Jonathan Haskins," New England Quarterly, volume 17, number 2 [June 1944], p. 308. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 36.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - Teamster Sees Soldiers Play Ball.

    1778.2

    [Joslin, Joseph], "Journal of Joseph Joslin Jr of South Killingly A Teamster in the Continental Service March 1777 - August 1778, in "Orderly Book [sic?] and Journals Kept by Connecticut Men While Taking Part in the American Revolution 1775 - 1778," Collections of the Connecticut Historical Society, volume 7 [Connecticut Historical Society, 1899, pp. 353 - 354. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 27.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - MA Sergeant Found Some Time and "Plaid Ball"

    1778.3

    Symmes, Rebecca D., ed., A Citizen Soldier in the American Revolution: The Diary of Benjamin Gilbert of Massachusetts and New York [New York State Historical Association, Cooperstown, 1980], pp. 30 and 49; and "Benjamin Gilbert Diaries 1782 - 1786," G372, NYS Historical Association Library, Cooperstown. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 30.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - Ewing Reports Playing "At Base" and Wicket at Valley Forge - with the Father of his Country

    1778.4

    George Ewing, a Revolutionary War soldier, tells of playing a game of "Base" at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania: "Exercisd in the afternoon in the intervals playd at base. Caveat: It is unknown whether this was a ball game, rather than prisoner's base, a form of tag.

    Ewing also wrote: "[May 2d] in the afternoon playd a game at Wicket with a number of Gent of the Arty . . . ." And "This day [May 4, 1778] His Excellency dined with G Nox and after dinner did us the honor to play at Wicket with us."

    Ewing, G., The Military Journal of George Ewing (1754-1824), A Soldier of Valley Forge [Private Printing, Yonkers, 1928], pp 35 ["base"] and 47 [wicket]. Also found at John C. Fitzpatrick, The Writings of George Washington from the Original Manuscript Sources, 1745-1799. Volume: 11. [U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1931]. page 348. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/12/2004. The text of Ewing's diary is unavailable at Google Books as of 11/17/2008.

    Also note:

    "Q. What did soldiers do for recreation?

    "A: During the winter months the soldiers were mostly concerned with their survival, so recreation was probably not on their minds. As spring came, activities other than drills and marches took place. "Games" would have included a game of bowls played with cannon balls and called "Long Bullets." "Base" was also a game - the ancestor of baseball, so you can imagine how it might be played; and cricket/wicket. George Washington himself was said to have took up the bat in a game of wicket in early May after a dinner with General Knox! . . . Other games included cards and dice . . . gambling in general, although that was frowned upon."

    From the website of Historic Valley Forge; see

    http://www.ushistory.org/valleyforge/youasked/067.htm, accessed 10/25/02. Note: it is possible that the source of this material is the Ewing entry above, but we're hoping for more details from the Rangers at Valley Forge. In 2010, we're still hoping.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - Cricket Game Played at Cannon's Tavern, New York City

    1778.5

    "The game of Cricket, to be played on Monday next, the 14th inst., at Cannon's Tavern, at Corlear's Hook. Those Gentlemen that choose to become Members of the Club, are desired to attend. The wickets to be pitched at two o'Clock"

    Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: from Phelps-Stokes, Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4aA or 6A); also, Vol. V, p.1068 (6/13/1778): Royal Gazette, 6/13/1778. Later, the cricket grounds were "where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground " Royal Gazette, 6/17/1780.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1778 - NH Loyalist Plays Ball in NY; Mentions "Wickett"

    1778.6

    The journal of Enos Stevens, a NH man serving in British forces, mentions playing ball seven times from 1778 to 1781. Only one specifies the game played in terms we know: "in the after noon played Wickett" in March of 1781. C. K. Boulton, ed., "A Fragment of the Diary of Lieutenant Enos Stevens, Tory, 1777-1778," New England Quarterly v. 11, number 2 (June 1938), pages 384-385, per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, reference #33. Tom notes that the original journal is at the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier VT.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - Cricket Played On Grounds near NY's Brooklyn Ferry.

    1779.1

    August 9, 1779, match between Brooklyn and Greenwich Clubs. "A Set of Gentlemen" propose playing a cricket match this day, and every Monday during the summer season, "on the Cricket Ground near Brooklyn Ferry." The company "of any Gentleman to join the set in the exercise" is invited. A large Booth is erected for the accommodation of spectators:" New York Mercury, 8/9/1779

    Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: from Phelps-Stokes, Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4aA or 6A); Vol. V, p. 1092.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - Lieutenant Reports Playing Ball, and Playing Bandy Wicket

    1779.2

    "Samuel Shute, a New Jersey Lieutenant, jotted down his reference to playing ball in central Pennsylvania sometime between July 9 and July 22, 1779; 'until the 22nd, the time was spent playing shinny and ball' Incidentally, Shute distinguished among various sports, referring elsewhere in his journal to 'Bandy Wicket.' He did not confuse baseball with types of field hockey [bandy] and cricket [wicket] that the soldiers also played." Thomas Altherr. Note: Gomme says that "bandy wicket" was a name for cricket in England. [XXX add cite here]

    [Shute, Samuel], "Journal of Lt. Samuel Shute," in Frederick Cook, ed., Journals of the Military Expedition of Major General John Sullivan against the Six Nations of Indians in 1779 [Books for Libraries Press, Freeport NY, reprint of the 1885 edition], p. 268. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 28.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - Revolutionary War Soldier H. Dearborn Reports Playing Ball in PA

    1779.3

    Brown, Lloyd, and H. Peckham, eds., Revolutionary War Journals of Henry Dearborn 1775 - 1783 [Books for Libraries Press, Freeport NY, 1969 [original edition 1939]], pp 149 - 150. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 1.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - French Official Sees George Washington Playing Catch "For Hours"

    1779.4

    Chase, E. P., ed., Our Revolutionary Forefathers: The Letters of Francois Marquis de Barbe-Marbois during his Residence in the United States as Secretary of the French Legation 1779 - 1785 [Duffield and Company, NY, 1929], p. 114. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 32.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - Army Lieutenant Cashiered for "Playing Ball with Serjeants"

    1779.5

    Lieutenant Michael Dougherty, 6th Maryland Regiment, was cashiered at a General Court Martial at Elizabeth Town on April 10, 1779, in part for a breach of the 21st article, 14th section of the rules and articles of war "unofficer and ungentlemanlike conduct in associating and playing ball with Serjeants on the 6th instant."

