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Thread: Baseball in the 18th century

  1. #1
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Baseball in the 18th century

    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/...st-david-block

    On Tuesday last his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and Lord Middlesex, played at Base-Ball, at Walton in Surry; and notwithstanding the Weather was extreme bad, they continued playing for several Hours.


    The date of the game was September 12, 1749. That's 90 years earlier than, and 3,500 miles away from, baseball's alleged conception in Cooperstown, New York. The "Base-Ball" player is the heir to the British throne. Block is rewriting the prehistory of the game. He is exposing a century's worth of lies. He has come up with a shocking answer to the riddle of baseball's parentage.

    Do you think anybody will find this interesting?

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  3. #2
    Member Norm Chortleton's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    The Duke of LaRussa had to have been involved, right?

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Great, great stuff. As you may or may not know, I am absolutely fascinated by the 19th century game and up til about 1920 and now I can think about a whole 'nuther century? Wow! Thanks WOY!

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    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by RedlegJake View Post
    Great, great stuff. As you may or may not know, I am absolutely fascinated by the 19th century game and up til about 1920 and now I can think about a whole 'nuther century? Wow! Thanks WOY!
    Have you read any Peter Morris?

    http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Morris/e/B001HD10PI

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    fascinating read

    That's what Block is telling us. To put away the bedtime stories. To think of baseball as we would Homo sapiens, as something that crawled out of the primordial ooze at a hazy date in history and developed, slowly and mystifyingly, over the centuries. When you think like that, time spreads out before you like center field at the Polo Grounds. The first entry in Larry McCray's Protoball chronology isn't Doubleday. It's "Overhand Throwing Evolves in Primates."

    The shocking truth is that baseball has no father
    . "If baseball had that inception moment, then everything after that moment is baseball and everything before it is darkness," said Shieber. "But once you agree there is no inception moment that baseball, just like anything else, is an evolutionary process where do you start?"
    woy, have you read Block's book from a decade ago Baseball Before We Knew It?

    And if so, would you recommend it?

    I hope he gets a chance to pen another book with this new information.

  8. #6
    breath westofyou's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    fascinating read



    woy, have you read Block's book from a decade ago Baseball Before We Knew It?

    And if so, would you recommend it?

    I hope he gets a chance to pen another book with this new information.
    I think I might have it, but have not read it.

    I'll have to confirm that

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    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    I think I might have it, but have not read it.

    I'll have to confirm that
    http://www.amazon.com/Baseball-befor...ore+we+knew+it

    I just ordered it, along with 2 of the Morris books.

    Good reading ahead for the November to February slog.

    thanks!

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    Rally Onion! Chip R's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by Always Red View Post
    fascinating read

    woy, have you read Block's book from a decade ago Baseball Before We Knew It?

    And if so, would you recommend it?

    I hope he gets a chance to pen another book with this new information.
    I have and I would definitely recommend it. There's actually a film out there that he did as a companion piece to the book.
    The Rally Onion wants 150 fans before Opening Day.

    http://www.facebook.com/pages/Rally-...24872650873160

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    Moderator RedlegJake's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Have you read any Peter Morris?

    http://www.amazon.com/Peter-Morris/e/B001HD10PI
    I have almost all of his books...I have to order "Level Playing Fields" yet...my library doesn't rival yours but I'm trying. I read Grantland but hadn't seen that particular post yet. Another book I have to order is Block's! A couple nuggets for this winter

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    Member 757690's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    On Tuesday last his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, and Lord Middlesex, played at Base-Ball, at Walton in Surry; and notwithstanding the Weather was extreme bad, they continued playing for several Hours.

    The date of the game was September 12, 1749. That's 90 years earlier than, and 3,500 miles away from, baseball's alleged conception in Cooperstown, New York. The "Base-Ball" player is the heir to the British throne. Block is rewriting the prehistory of the game. He is exposing a century's worth of lies. He has come up with a shocking answer to the riddle of baseball's parentage.
    On Wednesday, Sept. 13, 1749, Ye Olde Redszone published 22 pages debating whether or not Lord Middlesex bunted too often.
    "Man, the pitch looks fast, even in slow motion." Thom Brennaman on Chapman's fastball.

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  15. #11
    The Boss dougdirt's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    We knew a few years ago that baseball wasn't Doubleday and wasn't Cooperstown, so that part of the story isn't really interesting. However that baseball, or some close variation of it from 1749 existing gets me all kinds of excited.

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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    There's also Baseball in the Garden of Eden by John Thorn.

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  18. #13
    nothing more than a fan Always Red's Avatar
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    Re: Baseball in the 18th century

    Quote Originally Posted by dougdirt View Post
    We knew a few years ago that baseball wasn't Doubleday and wasn't Cooperstown, so that part of the story isn't really interesting. However that baseball, or some close variation of it from 1749 existing gets me all kinds of excited.
    I'm also excited about the 1749 date, but the Doubleday myth was not disproved recently, having been debunked almost from the beginning. The info is readily available on line so I'll not repeat it here.

    I've seen both the Doubleday statue in Gettysburg, and his grave in Arlington Cemetary, and fittingly, neither of them mention baseball at all. Doubleday himself only mentioned the game once in his writings, and that was to ask for some equipment in 1871. In spite of objections at the time over the myth, the Hall of Fame was opened in Cooperstown in 1939.

    So, who is the father of modern baseball? While he is certainly not the inventor of the game, I think Alexander Cartwright brought the game into the modern era (at least post Civil War) than anyone else, with his Knickerbocker Rules and New York Knickerbocker Club. He was declared the Father of modern baseball by Congress in 1953. Not that an act of Congress means anything...

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