A Few Dozen Prominent Baseball Milestones

Peck and Snyder Atlantic BBC_1869Here is something of a cheat sheet to learning about baseball’s beginnings. The linked selections below are those of Larry McCray, a member of Major League Baseball’s Origins Committee and the founder of the invaluable Protoball project. Larry was also the editor of the special origins number of the journal Base Ball, source of most of the articles linked below.

1609.1 Polish Origins of Baseball Perceived in Jamestown VA Settlement

1621.1 Some Pilgrims “Openly” Play “Stoole Ball” on Christmas Morning: Governor Clamps Down

1672c.2 Francis Willughby’s “Book of Games” Surveys Folkways: First Stoolball Rules Appear

1725c.1 Wicket Played on Boston Common

1744.1 First Laws of Cricket Are Written in England

1744.2 Newbery’s Little Pretty Pocket-Book Refers to “Base-Ball,” “Stooleball, ” “Trap-Ball,” Cricket

1755.6 NYS Traveler Notes Dutch Boys Playing “Bat and Ball”

1781.2 “Antient” Harvard Custom: Freshmen Furnish the Bats, Balls

1791.1 “Bafeball” Among Games Banned in Pittsfield MA – also Cricket, Wicket

1796.1 Gutsmuths describes [in German, yet] “Englische Base-Ball”

1805.4 NY Gentlemen Play Game of “Bace:” Score Is Gymnastics 41, Sons of Diagoras 34.

1821.5 NY Mansion Converted to Venue Suitable for Base, Cricket, Trap-Ball

1823.1 National Advocate Reports “Base Ball” Game in NYC

1829.2 Round Ball Played in MA

1833c.12 America’s First Interclub Ballgame, in Philadelphia

1837.1 A Founder of the Gothams Remembers “First Ball Organization in the US”

1843.6 Magnolia Ball Club Summoned to Elysian Fields Game

1845.1 Knicks Adopt Playing Rules on September 23

1845.2 Knicks Play First Recorded [Intramural] Games by the New Rules

1845.5 Brooklyn and New York to Go Again in Hoboken

1845.16 Brooklyn 22, New York 1: The First-Ever “Modern” Interclub Match?

1853.5 Knicks, Gothams Play Season Opener on July 1 and July 5

1855.31 Competitive Base Ball Suddenly Fills NY Metropolitan Area

1856.4 Fifty-Three Games Played, All in New York City Area.

1857.1 Rules Modified to Specify Nine Innings, 90-Foot Base Paths, Nine-Player Teams

1857.5 The Tide Starts Turning in New England – Trimountain Club Adopts NY Game

1857.22 Atlantic Club Becomes Base Ball Champ?

1857.29 Six-Player Town-ball Teams Play for Gold in Philly

1857.31 Rounders “Now Almost Entirely Displaced by Cricket”: English Scholar

1858.2 New York All-Stars Beat Brooklyn All-Stars, 2 Games to 1; First Admission Fees Are Charged

1858.6 Clipper Calls for Truly National Base Ball Convention

1858.10 Four-day Attendance of 40,000 Souls Watch Famous Roundball Game in Worcester

1858.21 Times Editorial: “We Hail the New Fashion with Delight”

1858.40 Cricket Plays Catch-up; Plans a National Convention

1859.2 Elusive Intercollegiate Game [the First Played by NY Rules] Pits Xavier and Fordham

1859.6 The First Known African-American Game, Is Played July 4 and/or November 15; see also:





1859.14 New York Tribune Compares the NY “Baby” Game and NE Game

1859.22 Worcester High School in MA Has First Interscholastic Base Ball Club

1859.24 CT State Wicket Championship Attracts 4000

1859.32 Morning Express Opposes Bound Rule, Tag-up Rule: Wants More Runs!

1859.35 Base Ball Community Eyes Use of Central Park

1860.6 Chadwick’s Beadle’s Appears, and the Baseball Literature Is Launched

1860.7 Excelsiors Conduct Undefeated Western NY Road Trip. . .”First Tour Ever? First $500 Player Ever?

1860.46 First International Game Played by New York Rules

1860.60 Atlantics vs. Excelsiors: The Thorny Idea of Onfield Supremacy

1861.37 Modern Base Ball Played Widely at Outset of War

1862.2 The Death of Jim Creighton at 21

1862.3 US Cricket Enters Steeper Decline

1863.1 Ballplaying Peaks in the Civil War Camps

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