    Fitzpatrick, John C., ed., The Writings of George Washington from the Original Sources, 1745-1799, vol. 14 [USGPO, Washington, 1931], page 378. Submitted 10/12/2004 by John Thorn.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1779 - Dartmouth College Fine for Ballplay - Two Shillings

    1779.6

    "If any student shall play ball or use any other deversion [sic] that exposes the College or hall windows within three rods of either he shall be fined two shillings . . . " In 1782 the protected area was extended to six rods. John King Lord, A History of Dartmouth College 1815-1909 (Rumford Press, Concord NH, 1913), page 593. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 35. See also #1771.1.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - NYC Press Cites Cricket Matches to be Played in Summer

    1780.1

    A cricket match is advertised to be played on this day, and continued every Monday throughout the summer, "on the Ground where the late Reviews were, near the Jews Burying Ground."

    Per John Thorn, 6/15/04: from Phelps-Stokes, Vol. VI, Index—ref. against Chronology and Chronology Addenda (Vol. 4aA or 6A); June 19, 1780. Vol. V, p. 1111, 6/19/1780: New York Mercury, June 19, 1780

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - Challenges for Cricket Matches between Englishmen and Americans

    1780.2

    On August 19, 11 New Yorkers issued this challenge: "we, in this public manner challenge the best eleven Englishmen in the City of New York to play the game of Cricket . . . for any sum they think proper to stake." On August 26, the Englishmen accepted, suggesting a stake of 100 guineas. On September 6, the news was that the match was on: "at the Jew's Burying-ground, WILL be played on Monday next . . . the Wickets to be pitched at Two O'Clock." We seem to lack a report of the outcome of this match.

    Royal Gazette, August 19, 1780, page 3 column 4; August 26, 1780, page 2 column 2; and September 6, 1780, page 3 column 4. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - [this entry was expanded and appears as #1779.6]

    1780.3

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - "Round Ball" Believed to be Played in MA

    1780c.4

    "Mr. Stoddard believes that Round Ball was played by his father in 1820, and has the tradition from his father that two generations before, i.e., directly after the revolutionary war, it was played and was not then a novelty."

    Letter from Henry Sargent, Grafton MA, to the Mills Commission, May 23, 1905. Stoddard was an elderly gentleman who had played round ball in his youth. Note: The Sargent letter also reports that Stoddard "believed that roundball was played as long ago as Upton became a little village." Upton MA was incorporated in 1735. Caveat: One might ask whether a man born around 1830 can be certain about ballplaying 50 years and 100 years before his birth.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - The Young Josiah Quincy of MA: "My Heart was in Ball"

    1780c.7

    Josiah Quincy was sent off to Phillips Academy in about 1778 at age six. It was a tough place. "The discipline of the Academy was severe, and to a child, as I was, disheartening. . . [p24/25]. I cannot imagine a more discouraging course of education that that to which I was subjected. The truth was, I was an incorrigible lover of sports of every kind. My heart was in ball and marbles." Biographer Edmund Quincy sets this passage in direct quotes, but does not provide a source.

    Edmund Quincy, Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts (Fields, Osgood and Company, Boston, 1869), pages 24-25..Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 36. Accessed on 11/16/2088 via Google Books search for "'life of josiah quincy.'"

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - Diminished in its Range, Stoolball Still Played at Brighton

    1780s.5

    "The apparent former wide diffusion of stoolball was reduced in the 18th century to a few geographical survivals. It was played in Brighton to celebrate a royal birthday in the 1780s and by the early 19th century appeared to be limited to a few Kent and Sussex Wealden settlements."

    John Lowerson, "Conflicting Values in the Revivals of a 'Traditional Sussex Game,' SussexAchaeological Collections 133 [1995], page 265. Lowerson's source for the 1780s report seems to be F. Gale, Modern English Sports [London, 1885], pages 8 and/or 11.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1780 - Newell Sees Baseball's Roots in MA

    1780s.6

    Writing on early baseball in the year 1883, W. W. Newell says:

    "The present scientific game . . . was known in Massachusetts, twenty years ago, as the 'New York game.' A ruder form of Base-ball has been played in some Massachusetts towns for a century; while in other parts of New England no game with the ball was formerly known except "Hockey." There was great local variety in these sports."

    Newell, William W., Games and Songs of American Children (Dover, New York, 1963 - originally published 1883) page 184. Note: The omission of wicket - and arguably cricket - from Newell's account is interesting here. The claim that hockey was seen as a ball game is also interesting.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1781 - Teen Makes White Leather Balls for Officers' Ball-Playing

    1781.1

    Hanna, John S., ed., A History of the Life and Services of Captain Samuel Dewees, A Native of Pennsylvania, and Soldier of the Revolutionary and Last Wars [Robert Neilson, Baltimore, 1844], p. 265- 266. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref #37.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1781 - "Antient" Harvard Custom: Freshmen Furnish the Bats, Balls

    1781.2

    "The Freshmen shall furnish Batts, Balls, and Foot-balls, for the use of the students, to be kept at the Buttery."

    Rule 16, "President, Professors, and Tutor's Book," volume IV. The list of rules is headed "The antient Customs of Harvard College, established by the Government of it."

