View Full Version : Stats and History - John Thorne

03-08-2012, 08:23 PM

In the beginning, baseball knew numbers and was not ashamed. The game’s Eden dates ca. 1845, the year in which Alexander Cartwright and his Knickerbocker teammates codified the first set of rules and the year in which the New York Herald printed the primal box score. {I have recently, in Baseball in the Garden of Eden, upended some notions about the Knicks]. The infant game became quantified in part to ape the custom of its big brother, cricket; yet the larger explanation is that the numbers served to legitimize men’s concern with a boys’ pastime.

The pioneers of baseball reporting—William Cauldwell of the Sunday Mercury, William Porter of Spirit of the Times, the unknown ink-stained wretch at the Herald, and later Father Chadwick—may indeed have reflected that if they did not cloak the game in the “importance” of statistics, it might not seem worthwhile for adults to read about, let alone play.

Ron Madden
03-11-2012, 06:24 PM
Fascinating read, Thanks for sharing WOY.