Baseball before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the by David Block

By David Block

Block's publication takes readers on a thrilling trip during the centuries looking for clues to the evolution of our smooth nationwide hobby. between his startling discoveries is a suite of long-forgotten baseball ideas from the 1700s. Block evaluates the originality and ancient value of the Knickerbocker ideas of 1845, revisits ecu experiences at the ancestry of baseball which point out that the sport dates again hundreds and hundreds, if no longer millions of years, and assembles a close heritage of video games and interests from the center a long time onward that contributed to baseball's improvement. In its thoroughness and succeed in, and its large descriptive bibliography of early baseball assets, this booklet is a distinct and important resource-a accomplished, trustworthy, and readable account of baseball prior to it was once America's video game.

David Block is a long-time collector of early baseball books and memorabilia, and is a passionate, lifelong fan of the sport and its background.

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Extra resources for Baseball before We Knew It: A Search for the Roots of the Game

Sample text

24 Reputedly the crowd then responded with cries of “No rounders! ” 25 Later in 1889 the book Athletic Sports appeared, with a focus on baseball and, in particular, Spalding’s world tour. The book’s first chapter was devoted to baseball’s beginnings, with writer W. I. Harris presenting a slightly more balanced approach to the controversy than either Ward or Mills. He wrote: “The origin of baseball is in dispute, and the question will probably never be positively settled. Several writers contend that it came from the old English game of ‘rounders,’ and there is some evidence to that effect.

The new research climate has yielded a number of important revelations. 58 This predated by more than twenty years the previously known record of such activity. 59 My own contribution was uncovering a set of detailed rules for a game called “English base-ball” that was published in a German book in the year 1796. This is the oldest known description of the game, and predates by more than thirty years the earliest known appearance of baseball rules in English. As these discoveries materialize one by one, they reveal that early baseball history remains a vast unfinished canvas.

8 One exception to this consensus appeared in the August 26, 1869, issue of The Nation. In an article extolling the National Pastime and comparing it to cricket, the author, A. H. 9 Instead of challenging Chadwick’s rounders theory, however, Sedgwick objected to the notion that baseball derived from cricket. ’ . . ” 10 Although Sedgwick’s viewpoint went largely unnoticed at the time, it is of some historical importance in that uncertaint y as to t he paternit y : : : 3 he was the first observer to suggest that baseball derived from the American “old-cat” games.

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