    Conveyed to David Block, April 18, 2005, by Professor Harry R. Lewis, Harvard University, Cambridge MA. Dr. Lewis adds, "The buttery was a sort of supply room, not just for butter. Who is to say what the "Batts" and "Balls" were to be used for, but it is interesting that any bat and ball game could already have been regarded as ancient at Harvard in 1781."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1781 - "Game at Ball" Variously Perceived at Harvard

    1781.3

    And that no other person was present in said area, except a boy who, they say was playing with a Ball From the testimony some of the persons in the kitchen it appeared that the company there assembled were very noisy That some game at Ball was played That some of the company called on the Boy to keep tally; which Boy was seen by the same person, repeated by running after the Ball, with a penknife & stick in his hand, on which stick notches were cut That a Person who tarried at home at Dr. Appleton's was alarmed by an unusual noise about three o'clock, & on looking out the window, saw in the opening between Hollis & Stoughton, four or five persons, two of whom were stripped of their coats, running about, sometimes stooping down & apparently throwing something . . ." Posted to 19CBB by Kyle DeCicco-Carey [date?] Source: Harvard College Faculty Records (Volume IV, 1775-1781), call number UAIII 5.5.2, page 220 (1781). Harvard is in Cambridge MA.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1782 - Cricket Match Scheduled for the Green, Near Shipyards,

    1782.1

    Cricket is to be played on July 15th "on the green, near the Ship-Yards." Royal Gazette, 7/13/1782, page 1 column 2. Submitted by John Thorn 6/15/04 and extended by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1782 - Ball Played at Albany During War

    1782.2

    Spear, John A., ed., "Joel Shepard Goes to War," New England Quarterly, volume 1, number 3 [July 1928], p. 344. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 38.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1782 - NH Diarist Notes that Local Youths "Play Ball Before My Barn"

    1782.3

    Stabler, Lois K., ed., Very Poor and of a Lo Make: The Journal of Abner Sanger [Peter E. Randall, Portsmouth NH, 1896], p. 416. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 74.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1784 - UPenn Bans Ball Playing Near Open University Windows

    1784.1

    RULES for the Good Government and Discipline of the SCHOOL in the UNIVERSITY of PENNSYLVANIA [Francis Bailey, Philadelphia PA, 1784]. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 41.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1784 - Seymour Notation Adverts to Evidence that Town Ball Was Exported to England

    1784.2

    "Rounders not a serious game until 1889 in Britain. But at least close resemblance. Evidence Town Ball introduced by Amer. to Br. 1784 - between Rounders and Base Ball."

    Seymour, Harold - Notes in the Seymour Collection at Cornell University, Kroch Library Department of Rare and Manuscript Collections, collection 4809. Note: it would be good to find such evidence soon.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1785 - Thomas Jefferson: Hunting is More Character-building Than Ballplaying

    1785.1

    Jefferson: "Games played with the ball and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind."

    Thomas Jefferson [VA] letter to Peter Carr, August 19, 1785, in Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson [Princeton University Press, 1953], volume 8, p. 407. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 55.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1785 - Cricket, Long After Reaching Tazmania, Gets Past Hadrian's Wall

    1785.2

    "It is difficult to believe that the English soldiers who flooded into Scotland in 1745/1746 did not bring cricket with them, but evidence has not yet emerges. The well-known 'first cricket match in Scotland' took place at Earl Cathcart's seat at Schow Park, Alloa, in September 1785, when Hon. Colonel Talbot's XI played the Duke of Atholl's XI. . . . Most of the players were English: no further matches in Scotland followed from it. However, a Scot, the Duke of Hamilton, had already joined the MCC, and a traveler hoping to inspect Hamilton Place in 1785 found that 'as the Duke plays cricket every afternoon, strangers don't get admittance then.'" John Burnett, Riot, Revelry and Rout: Sport in Lowland Scotland before 1860 (Tuckwell Press, 2000), page 252. Burnett footnotes this passage The Scottish Antiquary, 11 (1897), 82. Note: we don't yet know which of the events are documented there.

    Another source reports that the Talbot/Atholl match was played on September 8, 1785, for 1000 pounds per man. L. Stephen and S. Lee, eds., Dictionary of National Biography (Macmillan, New York, 1908), entry on Thomas Graham, Baron Lynedoch, page 359.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1786 - "Baste Ball" Played at Princeton

    1786.1

    "Baste Ball" is played by students on the campus of Princeton University in NJ. From a student's diary:

    "A fine day, play baste ball in the campus but am beaten for I miss both catching and striking the ball."

    Smith, John Rhea, March 22 1786, in "Journal at Nassau Hall," Princeton Library MSS, AM 12800. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 44. Also found in Gerald S. Couzens, A Baseball Album [Lippincott and Crowell, NY, 1980], page 15. Per Guschov, page 153.

    An article has appeared about Smith's journal. See Woodward, Ruth, "Journal at Nassau Hall," PULC 46 (1985), pp. 269-291, and PULC 47 (1986), pp 48-70. Note: Does this article materially supplement our appreciation of Smith's brief comment?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1786 - Game Called Wicket Reported in England

    1786.2

    "The late game of Wicket was decided by an extraordinary catch made by Mr. Lenox, to which he ran more than 40 yards, and received the ball between two fingers." Morning Post and Daily Advertiser (London), 6/27/1786. Provided by Richard Hershberger, email of 2/3/2008. Richard adds: "I know of only one other English citation of "wicket" as the name of a game. I absolutely do not assume that it was the same as the game associated with Connecticut."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1787 - Ballplaying Prohibited at Princeton - Shinny or Early Base Ball?

    1787.1

    "It appearing that a play at present much practiced by the smaller boys . . . with balls and sticks," the faculty of Princeton University prohibits such play on account of its being dangerous as well as "low and unbecoming gentlemen students."

    Quoted without apparent reference in Henderson, pp. 136-7. Sullivan, on 7/29/2005, cited Warnum L. Collins, "Princeton," page 208, per Harold Seymour's dissertation. Wallace quotes the faculty minute [November 26, 1787] in George R. Wallace, Princeton Sketches: The Story of Nassau Hall (Putnam's Sons, New York, 1894), page 77, but he does not cite Collins. Caveat: Collins - and Wallace believed that the proscribed game was shinny, and Altherr makes the same judgment - see Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), pages 35-36. Can we determine why this inference was made? The Wallace book was accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Book search for "'princeton sketches.'" The college is in Princeton NJ.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1787 - VT Man's Letter Says "Three Times is Out at Wicket"

    1787.2

    Levi Allen to Ira Allen, July 7, 1787, in John J. Duffy, ed., Ethan Allen and His Kin, Correspondence, 1772 - 1819 [University Press of New England, Hanover NH, 1998], volume 1, p. 224. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 75.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1787 - Marylebone Cricket Club, Later Official Custodian of the Game, is Founded

    1787.3

    Interview with Stephen Green at Lords. Note: needs verification. Also Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 19. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1787 - US Publisher Offers Books "More Pleasurable Than Bat and Ball"

    1787.4

    Thomas, Isaiah, publisher, The Royal Primer: or, An Easy and Pleasant Guide to the Art of Reading [Worcester], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 179. The last page of this reader encourages the reader to come to Thomas' book store, where "they may be suited with Something ore valuable than Cakes, prettier than Tops, handsomer than Kites, more pleasurable that Bat and Ball, more entertaining than either Scating or Sliding, and durable as marbles."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1787 - NY Newspaper Prints "Laws of the Noble Game of Cricket"

    1787.5

    "At the request of several of our Correspondents, we insert the following Laws of the noble Game of Cricket, which govern all the celebrated Players in Europe."

