Base Ball

Articles from Vol. 1, No. 1, 2007

1791 and All That: Baseball and the Berkshires
This essay has been modified slightly from a speech delivered at the Berkshire Museum in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, on June 17, 2006.Thanks to Pittsfield, the public now knows what only a handful of scholars had suspected: that baseball was played in...
A New Perspective on Mexican Baseball Origins
The history of Mexican baseball began in Sonora. That has been accepted as an officially sanctioned fact. However, this "fact" has been built upon a foundation of inaccurate and unreliable documentation.For many years, it has been widely accepted that...
Editor's Note
Welcome to our new journal about the old ball game. What standing, one might ask, may a squalling infant have in reviewing events transpired long ago and recorded by elders of authority?Plenty, as it turns out. The first years of the twenty-first century...
Fast Day: Boston's Original Opening Day
In 1623 the Pilgrims at Plymouth were struggling to survive. They hadn't been warned ahead of time about the New England winters, and since they had not yet developed a taste for cranberries, clams, and lobster, they scanned the horizon for that long-overdue...
Publisher's Comments
McFarland was founded in 1979, essentially as an outgrowth of librarianship: providing inquirers with info they ask for. The founder was for a dozen years an officer of the American Library Association. Headquartered in deepest Appalachia, in Ashe County,...
The Baseball Film to 1920
Every motion picture is a time capsule, a moment in the life of a culture. But unless it is two minutes or ten hours long and non-narrative-in other words, decidedly non-commercial-a film is usually produced for one purpose: to make money. In this regard,...
The Bechtel-Craver Trade and the Origins of Baseball's Sales System1
Peter Morris has this to say in A Game of Inches, the second volume of his richly detailed study of baseball innovations:Trades and sales are such an accepted part of baseball today that it is easy to forget how strange they must have seemed. Just imagine...
The Borderlands of Professionalism: Cooperative Clubs and the Formation of the National League
Baseball in the 1860s presents modern historians with a pyramid of clubs. A handful of clubs clearly occupied the top: the Atlantics of Brooklyn, the Mutuals of New York, and the Athletics of Philadelphia were the standouts. Below the top tier was a...
The Elysian Fields of Hoboken, New Jersey
In 1804 John Stevens III (1749-1838) began his 30-year effort to transform a portion of his wooded, 700-acre Hoboken property into a romantic, quasi-public rural retreat, called the "Elysian Fields." This was one of the earliest parks in the United States...
The First Army-Navy Baseball Game
Baseball folklore has it that Abner Doubleday "chased the cows out of Elihu Phinney's cow pasture on an afternoon in 1839" and thus was inspired to invent the game of baseball.1 While home on leave from the United States Military Academy, Cadet Doubleday...
The Knickerbockers: San Francisco's First Baseball Team?
On September 23, 1931, prior to a Mission Reds-Hollywood Stars Pacific Coast League baseball game, an Old-Timers Day was celebrated at San Francisco's brand new Seals Stadium. The 40 honorees were divided into two teams recalling the old California League...
The Postseason Play of 1902
The initial postseason interleague championship series dates back to 1884, when the National League champion Providence Grays met the American Association pennant winners, the New York Metropolitans. Providence swept the series, three games to none,...
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