    Independent Journal [New York], May 19, 1787. Accessed via subscription genealogybank.com search, 4/9/09. Note: the rules do not use the term "innings," and instead employ "hands."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1788 - Cricketer Experiments with Round-Arm Bowling

    1788.1

    Says John Ford: "Tom Walker is said to have experimented with round-arm bowling." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 19. Ford does not give a citation for this account. Caveat: The Encyclopedia Brittanica on Nyren's estimate of about 1790 for Walker's innovation; A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Eleventh Edition, (Encyclopeida Brittanica Company, New York, 1910) Volume VII, page 439, accessed 10/19/2008, as advised by John Thorn, email of 2/2/2008..

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1788 - Noah Webster, CT Ballplayer?

    1788.2

    "Connecticut lexicographer and writer Noah Webster may have been referring to a baseball- type game when he wrote his journal entry for March 24-25, 1788: 'Take a long walk. Play at Nines at Mr Brandons. Very much indisposed.'"

    Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It; see page 241. Altherr cites the diary as Webster, Noah, "Diary," reprinted in Notes on the Life of Noah Webster, E. E. F Ford, ed., (privately printed, New York, 1912), page 227 of volume 1. Note: "Nines seems an unusual name for a ball game; do we find it elsewhere? Could he have been denoting nine-pins or nine-holes? John Thorn, in 2/3/2008, says he inclines to nine-pins as the game alluded to.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1789 - A Tale of Two Cricket Traditions?

    1789.1

    Ford reports that "A cricket tour to France arranged, but cancelled at the last minute because of the French Revolution. Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 19. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1789 - New York Children's Pastimes Recalled: Old Cat, Rounders Cited

    1789.2

    " . . . outside school hours, the boys and girls of 1789 probably had as good a time as childhood ever enjoyed. Swimming and fishing were close to every doorstep The streets, vacant lots, and nearby fields resounded with the immemorial games of old cat, rounders, hopscotch, I spy, chuck farthing and prisoner's base . . . . The Dutch influence made especially popular tick-tack, coasting, and outdoor bowling."

    Monaghan, Frank, and Marvin Lowenthal, This Was New York: The Nation's Capital in 1789 (Books for Libraries Press, 1970 - originally published 1943 , Chapter 8, "The Woman's World," pages 100-101. Portions of this book are revealed on Google Books, as accessed 12/29/2007. According to the book's index, "games" were also covered on pages 80, 81, 115, 177, and 205, all of which were masked. The volume includes "hundreds of footnotes in the original draft," according to accompanying information. Caveat: We find no reference to the term "rounders" until 1828. See #1828.1 below.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1789 - Stoolball Played at Brighthelmstone in Sussex

    1789.3

    "From the 'Jernal' of John Burgess of Ditchling (Sussex) he wrote on Augest 17th 1789 that he went to Brighthelmstone 'to see many divertions which included Stoolball'."

    The XVth (1938) Annual Report of the Stoolball Association for Great Britain [unpublished]. Provided by Kay and John Price, Fall 2009.

    A web search doesn't lead to this journal entry, but does locate a similar one:

    "[August 19, 1788] Went to Brighthelmstone to see many Divertions on account of the Rial Family that is the Duke of Yorks Berth day Cricketing Stool Ball Foot Ball Dancing &c. fire works &c." A side note was that some estimated that 20,000 persons attended.

    Sussex Archaeological Society, Archaeololgical Collections, Volume XL. (1896), "Some Extracts from the Journal and Correspondence of Mr. John Burgess, of Ditchling, Sussex, 1785-1815," page 156. Accessed 1/31/10 via Google Books search ("john burgess" ditchling).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - John Adams Refers to Cricket in Argument about Washington's New Title

    1790.5

    "Cricket was certainly known in Boston as early as 1790, for John Adams, then Vice-President of the United States, speaking in the debate about the choice of an appropriate name for the chief officer of the United States, declared that 'there were presidents of fire companies and of a cricket club.'" John Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [UPenn Press, Philadelphia, 1951], page 5.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - British Paper Snitches on Ringer Playing on a County Cricket Club

    1790.8

    "The Grand Match between the Noblemen of Mary-le Bonne Club, and the County of Middlesex, is put off, owing to the gentlemen going out of town."

    Their best batter, C. Foxton, does not live in Middlesex, but in Surrey, which is unknown to the Noblemen."

    "Cricket," Morning Post and Daily Advertiser, Monday June 21, 1790. Contributed by Gregory Christiano, 12/2/09.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - Careful Scorer Starts "Complete Lists" of the Yearly Grand Cricket Matches

    1790.9

    Example: Samuel Britcher, Scorer, Complete List of All the Grand Matches of Cricket that Have Been Played in the Year of 1793, with a Correct State of Each Innings (London), 26 pages. Included are one-page scoresheets for 25 games from May 13 to September 9, 1793. Provided by John Thorn, email of 1/17/2008. Each scoresheet includes the match's stake: 12 are played for 1000 guineas, 11 are for 500 guineas, one is for 50 guineas, and one is for 25 guineas. In four matches, a side of 22 men played a side of 11 men, in one match each side had three men, and one match was between just Mr. Brudennall and Mr. Welch. An All England club played in 5 matches, and the Mary-Le-Bone played in 9 matches. Three matches took 4 days, 8 took 3 days, 13 took two days, and one took one day. Now you know.

    Beth Hise adds, January 12, 2010: "Britcher appears to have been the first official MCC scorer. He published small books annually between 1790 and 1803, with an additional volume covering 1804/5. He recorded matches that he attended, shedding considerable light onto the early days of cricket. Those matches ranged widely, from those between the Kennington and Middlesex Clubs, to one between the One Arm and One Leg sides (won by the One Legs by 103 runs).

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - Doctor in DE Recalls His "Youthfull Folley": Includes Ball-playing

    1790s.1

    Hancock, Harold B., ed., "William Morgan's Autobiography and Diary: Life in Sussex County, 1780 - 1857," Delaware History, volume 19, number 1 [Spring/Summer 1980], pp. 43 - 44. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 80.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - Boston Merchant Recalls "Playing Ball on the Common Before Breakfast"

    1790s.2

    Mason, Jonathan, "Recollections of a Septuagenarian," Downs Special Collection, Winterthur Library [Winterthur, Delaware], Document 30, volume 1, pp. 20 - 21. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 81.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - Britannica: Stickball Dates to Late 18th Century?

    1790s.3

    "Stickball is a game played on a street or other restricted area, with a stick, such as a mop handle or broomstick, and a hard rubber ball. Stickball developed in the late 18th century from such English games as old cat, rounders, and town ball. Stickball also relates to a game played in southern England and colonial Boston in North America called stoolball. All of these games were played on a field with bases, a ball, and one or more sticks. The modern game is played especially in New York City on the streets where such fixtures as a fire hydrant or an abandoned car serve as bases."

    Britannica Online search conducted 5/25/2005. Note: No sources are provided for this unique report of early stickball. It also seems unusual to define town ball as an English game. Caveat: We find no reference to the term "rounders" until 1828. See #1828.1 below.

    Last Updated: March 18, 2012

  • 1790 - Southern Pols Calhoun and Crawford: Ballplaying Schoolmates?

    1790s.4

    "These two illustrious statesmen [southern leaders John C. Calhoun and William H. Crawford], who had played town ball and marbles and gathered nuts together . . . were never again to view each other except in bonds of bitterness."

    J. E. D. Shipp, Giant Days: or the Life and Times of William H. Crawford [Southern Printers, 1909], page 167. Caveat: Crawford was ten years older than Calhoun, so it seems unlikely that they were close in school. Both leaders had attended Waddell's school [in GA] but that school opened in 1804 [see #1804.1] when Crawford was 32 years old, so their common school must have preceded their time at Waddell's.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - Cricket as Played in Hamburg Resembled the U.S. Game of Wicket?

    1790s.6

    "[D]escriptions of the game [cricket] from Hamburg in the 1790s show significant variations often quite similar to outdated provisions of American "Wicket," which may well not be due to error on the part of the author, but rather to acute observation. For example, the ball was bowled alternatively from each end (i.e. not in 'overs'). Moreover, the ball has to be 'rolled' and not 'thrown' (i.e., bowled in the true sense, not the pitched ball). And the striker is out if stops the ball from hitting the wicket with his foot or his body generally. There is no more reason to believe that there was uniformity in the Laws covering cricket in England, the British Isles, or in Europe than there was in weights and measures." Rowland Bowen, Cricket: A History of its Grown and Development Throughout the World (Eyre and Spottiswoode, London, 1970), page 72. Note: Bowen does not give a source for this observation.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1790 - In Boston, "Boys Played Ball in the Streets?"

    1790s.7

    Boston MA, with only 18,000 inhabitants, was sparsely populated. "Boys played ball in the streets without disturbance, or danger from the rush of traffic." Edmund Quincy, Josiah Quincy of Massachusetts (Fields, Osgood and Company, 1869), page 37. Writing 70 years later, the biographer here is painting a picture of the city when his father Josiah finished school and moved there at 18. He does not document this observation. One might speculate that Josiah had told Edmund about the ballplaying. Accessed on 11/16/2088 via Google Books search for "'life of josiah quincy.'"

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1791 - "Bafeball" Among Games Banned in Pittsfield MA - also Cricket, Wicket

    1791.1

    In Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to promote the safety of the exterior of the newly built meeting house, particularly the windows, a by-law is enacted to bar "any game of wicket, cricket, baseball, batball, football, cats, fives, or any other game played with ball," within eighty yards of the structure. However, the letter of the law did not exclude the city's lovers of muscular sport from the tempting lawn of "Meeting-House Common." This is the first indigenous instance of the game of baseball being referred to by that name on the North American continent. It is spelled herein as bafeball. "Pittsfield is baseball's Garden of Eden," said Mayor James Ruberto.

    Per John Thorn: The History of Pittsfield (Berkshire County),Massachusetts, From the Year 1734 to the Year 1800. Compiled and Written, Under the General Direction of a Committee, by J. E. A. Smith. By Authority of the Town. [Lea and Shepard, 149 Washington Street, Boston, 1869], 446-447. The actual documents themselves repose in the Berkshire Athenaeum.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1791 - Northampton MA Prohibits Downtown Ballplaying (and Stone-Throwing)

    1791.2

    "Both the meeting-house and the Court House suffered considerable damage, especially to their windows by ball playing in the streets, consequently in 1791, a by-law was enacted by which 'foot ball, hand ball, bat ball and or any other game of ball was prohibited within ten rods of the Court House easterly or twenty rods of the Meeting House southwesterly, neither shall they throw any stones at or over the said Meeting House on a penalty of 5s, one half to go to the complainant and the rest to the town.'"

    J. R. Trumbull, History of Northampton, Volume II (Northampton, 1902), page 529. Contributed by John Bowman, May 9, 2009. Note: It is interesting that neither base-ball nor wicket is named in a town that is not so far from Pittsfield [see 1791.1]. Query: do we have any notion what "bat ball" was?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1791 - Salem MA Diary Covers "Puerile Sports" Including Bat & Ball, and "Rickets"

    1791.3

    "Puerile Sports usual in these parts of New England . . . . Afterwards the Bat & Ball and the Game at Rickets. The Ball is made of rags covered with leather in quarters & covered with double twine, sewed in Knots over the whole. The Bat is from 2 to 3 feet long, round on the back side but flattened considerable on the face, & round at the end, for a better stroke. The Ricket is played double, & is full of violent exercise of running."

    The Diary of William Bentley, D.D., Volume I (Essex Institute, Salem MA, 1905), pp 253-254. Contributed by Brian Turner, March 6, 2009. Bentley later noted that Bat & Ball is played at the time of year when "the weather begins to cool." Bentley [1759-1819] was a prominent and prolific New England pastor who served in Salem MA. Query: Any idea what the game of rickets/ricket was?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1792 - Sporting Magazine Begins Its Cricket Reports in England

    1792.1

    Ford reports that this 1792 saw "First publication of the Sporting Magazine which featured cricket scores and reports. . . . Per John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 19. Ford does not give a citation for this account, but John Thorn [email, 2/2/2008] found an ad announcing the new magazine: "Sporting Magazine," The General Evening Post (London), Tuesday Octobver 23, 1792, bottom of column four. 21 topics are listed as the scope of the new publication, starting with racing, hunting, and coursing: cricket is the only field sport listed.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1793 - Engraving Shows Game with Wickets at Dartmouth College

    1793.1

    A copper engraving showing Dartmouth College appeared in Massachusetts Magazine in February 1793. It is the earliest known drawing of the College, and shows a wicket-oriented game being played in the yard separating college buildings. The game appears to be wicket, but College personnel ask whether it is not an early form of cricket. See http://www.dartmouth.edu/~library/Library_Bulletin/Nov1992/LB-N92-KCramer2.html;

    Submitted by Scott Meacham 8/17/06. Dartmouth is in Hanover NH.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1793 - Big Stakes for Cricket, Indeed

    1793.2

    "A game of cricket for 1000 guineas a side between sides raised by the Earl of Winchilsea and Lord Darnley." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1770-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 19. Ford does not give a source for this event.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1793 - "Curious Cricket Match" Planned in England Among Tripeds

    1793.3

    "CURIOUS CRICKET MATCH. A young nobleman, of great notoriety in the [illegible: baut-ton? A corrupton of beau ton?], had made a match of a singular nature, with one of the would-be members of the jockey club, for a considerable sum of money, to be played by Greenwich pensioners, on Blackheath, sometime in the present month. The 11 on one side are to have only one arm each; and the other, to have both their arms and only one leg each. The nobleman has not at present made his election, whether he intends to back the legs or the wings - but the odds are considerably in favour of the latter."

    Independent Chronicle and Universal Advertiser, August 29, 1793, as taken from an unknown London newspaper. Posted to 19CBB 7/30/2007 by Richard Hershberger. John Thorn, email of 2/2/2008, found an identical account: "Curious Cricket Match," World, Monday, May 13, 1793, column two, at the fold. Perhaps the Independent found August to be a slow news month?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1793 - [moved to 1790.9 in version 11]

    1793.4

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1793 - Lady Cricketers Play Again in Sussex

    1793.5

    The married women and maids of Bury, in Sussex, are to play their return match of cricket, before the commencement of the harvest; and we hear that considerable bets are depending on their show of Notches, which at the conclusion of their lasst game, the umpires declared to be much in favour of the sturdy matrons."

    The Morning Post, Wednesday, July 17, 1793. Contributed by Gregory Christiano, December 2, 2009.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1794 - New York Cricket Club Meets "Regularly"

    1794.1

    "By 1794 the New York Cricket Club was meeting regularly, usually at Battins Tavern at six o'clock in the evenings. Match games were played between different members of the club, wickets being pitched exactly at two o'clock." Holliman, Jennie, American Sports (1785-1835) [Porcupine Press, Philadelphia, 1975], page 67.

    Holliman cites Wister, W. R., Some Reminiscences of Cricket in Philadelphia Before 1861, page 5, for the NYCC data.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1794 - Historian Cites "Club-ball"

    1794.2

    David Block finds an earlier reference to "club-ball" than Strutt's. It is James Pettit Andrews, The History of Great Britain (Cadell, London, 1794.), page 438. Email from David, 2/27/08.

    David explains" that in Baseball Before We Knew It, "I took the historian Joseph Strutt to task for making it seem as if a 14th century edict under the reign Edward III [see #1300s.2 above] offered proof that a game called "club-ball" existed. It now appears that I may have done Mr. Strutt a partial injustice. A history book published seven years before Strutt's translates the Latin pilam bacculoreum the same way he did, as club-ball (which I believe leaves the impression that the game was a distinct one, and not a generic reference to ball games played with a stick or staff.) I still hold Strutt guilty for his baseless argument that this alleged 14th century game was the ancestor of cricket and other games played with bat and ball. Andrews, in his history of England, cites a source for his passage on ball games, but I can not make it out from the photocopy in my possession."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1795 - Portsmouth NH Bans Cricket and Other Ball Games

    1795.1

    By-Laws of the Town of Portsmouth, Passed at their Annual Meeting Held March 25, 1795[John Melcher, Portsmouth], pp. 5 - 6. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 66.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1795 - Survey Reports Cricket in New England, Playing at Ball in TN

    1795.2

    Winterbotham, William, An Historical, Geographical, Commercial and Philosophical View of the American United States [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 180. Coverage of New England [volume 2, page 17] reports that "The healthy and athletic diversions of cricket, foot ball, quoits, wrestling, jumping, hopping, foot races, and prison bars, are universally practiced in the country, and some of them in the most populous places, and by people of almost all ranks." The Tennessee section [volume 3, page 235] mentions the region's fondness for sports, including "playing at ball." Block notes that Winterbotham is sometimes credited with saying that bat and ball was popular in America before the Revolutionary War, and that adults played it, but reports that scholars, himself included, have not yet confirmed such wording at this point.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1795 - Playing Ball Cited as Major New England Diversion

    1795.3

    What are the diversions of the New England people? "Dancing is a favorite one of both sexes. Sleighing in winter, and skating, playing ball, gunning, and fishing are the principal."

    Johnson, Clifton, and Carl Withers, Old Time Schools and School-Books [Dover, New York, 1963], page 41. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/12/2004.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1795 - Deerfield's Fine for Playing Ball: Six Cents

    1795.4

    A long list of punishable offenses at Deerfield included six cents for "playing ball near school." This was a minor fine, the same sanction as getting a drop of tallow on a book, tearing a page of a book, or leaving one's room during study. In contrast, a one dollar assessment was made for playing cards, backgammon, or checkers, or walking or visiting on Saturday night or Sunday.

    Marr, Harriet Webster, The Old New England Academies Founded Before 1826 [Comet Press, New York, 1959], page 142. Submitted by John Thorn, 10/12/2004.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1795 - Playing At Ball in the Untamed West

    1795.5

    "Wrestling, jumping, running foot races, and playing at ball, are the common diversions." W. Winterbotham, An Historical Geographical, Commercial, and Philosophical View of the American United States, Volume 3 (London, 1795), page 235. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 30-31. Tom notes [ibid] that Winterbotham was writing about Federal territory south of the Ohio River. Note: KY, maybe? Volume 3 of this work is not accessible via Google Books as of 11/15/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1796 - Gutsmuths describes [in German, yet] "Englische Base-Ball"

    1796.1

    Gutsmuths Johann C. F., Spiele zur Uebung und Erholung des Korpers und Geistes fur die Jugend, ihre Erzieher und alle Freunde Unschuldiger Jugendfreuden [Schnepfenthal, Germany] per David Block, page 181.. This roughly translates as: Games for the Exercise and Recreation of Body and Spirit for the Youth and His Educator and All Friends of Innocent Joys of Youth.

    Gutsmuths, an early German advocate of physical education, devotes a chapter to "Ball mit Freystaten (oder das Englische Base-ball)" that is, Ball with free station, or English base-ball. He describes the game in terms that seem similar to later accounts of rounders and base-ball in English texts. The game is described as one-out, all-out, having a three-strike rule, and placing the pitcher a few steps from the batsman.

    For Text: Block carries a four-page translation of this text in Appendix 7, pages 275-278, in Baseball Before We Knew It.

    Block advises [11/6/2005 communication] that Gutsmuths provides "the first hard, unambiguous evidence associating a bat with baseball . . . . We can only speculate as to when a bat was first employed in baseball, but my intuition is that it happened fairly early, probably by the mid-18th century."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1796 - Williams College Student Notes Ballplaying in Winter Months

    1796.2

    Tarbox, Increase N., Diary of Thomas Robbins, D. D. 1796 - 1854 [Beacon Press, Boston, 1886], volume 1, pp. 8, 29, 32, 106, and 128. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 54. The college is in Williamstown MA.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1796 - Eton Cricketers Flogged at School for Playing Match. Ouch.

    1796.3

    Ford summarizes a bad day for Etonians: "Eton were beaten by Westminster School on Hounslow Heath and on return to college were flogged by the headmaster; it would seem that this was for playing rather than for losing." See John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 20. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1796 - Early Geographer Sees Variety of Types New England Ballplaying

    1796.4

    "Q: What is the temper of the New-England people?

    A: They are frank and open . . . .

    Q: What are their diversions?

    A: Dancing is a favorite of both sexes. Sleigh-riding in winter, and skating, playing ball (of which there are several different games), gunning and fishing . . . "

    Nathaniel Dwight, A Short But Comprehensive System of Geography (Charles R. and George Webster, Albany NY) 1796), page 128. Provided by John Thorn, 2/17/2008 email.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1797 - Daniel Webster Writes of "Playing Ball" While at Dartmouth

    1797.1

    Daniel Webster, in private correspondence, writes of "playing ball," while a student at Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH.

    Webster, Daniel, Private Correspondence, Fletcher Webster, ed. [Little Brown, Boston 1857], volume 1, p. 66. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 45. Altherr [p. 27] puts this date "at the turn of the century." On 7/31/2005, George Thompson added that "Volume 17, page 66 of the National Edition of his Writings and Speeches is supposed to have a reference by one Hotchkiss to Webster playing ball at Dartmouth."

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1797 - Newburyport MA Bans Cricket and Other Ball Games

    1797.2

    Bye-Laws of Newburyport: Passed by the Town at Regular Meetings, and Approved by the Court of General Justice of the Peace for the County of Essex, Agreeably to a Law of this Commonwealth [Newburyport, 1797], p. 1. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 68.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1797 - Fayetteville NC Bans Sunday Ballplaying by African-Americans

    1797.3

    Gilbert, Tom, Baseball and the Color Line [Franklin Watts, NY, 1995], p.38. Per Millen, note # 15.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1797 - "Grand Match" of Stoolball Pits Sussex and Kentish Ladies

    1797.4

    "A grand Match of Stool-ball, between 11 Ladies of Sussex, in Pink, against 11 Ladies of Kent, in Blue Ribands."

    Source: an undated reproduction, which notes "this is a reproduction of the original 1797 Diversions programme." The match was scheduled for 10am on Wednesday, August 16, 1797. Provided from the files of the National Stoolball Association, June 2007.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1797 - In NC, Negroes Face 15 Lashes for Ballplaying

    1797.5

    A punishment of 15 lashes was specified for "negroes, that shall make a noise or assemble in a riotous manner in any of the streets [of Fayetteville NC] on the Sabbath day; or that may be seen playing ball on that day." North-Carolina Minerva (March 11, 1797), excerpted in G. Johnson, Ante-Bellum North Carolina: A Social History (Chapel Hill NC, 1937), page 551; as cited in Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 29

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1798 - Jane Austen Writes of "Baseball" in Northanger Abbey.

    1798.1

    Jane Austen mentions "baseball" in her novel Northanger Abbey, written in about 1798 but published in 1818, after her death. "Mrs. Morland was a very good woman, and wished to see her children everything they ought to be; but her time was so much occupied in lying-in and teaching the little ones, that her elder daughters were inevitably left to shift for themselves; and it was not very wonderful that Catherine, who had nothing heroic about her, should prefer cricket, baseball, riding on horseback, and running about the country at the age of fourteen, to books . . . . But from fifteen to seventeen she was in training for a heroine; so read all such works as heroines must read. . . "

    Austen, Jane, Northanger Abbey (London, 1851), page.3. Note: The 2008 "Masterpiece" TV version of this novel included a brief scene in which Catherine, at the age of about 17, plays a baseball-like game [rounders-based, arguably] involving posts with flags as bases. It would be interesting to know how the screenwriter arrived at this depiction.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1798 - Cricket Rules Revised a Little

    1798.2

    Rule changes: [A] Instead of requiring a single ball to be used throughout a match, a new rule specified a new ball for each innings. [B] Fielders can be substituted for, but the replacement players cannot bat.

    Peter Scholefield, Cricket Laws and Terms [Axiom Publishers, Kent Town Australia, 1990], pages 14 and 9, respectively.

    In addition, Ford reports that "the size of the wicket was increased to 24 inches high by 7 inches wide with two bails." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 20. Ford does not give a citation for this account.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1799 - English Novel Refers to Cricket, Base-ball

    1799.1

    Cooke, Cassandra, Battleridge" an Historical tale, Founded on facts. In Two Volumes. By a Lady of Quality (G. Cawthorn, London, 1799).

    A character recalls how, when his clerkship to a lawyer ended, a former playmate took his leave by saying:

    "Ah! no more cricket, no more base-ball, they are sending me to Geneva."

    David Block [page 183) notes that Cooke was in correspondence with Jane Austen in 1798, when both were evidently writing novels containing references to base-ball. Also submitted 8/19/06 by Ian Maun.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1799 - NY Cricket Club Schedules Match Among Members

    1799.2

    "A number of members of the Cricket Club having met on the old ground on Saturday last, by appointment it was unanimously agreed to meet on Thursday next, at the same place, at half past 2 o'clock. Wickets will be pitched at 3 o'clock exactly."

    Commercial Advertiser, June 18, 1799, page 3 column 1. Submitted by George Thompson, 8/2/2005.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Hudson NY Council Prohibits Boys' Ballplaying, Preserves Turf. Etc.

    1800.10

    "An ordinance to preserve the turf or soil on the parade, and to regulate the sale of lamb in the city, and also to prevent boys playing ball or hoop on Warren or Front streets, passed the 14th June, 1800."

    Hudson [NY] Bee, April 19, 1803. Found by John Thorn, who lives 30 minutes south of the town: email of 2/17/2008.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - John Knox Owns a "Ball Alley" and Racquets Court in NYC, 1800-1803.

    1800.2

    Item from John Thorn, 6/25/04. Note: It seems possible that a "ball alley" is for bowling, but wicket was also played on what was termed an alley.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - History of North America: Cricket and Football are "Universally Practiced."

    1800.5

    "The athletic and healthy diversion of cricket, football, etc. . . are universally practiced in this country." Edward Oliphant, History of North America (Edinburgh, 1800), page? Cited in Lester, A Century of Philadelphia Cricket [U Penn, 1951], page 7.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Children's Story Includes Promise to Provide Bats and Balls

    1800.6

    A story in this popular children's book includes a character who, pleased with the deportment of some youths during a visit, says, "If you do me the honour of another visit, I shall endeavor to provide bats, balls, &c."

    The Prize for Youthful Obedience [London], per David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, page 183. Note: Block notes that American editions of this book appeared in 1803 and thereafter: see #1807.1 below, for example.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Will Satan Snag the Sunday Player?

    1800.8

    "Take care that here on Sunday/None of you play at ball,/For fear that on the Monday/The Devil take you all." Inscription oh the Church Wall of a small village in Wales.

    Weekly Museum, April 19, 1800, Vol. 12, No. 27. page 2. Submitted by John Thorn 4/24/06. Note: we have no indication as to when the inscription was carved.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - MA Man Recalls Games of Ball in Streets, with Wickets

    1800c.1

    "The sports and entertainments were very simple. Running about the village street, hither and thither, without much aim . . . . games of ball, not base-ball, as is now [c1857] the fashion, yet with wickets - this was about all, except that at the end there was always horse-racing [p.19]. ..But as to sports and entertainments in general, there were more of them in those days than now. We had more holidays, more games in the street, of ball-playing, of quoits, of running, leaping, and wrestling. [p.21]"

    Mary E. Dewey, ed., Autobiography and Letters of Orville Dewey, D.D. (Roberts Brothers, Boston, 1883), pages 19 and 21. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "Chucking the Old Apple: Recent Discoveries of Pre-1840 North American Ball Games," Base Ball, Volume 2, number 1 (Spring 2008), page 38. Accessed 11/16/2008 via Google Books search for "'letters of orville.'" Orville Dewey was born in Sheffield MA in 1794 and grew up there. Sheffield is in the SW corner of MA, about 45 miles NE of Hartford Connecticut. Note: [1] the "game of ball" may have been wicket. [2] More holidays in 1800 than in 1857?

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Sports at Exeter Academy include "Old-Fashioned 'Bat and Ball' . . . and Football"

    1800C.1

    Cunningham, Frank H., Familiar Sketches of the Phillips Exeter Academy and Surroundings [James R. Osgood and Company, Boston, 1883], p. 281. Per Thomas L. Altherr, "A Place Leavel Enough to Play Ball," reprinted in David Block, Baseball Before We Knew It, ref # 76.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Col. Jas. Lee Recalls Playing Baseball as a Youth.

    1800c.3

    Lee was made an honorary member of the Knickerbocker Club in 1846, when he made this observation.

    Henderson, Robert W., Ball, Bat and Bishop: The Origins of Ball Games [Rockport Press, 1947], p. 150. No ref given. Also referenced in Peterson, p. 68, but again without a citation

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Four Old Cat and Three Old Cat Well Known in MA

    1800c.4

    "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.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - William Cullen Bryant Remembers Base-Ball

    1800c.7

    "I have not mentioned other sports and games of the boys of that day which is to say, of seventy or eighty years since - such as wrestling, running, leaping, base-ball, and the like, for in thee there was nothing to distinguish them from the same pastimes at the present day."

    William Cullen Bryant, "The Boys of my Boyhood," St. Nicholas: An Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks, December 1876, page 102. Submitted by David Ball 6/4/06

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

  • 1800 - Most English Counties Play Cricket

    1800c.9

    "Village cricket spread widely and by the end of the century cricket had been recorded in most counties in England." John Ford, Cricket: A Social History 1700-1835 [David and Charles, 1972], page 20.

    Last Updated: March 12, 2012

Legend

Note: ID numbers for milestone entries include the (often approximated) year of the observation, followed by serial number reflecting the order it was added. A date is approximated when an ID is denoted with a "C".